Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ramen Rama, Cupertino

Okay, I admit it. My interest in trying this place stemmed from both my love of noodle soups and my love of the name. RAMEN RAMA! (It's just fun to say!)

It was a big bonus that we (two Co-Workers and myself) ended up liking the restaurant. Ramen Rama is located in a typical strip mall in Cupertino; but we were pleasantly surprised to walk into a clean and contemporary dining space. Our server was extremely friendly. It turns out, Ramen Rama and the restaurant next door to it (Red Miso) share a kitchen and an entrance, so you can order off of either menu.

Even though I didn't order falafels during my first trip to House of Falafels (a couple of weeks ago), I was determined to get some ramen today at Ramen Rama. And I went all out: I ordered it with the Suicidal soup broth; it's the highest level of spiciest on the menu. Our waiter mentioned that a lot of customers from Singapore deem the Suicidal too tame and order the "triple Suicidal." He said if my straight-up Suicidal wasn't spicy enough, they could add more heat to it. It actually wasn't THAT spicy, but I didn't ask for more because I was happy with the overall flavor.

The ramen noodles were quite good. And I loved that the garnishes included green onions and black fungus strips for added texture. Since I ordered the daily special -- the chicken cutlet -- my large bowl of ramen came with a plate of breaded and fried chicken. Very crunchy on the outside, but not that juicy on the inside. The portions here are pretty substantial, so there was no way I was going to finish it all, even if it was a superior piece of chicken.

Other dishes ordered at my table: The Cupertino with udon instead of ramen (I like that you can make that substitution with any of the soups); pork gyozas; fried rice; and the grilled okra (which was just okay -- I prefer my okra fried). The total for everything came to about $30. Sodas, by the way, are free during the weekdays.

We all agreed that while the food and service were good, it did seem a bit pricey for noodle soup. Still, we're putting this on our list of lunch places to visit again. Between both the Ramen Rama and Red Miso menus, there are plenty of other dishes for us to sample here.

Ramen Rama
19774 Stevens Creek Boulevard
Cupertino, CA
(408) 996-8830