Tuesday, February 23, 2016

First Visit: Yama Izakaya, a Ramen Restaurant on Central Ave

This is not my photo. I lifted this from Yama Izakaya's Facebook page. The restaurant was just too dark for me to take my own photo.

I visited this place with my friend and acupuncturist, Adrienne Wei, owner of Inner Peace Acupuncture and Wellness. Adrienne and I have been close friends since I started as her patient five years ago. We go out to lunch or dinner whenever we can, and it's usually Asian. This last Friday I texted her and asked, "Are there any ramen places?" And so we found Izakaya.

We absolutely gorged ourselves! We started with a seaweed salad that about blew our minds. It had a sesame dressing on it and the flavor of the sesame was just delicious. As usual, I forgot my reading glasses and the darkness in the dining room made it absolutely impossible for me to read the menu. So she ordered for me. We each got these giant bowls of ramen that were full of pork belly, fish cake, poached egg, sesame and other things. My broth was salted chicken and hers was tonkostu, which is made from pork bones. 

We toasted our friendship with warm sake, which really didn't trip my triggers. It seemed almost oily to me. Oily and thick. I'm more of a wine chick. Adrienne commented that the cups were unusual. I'm not sure what she was thinking of there. She felt like the cups may have made me feel the way I did about it. I dunno. It just seemed like a liqueur that didn't have much alcohol or flavor. It was a house sake, so maybe next time we'll do something a little more specific. 

I have to say the only thing I'd change if I ran this place, is that I'd serve the ramen noodles separately, like they do in many Japanese noodle places in Japan. Then you add the noodles a bit at time add them to the broth as you eat along. 

We'll definitely go back there again.

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