Suzu Noodle House in San Francisco

Karage Ramen at Suzu Noodle House

Suzu Noodle House Restaurant Review

One of Japantown’s popular ramen spots, Suzu Noodle House is a small restaurant with a wide variety of items on its menu. The ramen menu alone features several options for broths, meats, and a list of extra ingredients you can add in to customize your dish. Other choices include udon and soba (it is a noodle house after all), as well as rice bowls and appetizers. This ramen restaurant’s location and tiny seating area means it gets packed during lunchtime and during events, but the service is quick and the ramen is hot.

The Location

Suzu Noodle House Restaurant is located in San Francisco’s Japantown, inside the Japan Center’s Kinokuniya Building. The entrance is located near the corner of Webster and Post Streets, and the restaurant is located on the first floor. Parking is available on the street and in the Japan Center garages.

Address: 1825 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

Phone: (415) 346-5083

Opening Hours

Sunday to Thursday: 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM

Friday & Saturday: 11:30 AM to 9 : 30 PM

The Ambiance

The atmosphere of Suzu Noodle House Restaurant fits with its location inside a mall – that is, lively and crowded. The tables were crammed together to fit too people in the tiny restaurant. I could feel the intensity of the servers rushing past our table, even out the front door to the tables “outside” in the open space of the mall. I sat at a two-top table about an inch away from another, where a solo diner was seated. The proximity to the other table made us all feel awkward, as the guy at the next table put on his headphones, I presume so that he wouldn’t be listening in on our conversation throughout dinner.

From inside Suzu looking out into the mall

From inside Suzu looking out into the mall

The restaurant itself is sparsely decorated with dark colors and dark wood, and it definitely has a Japanese vibe. If it weren’t located in a busy mall, or even if it weren’t so busy, it might even seem calming inside, but that wasn’t the case the day I visited.

The Service

Rather than a hostess at the door, there was a clipboard hanging where you add your name to the waitlist, which is common in San Francisco. There was a long wait to be seated, but the servers moved quickly around the restaurant.

The service at Suzu Noodle House Restaurant was fine but minimal. The servers were clearly busy, but friendly enough to answer a few questions before we ordered and brought to-go containers before we left.

The Price

A bowl of ramen from Suzu ranges from about $6 to $12. Appetizers ranged anywhere from $1.50 for miso or salad to $5 for gyoza or croquettes or $10 for sashimi. A basic meal will run about $15 per person.

The Food

The menu at Suzu Noodle House Restaurant has quite a lot of options. For noodles, choose from ramen, udon, or soba, and choices for the broth like soy or miso. There were spicy ramens and curry ramens, pork or chicken or vegetarian, and some unconventional ingredients like parmesan and butter.

I ordered the Karage ramen, and the server recommended the miso broth. I have mixed feelings about my choice of Karage ramen. The fried chicken was tasty and nice and crispy when I first started eating it. However, once it soaked in the broth, it lost its crunch and while it did take on the flavor of the soup, I felt it was kind of a waste of fried chicken. The crunch is the best part! I think I would have loved the chicken on its own.

The ramen came with green onions, bamboo shoots, which weren’t great here, and one large leaf of bok choy, which was challenging for this amateur to eat with chopsticks.

That egg though

Butter corn ramen

I also got to try the butter corn ramen, which we chose mostly because of how strange it sounded. It was surprisingly good and exactly as described (corn with a pad of butter floating in broth). It was like corn on the cob in soup form. The waitress recommended the miso broth for this ramen as well, which I regret because it was just OK.

The real disappointment was the egg – my favorite part of ramen. I always save it for the end, when the egg has had time to soak in the broth for a while (plus, I like to save the best for last). The eggs in both of our bowls were overcooked, and the yolks were pale yellow and crumbling. It looked like a bite was taken out of one of them, but I think it had just fallen apart.

The menu featured a special section of don, or small rice bowls, that you could add on to an order of ramen for $8-$10. While I was trying to decide on one to add, the server discouraged me from each of them, explaining that the ones I was interested in were fried and since my ramen had fried chicken, it would be too much. It was kind of strange that she didn’t want me to order one, and I wonder if maybe I should be offended, but the ramen portions turned out to be quite large so it was for the best that I didn’t order more. I still would have liked to try some other menu items, but I took home about half of my ramen to eat later.

Overall, it was a decent meal and I’d probably go back if I were with someone else who wanted to, but I would order something different.

 Location of Suzu Noodle House Restaurant

Location of Suzu Noodle House

Map showing location of Suzu Noodle House Restaurant

Phone: +1 415-346-5083

Nearby Tourist Attraction–  War Memorial Opera House

 

Published On: Monday, February 27th, 2017