Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Farallon And Ryowa Ramen

Farallon San FranciscoA study in contrasts: one extravagent and ostentatious, the other small and simple. Farallon and Ryowa Ramen. Farallon, located within a block of Union Square in San Francisco is an unique restaurant that recreates an opulent undersea environment with jelly fish lamps and coral reef walls. In complete contrast, Ryowa Ramen brings the small noodle restaurants of Tokyo into the heart of Silicon Valley. A three-sided bar and a few tables with a television showing one of those kawaii Japanese talk/game shows completes the decor.

First, my visit to Farallon. The interiors are very much the highlight of this restaurant, especially the bar area. I nibbled on my bread and sipped a Pinot Noir as I looked around. The restaurant was crowded on this evening as was the bar.

Butter at Farallon
Bread at FarallonThe baby Arugula salad with aged balsamic on a carpaccio of French butter pear and sweet coppa - thin slices of Italian pork shoulder - was absolutely fantastic. I had been a little worried seeing the mixed reviews when I was planning to visit this restaurant, but this was a promising start!

Baby Arugula Salad at FarallonMy entree was the Hawaiian Ahi-tuna. Grilled rare, the tuna was served on a bed of roasted French fingerling potatoes, gypsy pepper piperade and Ni├žoise olive tapenade: the latter two being exotic European sandwich spreads made of pepper and olive respectively. This dish seemed huge but I was able to polish it off. While I liked the interesting play of flavors and textures on the palate, I would not rate this dish as extraordinary.

Ahi Tuna at FarallonThe bittersweet chocolate custard cake was served with Gianduja sauce, vanilla bean chantilly and hazelnut crunch. The Gianduja is an Italian chocolate that is flavored with hazelnuts. Again, the dessert was good but short of amazing.

Bittersweet Chocolate custard cake at FarallonNet-net, there were some hits, some misses, but I will remember Farallon as much for the food as for its unique ambiance.

Now, to Ryowa Ramen. A colleague (thanks Joe!) took me to this little place in Mountian View for lunch. With few seats, Ryowa fills up quickly; however, we were early and found seats at the bar.

Ryowa Ramen in Mtn ViewThe lunch consisted of a large bowl of ramen noodle soup garnished liberally with Japanese bbq pork. I ordered an extra serving of pork. The dish came with pot-stickers and fried rice. I chose the Shoyu broth which was very flavorful as was the pork.

Ryowa Ramen in Mtn ViewThe lunch turned out to be absolutely great: completely authentic, hot and delicious and completely filling! The pot-stickers were so-so, but overall this was a good meal.


Vamsee Modugula said...

I personally never went to Farallon, but some of my colleagues did. Every January, San Francisco has "Dine about Town" where they have prie fixe menus for low prices to attract customer in what is usually a dull month. My colleagues liked the food, but they thot the portion sizes were very small.

As usual, reading your blog is making me hungry:)

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Shantanu said...

@Vamsee: Hmm, interesting. Didn't about 'Dine about Town'.

Shantanu said...
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Shantanu said...

@Neeraj/Anamika: You can contact me at shantanughosh at hotmail dot com.