LTH Home

Ramen-San - LEYE's going ramen

Ramen-San - LEYE's going ramen
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Ramen-San - LEYE's going ramen

    Post #1 - May 13th, 2014, 11:38 am
    Post #1 - May 13th, 2014, 11:38 am Post #1 - May 13th, 2014, 11:38 am
    I went to Ramen-san on opening night last night, so I am qualifying this review with the fact that they haven't been open long enough to settle in. It's a small 80-seat spot utilizing the former corner bar inside Paris Club. Went by myself, around 8:30pm, thinking the crowd would have died down sufficiently for me to get a single seat at the bar without too much of a wait. It was pretty crowded (due in no small part to the opening night special discount) so after waiting a few minutes I decided to order a take-out order, which they assured me would have the ramen and broth packaged separately.

    Opening-night hijinks indeed ensued -- after about 25 minutes, seats at the bar opened up, so I sat, and indicated if they hadn't prepared my order yet, I would just take it at the bar (and if they were already preparing it, to-go was still fine). That apparently messed things up, as I did not receive my order until a full 50 minutes after I ordered it and the bartender indicated she ended up having to cancel and re-place the order entirely.

    Tonkotsu ramen -- pretty good for the city. Not Santouka or Misoya standards, but good for avoiding the long drive out to the 'burbs. I was pleasantly surprised with the complexity of the broth, but there was a healthy amount of minced garlic paste added to the broth for additional flavor that was a bit unexpected (though clearly detailed on the menu description). Nice half a soft-boiled egg included in the bowl. The chashu had a nice smoky flavor but a definite tangy/sweet seasoning/marinade and was nicely tender and appropriately sliced (Slurping Turtle's chashu comes in big chunks that are harder to eat). I wasn't sure what to expect from LEYE, but it was pretty good. There were definitely some ramen novices near me at the bar (as well as more experienced ramen eaters), and the bartender did a good job of explaining everything to both groups.

    I believe construction isn't quite done, as the front window is still a big piece of plywood; the bartender mentioned it will eventually be a nice window. As a result of being boarded up and very crowded, it was quite warm inside to be slurping hot broth.

    I'm sure they will work out the service issues as they settle in. They comped me a beverage for the wait (the yuzu sake was lovely on a warm night). I'd be back to try more items on the menu, and appreciate having a city option that I found quite a bit better than Slurping Turtle half a block away (better broth complexity and tastier chashu).

    Ramen-San
    59 W Hubbard St (underneath Paris Club)
    Menu currently at: http://chicago.eater.com/archives/2014/05/12/read-leyes-ramensan-menu-opening-today.php
  • Post #2 - May 15th, 2014, 9:26 am
    Post #2 - May 15th, 2014, 9:26 am Post #2 - May 15th, 2014, 9:26 am
    I work a block over from here and have been really looking forward to the opening as I love ramen and wanted to have a good lunch spot... I don't know how I only realized now after following this place for so long that they are only open for dinner. Hopefully that changes in the future.
  • Post #3 - May 28th, 2014, 4:01 pm
    Post #3 - May 28th, 2014, 4:01 pm Post #3 - May 28th, 2014, 4:01 pm
    I went last night and have an overall disappointing experience in terms of the food... I met a friend and we split an order of the Spicy Szechuan wings, which were good if a little overly salty. For ramen, I ordered a special they had which was described as a mix of the tonkatsu and spicy miso broths, and was described as somewhat spicy, but the waitress indicated it was less spicy than the kimchi/fried chicken ramen on the standard menu. Now I like spicy (in Asian restaurants I clarify Asian spicy, not American spicy)... but I like the heat to balance with the rest of the flavors in a dish. Instead, this was a bowl that was nothing but heat. I tasted nothing but burn. And while the broth was too one note, there wasn't enough broth to noodle balance in the bowl. The special ramen came with ground pork to which I added the fried chicken and egg. The egg was only 1/2 an egg, but the chicken was nice and crisp and an excellent addition. But the ramen with the add-ins was $20. Service was quite good. Our waitress answered all questions thoroughly and the food came out very quickly. Maybe 5 min. from ordering to the chicken wings, and the ramen came out not long after we'd finished with the appetizer. We got there around 6:30 and it was maybe 2/3 full...

    I usually order the tonkatsu as my benchmark, so I do want to give that a try on another visit to Ramen-San before I decide whether to keep it in the rotation or not. But I'd just eaten at Strings down in Chinatown on Saturday and find that to be an overall more enjoyable experience, and better ramen for less money.
  • Post #4 - February 20th, 2015, 1:47 pm
    Post #4 - February 20th, 2015, 1:47 pm Post #4 - February 20th, 2015, 1:47 pm
    Was pleasantly surprised by Ramen San at lunch today. I had the tonkotsu, which is the white, rich pork broth with chashu (roast pork). The noodles were wavy, and are one of many styles produced by the venerable Sun Noodle Co. which supplies such great Ramen houses as Minca in NYC.

    I'm happy to say that the broth was excellent - rich but not overpowering or greasy (too much "abura" - emulsified pork fat - is not my preference). It lacked the umami depth that fishier broths (like Santouka) provide, but this seemed to me a style choice and not a defect. The noodles were cooked perfectly. And the molten egg, while cold and a tiny bit overcooked, was clearly carefully prepared. Chashu wasn't too fatty (another pet peeve), but well-cooked and tender and containing an unusual and distinctive hint of five-spice that set it apart from more traditional ramen chashu which is usually flavored with mirin, soy, and sake alone. I loved this.

