There are a lot of good ramen spots out there right now, and Ramen-san in River North is a pretty decent one In fact, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be in your ramen rotation too.
We’ll get it out of the way and say that, strictly from a food standpoint, Ramen-san isn’t our favorite bowl of broth and noodles to slurp. This isn’t to say we don’t like it, because we do. The broths are overall solid, even if they don’t blow us away. On more than one occasion we have thought things have ranged from too plain to too salty, and that left us feeling like there was some room for improvement. Another slight negative is that you’re not getting out of here for less than $20 if you want a complete bowl. We’ll at least give Ramen-san a free pass on the price, because it's River North, and this neighborhood is usually expensive.
We don’t want to focus on the negative though, because at the end of the day the food is good. What we do want to focus on is how great the restaurant and vibe itself is. Ramen-san is a good option for a quick River North bite, particularly when we are in a weekday dining solo mood. Quick and quality don’t really go hand-in-hand with River North, so we're glad this place can be in the rotation. Post up by yourself with a warm bowl of ramen at any of the counter seats, or come with a small group and add on some spicy Szechuan wings and a round of cold Asahi beer on tap.
It’s still f*cking cold outside - eat ramen.
Spicy Szechuan Chicken Wings
Great wings, plain and simple. A little bit of heat, good crisp, and a really nice Szechuan style sauce.
Pork Belly Mantou Buns
A decent pork bun, although we don’t love the mayo sauce that comes on it. We’d forgo the sauce next time around.
A chicken broth base with some molten egg, tofu, and nori. We like to add some soy sauce chicken and kimchi to the mix, which both we and Ramne-san recognize is not very Japanese. Add a generous amount of dashi flakes at your disposal for a little extra flavor and heat.
Rich pork flavor with chasu pork and molten egg. We like to add kimchi and buttered corn here too.
The sumo bowl comes complete with a lot of meat, pork and brisket. It’s a giant $18 bowl of ramen that’s definitely a unique twist and a hearty meal.