Ramen Weather | Underbelly North Park
The consistent temperate climate in San Diego makes it a rarity that eating a hearty bowl of soup is necessary but as of late we have been fluffing our feathers a bit in the southern-most city and showing that we CAN stomp forward through the spring chill.
With an entire week of closed toe shoes behind me, I opted for a bowl of ramen and since I was in North Park, the obvious choice was Underbelly. Quietly I admit, this was my first visit to Consortium Holding’s second ramen shop which opened fall of 2014. (I usually am in the neighborhood of Little Italy rather than up here on the hill.)
Similarities between the two shops are as follows:
- open to the elements
- corner location
- order & pay up front model
- located in modern loft-style building
- limited street parking
- great ramen
Differences stop there. The North Park location is enormous in comparison to the Little Italy noodle shop. It takes over the corner at 30th & Upas as quite a statement piece! As another Jonathan Segal project, the building, the North Parker, is a beautiful addition to the neighborhood especially with the anchor of other hipster hangouts such as Tacos Perla, Modern Times Beer and Influx Cafe.
***click to see larger pictures
My first experience of this location was great. I was helped by a very enthusiastic gal at the register who took my order kindly and made me feel welcome. Upon my entrance I had a choice to make; sit in the large, uber-cool, outdoor space, at the open beer bar or inside in front of the open prep kitchen where I could watch the food being tended. I opted for inside at the ramen bar in front of the food prep area (duh). By noon the line was creeping out the door but moving with great efficiency. It didn’t take long for my Belly of the Beast Ramen bowl to arrive and frankly I was so engaged in the movement of the cooks behind the bar I was unaware of the time passing.
My oxtail dumplings were made to perfection, though I think as a standalone they could have used a tad bit more seasoning. LUCKILY, as a whole, ramen is made for individual tastes. The condiments on the counter make each bowl of ramen an exercise in creativity by the customer. My broth was flavorful, the noodles the right texture and my soft boiled egg perfectly oozing the way I expect. I did manage to put an extra kick of spice in my bowl which gave me a greater appreciation for the self-serve carafe of water that was put in front of me.
If you are familiar with the limited Little Italy menu, you will not be disappointed in the expanded offerings of Underbelly North Park, yakitori, a miso ramen, chicken skewers and more. I suppose a larger kitchen gives you more options. 😉
The free wifi allowed for me to finish up a couple small work items while I sat out of the way in the bustling restaurant. It was an unexpected stopover for lunch and one that I was happy to chance upon.san
In search of my Next Best Bite…
A GAL & HER FORK, MARIE DANIELS
Underbelly North Park
Review Status: Not Hosted
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