Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Slurp du Jour: Grilled Eel Udon from Kaka Udon Kitchen Was a Letdown
I believe that size matters, when it comes to noodle girth. In my world, therefore, a good bowl of udon -- if you can find it -- trumps a good bowl of ramen. A bowl of duck udon I had in (of all places) Shanghai ranks among my all-time noodle noshes. It's really a numbers game, however; there are so many more people intent on making a transcendental bowl of ramen than of udon that the odds are against easily finding the latter.
When something reminded me of the existence of the four-month old Kaka Udon Kitchen on Franklin St., a couple of things raised my expectations. First, the word was that they made their own noodles in house (and how many ramen shops can you think of that do that?); second, I discovered that their menu included Grilled Eel Udon, and I decided I wanted to try that instanter.
Kaka Udon Kitchen's ambience is casual and pleasantly proletarian, down to the plastic decorative teapot my order of tea came in. The menu offers a mix-and-match scheme similar to that used by the late, lamented Good Earth Cafe on Kearny St.: choose a bowl size (small, large or extra large), a broth type and toppings. There is also a section on the menu of "Specialty Udon" (large size specified) from which I chose my Grilled Eel Udon.
Kaka Udon Kitchen's menu, in addition to udon and accompanying appetizers, also has an extensive list of sushi rolls. When I was there at lunch time, a lot of people appeared to be ordering from that section of the menu. Maybe they knew something I didn't.
Where slurped: Kaka Udon Kitchen, 1535 Franklin Street at Bush Street, San Francisco