Before I moved to the Bay Area, I equated “ramen” with “instant noodles.” Who knew that there was non-instant ramen?? Well, there is, and it’s what the instant stuff is based off of. It’s also much tastier, and probably healthier.
Today we hit up the farmer’s market and then headed to Ramen House Ryowa in downtown Mountain View for some delicious ramen. The noodle house has a pretty unique layout, with two U-shaped bars inside, so they only need two waiter/waitresses for the whole restaurant. Definitely not a fancy sit-down restaurant place, but cozy and comforting with their big bowls of noodles.
I ordered my usual, the butter corn ramen, and Tyler ordered the Ryowa ramen. While we were waiting for the noodles, I had a tiny bit of kimchi (there’s a bucket of it in front of every few seats).
Yum, usually I avoid all spicy foods, but it’s not actually not that spicy. Our noodles came pretty promptly, and here’s what they looked like:
Above is the butter corn ramen. Yes, that’s a slab of butter on the corn. They are not joking around. Luckily, it melts pretty quickly, so you aren’t stuck looking at a big piece of butter the whole time. It also includes half an egg, some bean sprouts, stewed pork, and seaweed. Delicious! I mostly just love anything with corn in it though =). Here’s Tyler’s Ryowa ramen, without the egg:
It has a much stronger flavor, and is saltier and spicier (the butter corn ramen is not spicy at all).
Everytime I come to Ryowa, I start out with a huge bowl of noodles, and think to myself, “There’s no way I can finish all this, we should have split a bowl.” But somehow, 20 minutes later, I’m staring at a noodle-less bowl, fishing out the last bits of rogue corn.
If you try out Ryowa, try to avoid weekend peak lunch hours, especially on Sunday during the farmer’s market. We made it there at 11:25am today and didn’t have to wait, but shortly after, a line started forming. They don’t close in the afternoon before dinner, so a late lunch is also an option.
We’ve also tried their gyoza, which is pretty tasty. Their fried chicken seems to be pretty popular as well, but when we ordered it, I think we got unlucky and got lots of fried-stuff-without-chicken bits. Their fried rice seems to be a common order as well.
Other cool things about Ryowa: they always have the same Japanese tv show playing, featuring a pet chimpanzee and other animals that the tv show host anthropomorphize. Very cute, but also very very weird. Also, you get to watch cute little asian kids slurp down huge bowls of noodles.