When we want a very California take on ramen, we go to the Ramen Shop in Rockridge - which serves bowls with things like mustard greens, sunchokes, and creamed leeks, and excellent donburi with wild nettles or brussels sprouts. Like most places that are designed like a Scandanavian dry sauna and attract people who probably go home to a dog named Ringo, Ramen Shop isn’t cheap (the bowls of ramen start at $19.50). But you won’t mind - the Ramen Shop is just that good.
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Elephant Sushi in Russian Hill usually has a bit of a wait, so try to head there on the early side (they open at 6).
Onigilly, in the Financial District, specializes in Japanese rice balls. It’s a good place for a quick lunch.
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