I heard the wait for Orenchi’s newest SF branch was horrendous, so it wasn’t until Hubster and I happened to be free for lunch on a Friday that I finally decided to check it out. There was no wait and we walked in and got seated immediately. It’s supposedly located in the Mission, but being closer to the northern border, it doesn’t have the same foot traffic that most people associate with the Mission’s foodie corridor. Supposedly during the weekends, the wait can be upwards of an hour or more, so I would recommend avoiding those times.
I was expecting something a little bit different in this appetizer which was essentially fish roe over rice with seaweed and green onions. It was fine but maybe a little plain tasting. I was expecting a little more kick maybe some sriracha or spicy mayo sauce.
I ordered the Orenchi Ramen which is their signature bowl of ramen with a tonkotsu based soup. It came with pork belly, soft boiled seasoned egg, green onion, bamboo shoot, mushroom, sesame, and dried seaweed. I can’t really recall how it tastes compared to the Santa Clara location, but it was definitely solid. They gave a healthy portion of the ramen noodles but overall the bowl seemed a little light on the toppings.
Hubster got the Beyond Ramen which is only found at the SF location. It is also a tonkotsu based soup that basically had the same toppings as the Orenchi but also had fried garlic and mizuna. The difference in taste between the 2 bowls were pretty subtle. I also thought the noodles were very thick and maybe a little too soft. It’s probably being overly critical, but the broth seemed to be missing a little something. It somehow just didn’t pop enough for me.
Overall, the ramen was fine, but I’m not sure it lives up to the hype and if I had to wait over an hour, I would have definitely been disappointed. It also is a little more than I would want to pay at $13/bowl especially because they were chintzy on the toppings. If I had my choice, I would probably head down to the Peninsula to find a better bowl of ramen.
174 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
PAFO Ratings for Orenchi Beyond:
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 3½ stars
Overall rating 3 stars