    Prices are what they are - this is river north after all. But we finally have some decent ramen options in Chicago proper, not something i thought possible even two years ago. I'll be back.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #5 - February 20th, 2015, 2:59 pm
    Post #5 - February 20th, 2015, 2:59 pm Post #5 - February 20th, 2015, 2:59 pm
    Wait, it is now open for lunch? We enjoyed some bowls there a couple of months ago. I was disappointed then that they were not open for lunch. Glad to hear that.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #6 - February 20th, 2015, 4:32 pm
    Post #6 - February 20th, 2015, 4:32 pm Post #6 - February 20th, 2015, 4:32 pm
    pairs4life wrote:Wait, it is now open for lunch? We enjoyed some bowls there a couple of months ago. I was disappointed then that they were not open for lunch. Glad to hear that.


    Ramen-San offers an "express lunch" which is a pretty good value actually.

    http://ramensan.com/wp-content/uploads/ ... _lunch.pdf
  • Post #7 - December 14th, 2017, 8:16 am
    Post #7 - December 14th, 2017, 8:16 am Post #7 - December 14th, 2017, 8:16 am
    Lettuce's Ramen-san coming to Fulton Market

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... ton-market
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #8 - December 23rd, 2017, 8:10 pm
    Post #8 - December 23rd, 2017, 8:10 pm Post #8 - December 23rd, 2017, 8:10 pm
    Dave148 wrote: Lettuce's Ramen-san coming to Fulton Market.
    Now this could get intriguing. :twisted:
    There is already a pretty good ramen shack in Ramen Takeya @ 819 W Fulton Market {which is itself a sister to Wasabi on N. Milwaukee Ave}. I've eaten there. It's pretty good. It's certainly legitimate when compared to the bowls I've had in Japan.
    And, I've also had the bowl @ High Five Ramen {How could I not? When this was the end result of the ramen shacks Brendan Sodikoff hit with Brian Mac Duckston when he went to Tokyo in 2014.}. I am not a fan of hot, spicy ramen {sometimes termed 'tantanmen'}. The pride of High Five Ramen seems to be that. I will not halt you from going there.
    But swooping around the area - there are going to be a number of venues offering a (from all I can determine) solid bowl of ramen. Maybe such a thing as a ramen crawl will supplant a pub crawl. Ha ha ha ha ha. :!:
    Valuable links for survival, without the monetization attempt: https://pqrs-ltd.xyz/bookmark4.html
  • Post #9 - December 26th, 2017, 9:25 am
    Post #9 - December 26th, 2017, 9:25 am Post #9 - December 26th, 2017, 9:25 am
    We were there a few weeks ago and I thought it was just kind of meh. I had the shio: chicken broth, molten egg, tofu, nori and I thought it wasn't very flavorful. I expected it to be more chickeny.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #10 - March 13th, 2022, 8:13 pm
    Post #10 - March 13th, 2022, 8:13 pm Post #10 - March 13th, 2022, 8:13 pm
    Has anyone been here recently? Mr. Froeman and I are going to the River North location on Tuesday night before a show at The Chicago Theater. We have a boatload of gift cards that we've been hoarding for a couple years, partially because COVID prevented us from using them sooner. We thought about doing a more upscale place, but since we'll be a little pressed for time and didn't want to risk a rushed experience at a nicer place, we chose this.

    What's good? What should we avoid?
  • Post #11 - March 24th, 2022, 1:09 am
    Post #11 - March 24th, 2022, 1:09 am Post #11 - March 24th, 2022, 1:09 am
    abe_froeman wrote: Has anyone been here recently? Mr. Froeman and I are going to the River North location on Tuesday night before a show at The Chicago Theater. We have a boatload of gift cards that we've been hoarding for a couple years, partially because COVID prevented us from using them sooner. We thought about doing a more upscale place, but since we'll be a little pressed for time and didn't want to risk a rushed experience at a nicer place, we chose this.
    Have not been here recently. My most recent ramen bowls have been at Kinton Ramen Wicker Park, but that's not helping you. What I will mention which could help you is that in the Reader's "Best of Chicago 2021" issue, Ramen-san was voted "best soup". (Not "best ramen" - that went to Wasabi. :roll: )
    I do not how and where they drew the line.
    One last thing. At many ramen shacks pre-pandemic, there was frequently a queue to get in. I remember this happening to me at Strings on W. Belmont near the Red|Brown|Purple Line "L" station. Staff asked for a phone number to notify me when I could be served. Since I do not have a mobile phone, this aborted my attempt to dine there. (Contingency was a Philly Cheesesteak from Philly's Best.) A bowl of ramen should be finished in 20-30 minutes, but if you have to wait to get in and be served, the time factor could rack you up. :(
    Valuable links for survival, without the monetization attempt: https://pqrs-ltd.xyz/bookmark4.html
  • Post #12 - August 14th, 2022, 11:52 am
    Post #12 - August 14th, 2022, 11:52 am Post #12 - August 14th, 2022, 11:52 am
    Ramen-San is still firing on... some amount of cylinders that maybe isn't quite all of them?

    I went there with a big group last night before seeing Hanson at House of Blues (not my idea, but those guys actually put on a great show). I got the smoked brisket ramen special, described as "classic chicken broth, black garlic miso, 18-hr smoked brisket, menma, braised crimini, molten egg." The egg was missing (I didn't realize that till just now), the broth tasted like beef bouillon cubes, the whole thing was lukewarm, and it came with fried garlic which gave the whole dish a vague bitter overcooked garlic flavor. The star of the meal was certainly all the appetizers we ordered, including fantastically crispy chicken wings.

    Overall, the experience brought back memories of the last time I was there, roughly 7 years ago, when the experience was also just meh. There's so much competition in the ramen space now; I'd say, skip Ramen-San and try elsewhere.
    "If this sauce was a person, I'd get naked and make love to it." - Sophia Petrillo, The Golden Girls

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more