Noodle Tuesday: Ramen Sanji
Clockwise from top: abura soba, dip noodle, Jigoku ramen
To me, Ramen Sanji just looks like a funky pirate-themed ramen shop. Luckily, I happened to bring a friend who knows better. He tells me that Sanji is named after the chef and pirate in One Piece, Japan's most popular manga of all time. I imagine it's like having a Calvin and Hobbes eatery (first item on the menu: Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs!) or maybe a Batman steakhouse, serving meat with sides of sacrifice and brooding.
Sanji is not as dark as a Dark Knight restaurant might be, though its headlining bowl of ramen is the Jigoku, or "hell," presumably named for its fiery tonkotsu broth. There's also a dip noodle, or tsukemen, with a more concentrated version of that chili-laced soup served separate from the ramen. My favorite is the abura soba, a more basic version of the mazemen concoctions I tasted in New York. It's a thicker, wavy noodle—despite its name, it more resembles ramen than buckwheat soba—mixed with a shoyu and oil dressing. It's pretty simple, but satisfying. You won't exactly find the hidden treasure of ramen at Sanji, but there's some good grub here, me hearties.
Ramen $8.25 to $10.50
835 Keeaumoku St., 200-4521