About 2 months ago, I had a Ramen breakdown. I cried for over 20 minutes (sobbed, actually), over the lack of Ramen offered here in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. You see, back in Austin, I had this incredible Ramen spot (about 3-blocks away from my house) that I frequented often. It changed my entire view on this delectable dish, and since then, I’ve been trying to find a replacement. Whelp, so far no luck in Scottsdale! However, my Ramen craving was finally satisfied in San Diego, California at RakiRaki.
Location: Little Italy, San Diego
Atmosphere: Hip and Trendy. From murals on the wall, to the industrial light fixtures, RakiRaki gives off a really eclectic and cool vibe. The restaurant space itself is rather small, but the owners found a great way to utilize the space. Queue the large community table! And don’t worry, if you’re not into sitting at a table with complete strangers, there’s a handful of smaller tables also available.
Service: To be completely honest, I’ve never been a fan of the “order at the front and take a number” type of restaurant. I feel so pressured trying to make a big decision within a few moments of walking through the door. I mean, I haven’t even had the chance to evaluate the pros and cons of each dish! Clearly, when it comes to ordering food – Impulsive food selections stress me out. ANYWHO. Besides my neurotic take on ordering food, RakiRaki appears to partake in the number system of ordering (photos confirm on their IG). However, we did not experience this while there (thank the Lord). We were seated by the sweetest hostess, at a small, cute table for two. She took our drink order, and promptly brought us waters. About 5 minutes after ordering our lunch, a sweet young couple sat at the table beside us. And within 2 minutes of them sitting down, the guy accidentally knocked over this incredibly potent smelling garlic infused vinegar (found on every table). Lucky for the sweet couple, nothing landed on them. However, we were a different story. Soaked and smelling like vinegar, multiple staff came over to assist in cleaning our table, as well as offering wet wipes to attempt to wipe down our clothes. The couple and staff were extremely apologetic, but hey, it was an accident, and vinegar doesn’t smell that bad. After this incident, our server moved us away from the blast radius of the vinegar to a high top that seated 6. I thought this was an extremely nice gesture, considering there was only two of us, and the place was starting to get busy. As soon as we sat down at our new table, our food arrived. My mouth watered. And quite possibly a tear welled up in my eye. Finally. Authentic Ramen.
Food: We ordered two Ramen dishes from the menu: 1) Original Signature Chicken Ramen, and 2) Red Edition Tonkotsu Ramen. Here’s the menu with the list of ingredients each dish contains; I’d write it out, but it’d be half a page long. YOU. GUYS. Both dishes were INCREDIBLE. Exactly what my Ramen deprived body needed. If I had to choose, the Red Edition was my favorite. And not surprisingly, it’s one of their more popular dishes.
According to a few Yelp reviews, the Red Edition Ramen is one of the spicier dishes at RakiRaki. Listed on the menu the ingredients include: spicy takano-tsume red hot chili pepper, organic garlic, red paprika and soybean sesame oil. I agree with the Yelp consensus, however, I could of went even a tad spicier 🙂
Overall: I highly recommend heading to RakiRaki if you’re in San Diego. We only had the Ramen, but the menu boasts a wide array of goodies including sushi, rice bowls and about 7 more choices of Ramen. From the service to the food, everything is exceptional. Bookmark this, write it down, tattoo it in your lip – whatever helps you to remember to visit RakiRaki.