Is it just me, or does it seem that the weather's a bit colder this year? Brrrrr....... It's obviously time for something like this.
Actually, it's been a hot comforting bowl of noodle soup that I've been craving. My mother nce told me that during the her pregnancy she constantly craved noodles and soup. It's no wonder I was practically screaming for saimin from the time the pediatrician slapped me on the behind!
I've been purposely passing by the local bank every morning. They have one of those clocks-slash-temperature displays. The other morning; I go to work early, it read 39 degrees! 39 degrees! I won't vouch for the accuracy of the temperature, or time (it always seems off 2-3 minutes), but it did seem mighty cold.....especially for us wimpy San Diegans. Still, it wasn't like the hail and frost in Cathy's neighborhood.....but more than enough for me to start hunting down noodle soup! Here are a few recent bowls.
When it gets cold and I need a little kick in the pants, I go to Mien Trung for a bracing bowl of Bun Bo Hue. I believe I've hit just about every place that serves BBH in the San Diego area, and Mien Trung comes out on top.
The bowls do vary on visits. Sometimes it's more spicy, there are times when I find they've gone a bit too far with the MSG. But as whole, it always hits the spot. On this day, it was the normal scalding hot that BBH should always be to take care of the shredded greens and herbs, the MSG level was rather low, the spiciness on medium low.........
And it was just right for me........
I was also lucky that I wore dark colors.....no visible little red dots after slurping up those noodles!
Mien Trung Restaurant
7530 Mesa College Dr
San Diego, CA 92111
I had thoughts of going to Yakyudori for some ramen, but my last couple ramen visits haven't gone too well, and I wanted something a bit richer. It had been a while and since it wasn't a zillion degrees outside, I thought it was time for another visit. It's still fairly warm inside; great during winter, but I'm not too sure how things will be when summer rolls around.
Ordering for me was easy...well relatively, I do like the curry here, but it was a warming bowl of rick tonkotsu style ramen I was looking for. I'm not a big fan of the chashu here, but wanted to check it out again. I hedged my bets and went with the Kotteri Ramen, an extra "fatty", I like to use the word rich broth, with a side of kakuni pork. Slow cooked pork belly.
The broth had that nice tongue coating richness I enjoy....not greasy, but nice and rich. It also wasn't as salty as on previous visits. The noodles were too soft and mushy this time around....I'm toying with idea of getting them extra firn next time. The chashu is tragically tough, dry, and low on the flavor scale for me....better to go with the kakuni, which was unfortunately ice cold....guess I'll order the kakuni ramen, kotteri.....
I could go on a bit more....but I won't bore you with the minutae. It did the job, that's the main thing.
4706 Clairement Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92117
Soki Soba at Sushi Yaro:
My buddy Sam has ramen and all kinds of other stuff on the menu now. For me, the best noodle soup he serves is the soki soba, an Okinawan noodle soup, served with "soki", simmered spare ribs.
The only other version I've had of this; at an Okinawan Restaurant on Oahu was a bit different and yet the same. The noodles there were wide noodles; here it's udon, but was cooked perfectly. The broth like this was dashi/kombu based. I enjoyed the spicy vinegar provided, it help to balance out the broth, which teetered on the high sodium end. There were two riblets here, though they had pretty much melted to pieces. Still, I was surprised that Sam did a pretty good job with this....I'll have it again.
7905 Engineer Road
San Diego, CA 92111
Cioppino at Roseville Cozinha:
The Missus said I should give stew some equal time. I think She meant I needed to mention the cioppino She enjoyed recently at Roseville Cozinha.
She loved it........it had a nice zing to it, but wasn't too rich. Well flavored seafood based broth too. Nice fresh seafood.
She enjoyed the simple, pure flavors of the shrimp in this as well.
But that's not a soup or stew so I can't count it.
2750 Dewey Rd Suite 104 (Liberty Station)
San Diego, CA 92106
So tell me....what have you been eating to keep warm?