Thursday, August 19, 2010

oui chef

it is lovely in the city right now. i was almost humming to myself on muni toward the ferry building as the the beautiful weather coupled with my meetings being moved meant that i could make a stop into the thurs farmers market for an early lunch. unsurprisingly, i hit up hapa ramen before the crowds began.


it felt like it had been ages since i had their ramen as the last couple of times i was able to stop by i had their sandwich or noodle salad offerings. this time, hapa ramen identified me after i put in my order for the big daddy bowl (chicken, pork, veggies, and the sous-vide egg) but before i could pay mrs. hapa ramen. i was being treated to the bowl.

instead of accepting graciously, me-and-my-no-filter-ness immediately protested with "that is not fair" because i (well until today) would primarily write or take pictures of something if i paid for it, cooked it, or was cooking it with friends. if you read me regularly, you know that i've liked hapa ramen since the beginning and have been reading linecook/hapa ramen for a long time....well before we "met" in person. most people would be gracious and just say "thanks!" instead, i just had to be the moron and argue with the chef.

i also didn't want it to seem that i'm on the lookout for free food and take advantage of a group of people that make great food. i have heard and read about cases of this happening to other food folks and of extortion like plots (i.e., like the dumb assholes that stopped into one of my favorite places in the universe and demanded discounts/freebies or else something bad would be written about them...if i was there, i probably would have threw something at said assholes or at the very least had some very strong words for them...as a fellow customer it is much easier to say what you think as opposed to the vendor).

yet, this situation i was in with hapa ramen is rather unique because none of the other places i visit regularly do not know (well at least i don't think they know) that it i am foodie hunter. keeping my anonymity was definitely not on my mind when i was protesting this morning, to the absolute amusement of those watching.

yes, i did see those smiles at my stubborness moroness or the interaction this morning.

oh yes i did.

did this prevent me being stubborn? oh no it did not.

i mean, who really protests to being treated to food? well, i guess you do when you are the foodie hunter. then, i think hapa ramen mama played the diplomat and pointed to the hapa ramen baby jar as a compromise....

problem solved.

then later on, hapa ramen came over with the bowl and mentioned how the noodles were different today.....they were flat noodles that have more egg yolk in them. so i took my bowl....

and found a seat....

and proceeded to slurp away.....


what i liked about the flat noodles was the mix of the sous vide egg and broth really clung to the noodles....and as a result, the flavor really incorporated itself into the noodles.

i doubt that this is the last word or taste on their ramen. i enjoy how hapa ramen is constantly looking at how to make changes.... here and there....always wanting to improve...and make it their own. not being tied to a particular "traditional" style but rather creating food that is a reflection of who they are. it is one of the reasons why i love living and eating in the bay area. there is room for so many types of foods and we have the audience to try it.


as i finished up the yumminess and slurped up the every last bit of broth, i realized that i should have not argued with the chef.

i mean, he is the chef.

so a bit belatedly, i'm saying here..... "oui chef" and thank you.


hapa ramen, http://haparamensf.com/ , thursdays farmers market 10-2pm, ferry plaza farmers market, one ferry building, san francisco, ca 94114, http://www.cuesa.org/markets/days/thursday.php ; off the grid street food event on fridays at 5pm; and also look for them at the sf street food festival this saturday, from 11-6pm, on folsom street between 24th + 26th street.

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