Ramen Shop, Oakland
Oakland's version of a hole-in-the-wall noodle joint, Ramen Shop fits the romantic image of Japanese ramen stalls, right down to the crowds and the clientele. After hours standing up and running around in a busy kitchen, some chefs of the Bay Area go here to relax and refuel with a bowl of steaming noodles. Their sesame miso ramen, for example, hits the spot after a long day at work, with butternut squash, king Richard leeks, ground pork belly, and a shoyu-marinated egg. So does their vegetarian ramen, which comes with a crucial touch of Meyer lemon. This being Oakland and all, everything is organic and local, and their beer list is well-curated and top notch. A perfect end to the day.