Ramen connoisseurs line up around the block for bowls of milky pork based Tonkotsu ramen at this Valencia St. noodle shop. The two main dishes "Orenchi" and "Beyond" feature springy, thick cut noodles swimming in Tonkotsu soup. The Beyond is a garlicky and studded with pieces of pork belly; the Orenchi broth, lighter and saltier than the Beyond, comes with a perfectly soft boiled egg. Crispy, spicy karaage and the citrus-infused "Beyond" salad are also worth checking out. A playlist of '70s hip-hop and R&B set the scene and supplement Orenchi's modern, minimalist decor.
Before Orenchi Beyond opened in 2015, procuring a bowl of this popular ramen involved a one-hour drive to Santa Clara, followed by a two- to three-hour wait at its older sister outpost Orenchi. Now, you can get it every day with just a quick jaunt to the northern end of Valencia. Orenchi Beyond truly is tonkotsu perfection, somehow porkier than all the other bowls on this list. Unless you’re going for the vegan curry tantan ramen, there’s just one decision here: shio (salt) or shoyu (soy sauce). Be sure to order some spicy chicken karaage to get the fun started.
How to enjoy: Walk-ins only for indoor and outdoor dining or call 415-527-6577 or order online for pickup.