Hayes Valley Ramen Bust

The local internets were afluttler last week with word of a new addition to San Francisco’s growing street food scene, this time in Hayes Valley. Two factors converged to make this opening a particularly exciting one: 1) Most of the street food action is taking place downtown or in the Mission, so for a new venture to open in Hayes Valley, well, that’s exciting news; and 2) it’s a ramen truck!

(Above: People waiting, and waiting some more, for their bowls of ramen. On a side note, when a truck or business or whatever displays all those social media tags, Twitter, Facebook, etc, does that mean they’re sponsored to do so?)

San Francisco’s ramen scene is lacking. Sure, there are options but we’ve got nothing on New York when it comes to ramen. And why is that? There’s a fairly large Japanese presence here, and god knows there’s enough sushi options to keep people sated in their quests for the perfect serving of uni.

(Above: the menu. We had shoyu and miso.)

Anyway, Shirohige Ramen-Ya’s truck idea is a good one but I’m sorry to report that the ramen isn’t quite there. It’s not bad, but there’s not enough broth for one thing, and the bowls of noodles just lack balance. Which again, might be an issue with the broth, an element that seems to be essential for pulling all the ingredients together. Combined with the obnoxiously long waits — a problem the guys in the truck (who, it must be said, were friendly and polite) attributed to their water supply. That right there is a major flaw, one that hopefully gets worked out rather quickly. Part of the appeal of ordering a steaming bowl of noodles and sliced pork from a street vendor is that it’s, well, served up fast.