Dining

Dine and Dashi

What is tsukemen, or dipping ramen? Find out at Iza

Think of Iza Ramen's tsukemen as a cross between cold soba and spaghetti Bolognese.

Since late August, Blowfish Sushi chef Ritsu Tsuchida has been turning his restaurant into a pop-up ramen shop for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It'll run "as long as the public wants it," one server told us.

The public may want his regular ramen ($10) floating in a meaty broth, but what we want—again and again--is his "dipping" ramen ($11), a style common in Japan but rare in the Bay Area. (San Francisco's only other version, at Waraku, isn't nearly as good.)

Iza's regular ramen
Order the tsukemen and you'll get a bowl of thick, wavy noodles pulled straight from the boiling water and served nude alongside seaweed, a soft-boiled egg, a spiral of roast pork and a separate bowl of hot broth.

That broth! It's more of a sauce: The viscous, opaque soup combines pork-bone, chicken and fish broths, seasoned with salt, which are reduced several hours beyond their normal sipping point. To eat the tsukemen, you dunk the noodles in the ultra-rich broth and then gather them back up with a spoon, careful to scoop up some of the ground chicken from the bottom of the bowl.

Pro tip: It's our latest hangover cure.

Iza Ramen 2170 Bryant St. San Francisco Ca 94110 415-285-3848

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