Monday, May 1, 2017

BeShock Ramen

Is it just me, or is ramen the new sushi? Ramen bars are cropping up everywhere on the West Coast, with restaurants offering beer pairings, extensive sake menus, and a guarantee that _their_ ramen is the best. 

 I've been a fan of ramen for most of my life, from when my mother would cook up those little packets of dried ramen noodles and their so-salty flavor packets (my favorite was Oriental flavor) for a treat dinner. I had to explain to Steve that even though he might hate the dried noodle packets that you can purchase for a quarter, eating those is like eating a fast food cheeseburger and thinking that all cheeseburgers are the dry, thin, processed beef patties sold by yellow-suited clowns. 

Real ramen is the food of the people, the food of ultimate comfort. A hot, filling soup with a homemade base, hand-pulled noodles, There are a number of different bases, but traditionally, it is made with pork stock, garnished with seaweed, pork slices, green onion, and bean sprouts. 

I have a few places that I love for ramen, and it's always good to add another contender to the list. Last week, we checked out BeShock Ramen in East Village. It's an all-encompassing ramen bar, offering homemade Japanese ramen, as well as other favorites such as poke, sushi, and a full range of sake. 

 We started with two of their signature cocktails, the Hibiscus Margarita and the Bourbon Mojito. Both were very sweet and fruity, which complimented the saltiness of the cuisine very well. Our first appetizer was the BeShock buns, with pork belly, crispy garlic, lettuce, tomato, and onion on soft bao buns. These were a perfect appetizer, as we had one each, so it wasn't overwhelming. The pork was wonderful squeezed into the soft bun. It's a classic Tokyo street food, and one that I'm always happy to eat. 

We were also told to try the takoyaki, which is a deep-fried round ball stuffed with octopus and topped with Worcestershire and tartar sauce. These might not be for everyone, as octopus has a very chewy texture, but they were quite good, with loads of briny flavor and interesting textures with the fried breading and toppings. 

The most surprising of the appetizers was the vegetable bagna cauda. Bagna cauda is an Italian dish of hot garlic dipping sauce served with fresh Italian bread. The Japanese take on this dish features fresh, seasonal vegetables, and a hot miso garlic sauce. It's quite a bit more healthy, and a great way to get your vegetables in! The miso garlic sauce was so delicious, I could have eaten it with a spoon, but instead enjoyed dipping the purple carrots and crunchy asparagus into it! 

After the appetizers, it was time for some sushi! I seriously love sushi, and ate it every day when I visited Japan too many years ago. The consequence of that trip was that now I'm pretty picky about taste and freshness of sushi. The Black Tiger Rainbow roll was incredible, building all of the elements of fresh fish, seasoned rice, and a tempura shrimp center. This roll was everything that a multiple-fish roll should be, with the flavors of salmon, tuna, shrimp, and avocado combining to more than the sum of their parts. 

 The great moment had arrived, and it was time to try out the ramen. We got the newest addition to the menu -- original ramen with black garlic oil added for extra flavor and a more silky texture to the broth. The broth and noodles were hot and comforting, with that extra magic in a bowl! Well-made ramen is an art form, and is as serious business as becoming a top sushi chef. BeShock is definitely hitting all of the flavor points, serving an authentic ramen with the best ingredients.

We couldn't leave without dessert -- a tiramisu shaved ice with a vanilla ice cream center (buried beneath the shaved ice, and topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder. It was a mountain of sweetness, and tasted just like tiramisu (without so many calories)! Definitely a dessert to share, and an adorable version of the Italian classic. 

The ramen was some of the best that I've had in San Diego, and the healthy options at this new Japanese place will have everyone filling a little better for summer! Check it out! 
May 01, 2017 / by / 2 Comments


Lynn @ Oh-So Yummy said...

nice review! i need to have a sushi date with you at some spot you recommend because i'm not as experienced as you!

San Diego Dining Dish said...

Sure! I know a couple of good ones around town.

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