Comfort Food, Nihonmachi Station
Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in November 2007.
Sometimes a belly full of warm good is completely necessary. On a cold day after a visit to the deYoung or the Conservatory of Flowers, find your way to Nihonmachi (Japantown) on a pedestrian block of Buchanan between Post and Sutter streets to Tanpopo for a fill of the perfect ramen. The gamut of stock & noodles runs wide, from shoyu with fishcake to the surreal good pork Kyushu ramen. If your proclivities bend more towards udon, across the street in the Kintetsu mall you’ll find homemade udon & soba in Mifune’s rationalist black and red environs.
Putting the kawaii in yoshoku-ya, On the Bridge sits literally in the covered bridge over Webster street between the Kintetsu and the Kinokuniya buildings. Between the curries and hamburger dishes, crammed into the narrow slice between hallway and countertop, their east/west mashups like spaghetti with butter and tobiko make tummy happy. Seriously, you could spend a month eating through their weird menu of awesome.
On the other side of the bridge, next to Sophie’s Crepes lives Izumiya, probably the best place to find okonomiyaki in San Francisco. Paired with katsu curry, you’ll spend about ten bucks and be completely sated. Don’t come for the service or the ambiance, but do enjoy the crepes next door—just don’t take any photos. Sophie hates it. Instead, get goofy and snapped in the cluster of sticker booths next to the fountain at the bottom of the stairs.