I don’t know how much more bad ramen I can take.
Maybe if I never had Ippudo Ramen in New York.
Rakiraki in San Diego, then this would be the best I ever had.
Nevertheless, Orenchi Beyond is one of the more decent ramen spots in San Francisco (for some reason, a bomb ramen spot is very rare to come by).
The original Orenchi ramen is located in Santa Clara, and has lines like you’ve never seen. SO. As you can imagine, I was SUPER excited when I heard the news: Orenchi ramen opened up shop last Tuesday in SF on Valenica St.
I HAD to try it.
And perhaps my expectations were wayyyyy too high (my bad).
But I thought the ramen was just-OK.
We arrived at 5:50 pm.
Orenchi opens at 6:00 pm.
THIS was the mob scene in front of the restaurant:
With only 42 seats available, and a milli hungry customers…
We waited 45 minutes for our names to be called.
Fortunately, they serve beer for anyone who wants to kill time in a classy way.
Once inside, you’ll notice some hip décor, uncomfortable wooden tree-stump seats, loud music, and tables so close together that you can practically hear everyone’s conversations.
There’s also nowhere to place your belongings except on the floor OR on your lap.
Side: I wish they would add hooks under the table.
Now onto the food.
For appetizers, we ordered:
Chopped Tuna- Beyond Style ($9.80): The tuna was pretty fresh, but don’t expect tuna tartare. The egg is a nice touch for aesthetics, but you couldn’t really taste it- there was too much tuna- mayo ratio. Overall, it was just a little too “beyond” for me.
Age Takoyaki ($7.50/ 6 pieces): One of my favorites of the night. These deep fried octopus dumplings are prepared very well here. I especially love the deep-fried crunchy texture on the outside, while the inside contained perfectly cooked- large octopus chunks. The whole dish is topped off with bonito flakes.
Orenchi Ramen ($12):
The Orenchi ramen is a pork based soup, topped with pork belly, soft boiled egg, green onions, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, sesame, and dried seaweed. The broth had a great amount of fat and I felt it needed a little more flavor for a tonkotsu broth. The soft boiled egg had a beautiful runny yolk, but I wished it was marinated in soy sauce or something. The noodles were alright, nothing spectacular.
For $1.50 more, you can get the “large” portion that comes with more noodles.
The Beyond Ramen ($12): is only served at this particular location. It is a tonkotsu (pork) based soup, topped with pork belly, green onions, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, sesame, dried seaweed, fried garlic, and mizuna.
Between the two, I prefer the Beyond Ramen since it has more flavor. While the broth was delicious, the toppings were scarce. It didn’t even come with a soft boiled egg!
The good news: the pork slices were delicious, tender, and practically melted with each bite.
The bad news: there was 1, (MAYBE) 2 paper-thin slices of pork.
+ Orenchi Beyond is a new restaurant in SF that still has a few kinks to work out.
+ Remember that there’s no place to put your purse or bags. So ladies, leave your LV Neverfulls at home.
+ To start, Orenchi’s hours will be Tuesday-Thursday, 6-9:30 pm; Friday-Saturday, 6-11:30 pm; and Sunday, 5-8:30 pm.
+ Immediately put your name on the list when you get there.
Is it the best in SF?
Probably. But that’s because there’s not many AMAZing places in the city.
Would I go back?
No. The lines…. I can’t deal.
But if you want to check them out, just be prepared to wait at least an hour.