Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen
A colorful mural of John Lennon on the wall at Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen sets a quirky scene for the poke and soup noodle bowls this fast-casual Little Italy joint is known for. In addition to ramen -- coming in pork, curry, and shoyu broths -- there's a rich selection of fun fusion foods, like ramen burgers in a noodle buns and sushi burritos packed with raw seafood. Japanese beers like Sapporo, sakes, soju, and wine by-the-glass may have you humming 'Imagine.'
The secret to RakiRaki Ramen and Tsukemen’s award-winning bowls, according to executive chef and owner Junya Watanabe, is putting passion into every detail of the dish, from the alkalized water (which is used to make both their tender/chewy noodles and exceptionally delicious broths) to the flame-blistered, aburi-style toppings. Cozy up to the Rikimaru Oxtail Ramen—double-thick noodles in rich chicken broth with a bowl of fall-off-the-bone oxtail and ponzu dipping sauce served on the side—or Setagaya 27 premium curry broth topped with cabbage, corn, and garlic chips. Vegans are in luck too: RakiRaki’s completely plant-based offshoot, which is called The Yasai, has locations in Kearny Mesa and Little Italy.
How to order: Walk in or check the website for takeout and delivery options based on location.