Ramen fans, listen up: there's a new spot in town to get your fix. Located at 680 Clay St. on the Financial District/Chinatown border, the fresh addition is called Hinodeya Downtown.
A spinoff of Japantown's popular Hinodeya Ramen, Hinodeya Downtown comes from Masao Kuribara, a former Japanese Embassy chef who's cooked for luminaries like the Prime Minister of Japan and Bill and Hillary Clinton. The original Hinodeya is in northern Tokyo; Kuribara opened his first San Francisco location in 2015.
Hinodeya specializes in Tokyo-style ramen, with a dashi broth made from bonito, kombu and scallops. Toppings include braised pork belly, bamboo shoots, soft-cooked egg, dried seaweed, mizuna greens and shiitake mushrooms.
There are also vegan variations, including a "Zen ramen" that the menu says is inspired by traditional Japanese shojin ryori (Buddhist cuisine) techniques.
The menu also offers some otsumami, or bar snacks, including marinated raw octopus, charred pork belly and bamboo shoots in hot chili oil; gyoza dumplings; and Japanese-style karaage, or fried chicken. There's also an array of Japanese- and California-made sakes.
Hinodeya Downtown has proven popular thus far, with a 4.5-star rating out of 20 reviews on Yelp.
Ben W., who was among the first Yelpers to review the new spot on July 6, wrote, "We ordered the house ramen, gyozas and karaage for the kids. The house ramen was very good, as well as the noodles not being overcooked. Busy location, but the ramen was worth the wait."
Yelper Dawn B. added, “Delicious wheat-based noodles with a wonderful light ramen broth and vegetable pairing is the perfect lunch for a hungry ramen fan."
Swing on by to take a peek for yourself: Hinodeya Downtown is open from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 –10 p.m. on Monday-Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)
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