If you want to know what chefs eat on their days off, it’s usually one of two things: Tacos or ramen. Not Top Ramen, natch, but serious Japanese ramen made with real miso, 6-minute eggs, char siu pork belly and, most importantly, good noodles. Otherwise, you might was well eat Top Ramen, or better yet, a taco. And, chefs will tell you that salty, fatty, umami bowls taking the food scene by storm are an ultimate comfort/hangover food that even when they’re not great, are still pretty good.
Miso Good Ramen, which opened recently in downtown Santa Rosa, is exactly that. Really good, exceedingly slurp-able, ramen bowls we’ve tried on several occasions — and continue to crave. Of course, a serious discussion of the many styles, virtues and classifications of ramen (it’s sort of like regional barbecue in that everyone has an opinion) is outside the scope of this column, but here’s what we can tell you…
Best bets: Surprise, it’s the Miso Butter Veggie ($12)! Though we’re pork lovers through and through, the veggie-centric ramen made with fermented soybean broth and piled with okra, corn, sprouts, mushrooms, and garlic seaweed, gets a bit o’ butter making it over the top delish.
We also loved the Hamachi Carpaccio ($15), with slices of Japanese yellowtail, tart ponzu sauce and a hint of truffle oil — enough to balance the dish, not punch it in the face.
The Tokyo Shoyu Chasu Pork ($12) ramen has great pieces of soy-braised pork in pork broth, a far more flavorful broth than chicken could ever hope to be. Six minute egg was custardy and just soft enough—just like a six-minute egg should be.
In addition to ramen, Miso Good offers poke bowls with tuna, salmon or octopus ($13), the first downtown spot with this Hawaiian staple.
Service has been shaky while the kitchen and waitstaff figure out the kinks, but is improving. Which is a good thing, because we’re still craving that butter ramen.
507 4th St, Santa Rosa, 545-7545. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 11a.m. through dinner. Closed Tuesday.