I wish I was one of those people who loses their appetite during hot weather. Instead, I need cold foods to satiate and infrigerate. The incessant heat of summer has sent me on a quest for cool slurps, this time for ramen noodles. Wagaya is known for its rich tonkotsu broth, which might make you overlook their hiyashi tantanmen — but you’d be missing out.
Tantanmen, or ramen noodles in a broth of ground pork, sesame and chili oil, is a Japanese version of spicy Sichuan dan dan mien. Wagaya’s chilled version has the signature sesame broth with ground pork miso, soft-boiled egg, choi sum, kikurage, wakame, tempura flakes and garlic chili oil, but is markedly less spicy than one might expect. It's all about the cool texture of the vegetables, the springiness of the noodles and Wagaya’s nutty sesame broth. This dish has got some good deep flavor, which is complemented nicely by a cool dessert of jiggly, translucent warabi mochi sweetly dusted with kinako.
Parking on-site is very limited but you can find metered parking on King Street. No reservations; seating is first-come, first-served.
2080 S. King St.