A bed-check stroll through Little Saigon on Larkin St. (confirming two new Vietnamese restaurants in the offing) brought me to the front door of the Asian Art Museum. It was the first day of a new featured exhibition, Japanese Art From The Larry Ellison Collection, so I went in thirsting for art and noodles. Given the nature of the current featured exhibition, the Museum's Cafe Asia, with Chef Melinda Quirino's pan-Asian culinary capabiities, was certain to have ramen on the menu, and so it did, "Tokyo" Ramen, for $13.00. Pricey, I thought, but in support of a good cause, so I went for it; after all, with my Senior membership and frequent visits, I'm a turnip the AAM doesn't get much blood from.
I put quotes around the "Tokyo" in the AAM's menu listing of Tokyo Ramen, because to me, Tokyo Ramen implies a shoyu
broth and today's ramen appeared to be miso-based (possibly with a bit of pork bone fortification). It was a forthright if not particularly complex broth that I enjoyed. The noodles were of the thin, curly style, and cooked hard the way I like. The chashu
was on the dry side, and a bit meager in quantity for the price. If there was anything they didn't stint on, it was the noodles, really too many for the bowl, like a built-in kaedama
. Overall, it was a brave attempt, but Cafe Asia won't be confused for a ramen-ya
any time soon.
I never got around to my first look at the Ellison exhibition (which will be around until September, in any event). While I was slurping down my ramen, my iPad burped out a news flash: the 9th District Court had lifted the stay on same-sex marriages in California, and they would be resuming at San Francisco City Hall, a mere block from where I sat, in half an hour. I decided to postpone the Ellison and go observe the frivolities and media frenzy at City Hall. After all, I had been married there myself (albeit to a person of the opposite sex) back in 1966. But I did pause to take a gander at the America's Cup, briefly on display at the AAM.
Cafe Asia at the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., San Francisco
Really cool website.
Check out mine. Got a lot of stuff 'bout noodles there, too: