While the fledgling establishment has “hangered” a few patrons because of its long lines and limited servings, the consensus has been overwhelming that Shiba Ramen is the real deal. Proprietors Jake Freed and his wife Hiroko Nakamura designated January as their soft opening period to work out their kitchen process and staffing issues, but officially opened on February 1st.
KQED writer Kim Westerman has apparently taken note of Emeryville’s latest gem with a recent piece in Bay Area Bites. Westerman flatteringly declares that Shiba is “giving Ramen Shop and other noodle houses a run for their money” and rounds out her experience by noting “Shiba Ramen is so good, you don’t even need to invent a reason to go to Emeryville. Just show up.” (let’s just say after this review, the lines aren’t going to get any shorter).
Shiba Ramen: Emeryville’s First Destination Restaurant
By Kim Westerman (All Photos: Kim Westerman)
While ramen rages on throughout the Bay Area, Shiba Ramen, a little stand in Emeryville, is giving Ramen Shop and other noodle houses a run for their money. They are accomplishing this by serving up impeccable bowls of steaming, fragrant broth with chewy Sun noodles, carefully cooked meats and vegetables, and secret sauces that might make you jealous you don’t work there. And the plating is both fast and precise, a kind of architectural template for the perfect bowl of ramen.
When we walked in the first time, pleased that the line was only 10 or so people long, I said to my wife, “It kind of feels like we’re in Tokyo, or some other actual city, not Emeryville” and she replied, “Yes, in a mall with housing.” And that’s exactly it. It’s hard to imagine planning to come here for dinner unless you happen to be on your way to a movie or have an appointment at the Apple store. Until you taste the ramen. Then, you start planning your next visit right away.
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