A day after I made my own homemade ramen burger, Rakiraki announced on Facebook and Twitter that they had come out with their own version of the latest craze, a California Ramen Burger. Unlike the original created by chef Keizo Shimamoto, you don’t have to stand hours in line to try this one.
It’s served all day on weekends and during dinner on weekdays. When we went to check it out, I was surprised that more people in the restaurant weren’t ordering it. There were five versions of the burger being offered when I went. It comes with a side of sweet potato fries, for a pretty reasonable price of $8.75, in alignment with the prices for most of the ramen bowls.
We started out with an order of fried squid. It was a relief to see something other than calamari rings served and these large squid pieces were surprisingly tender and only lightly fried. We quite enjoyed this.
Tsukune Ramen Burger (triple pressed ground chicken, shitake and kikurage mushroom, chicken softbone, shiso leaf)
While I normally prefer a beef patty, this is their signature patty, packed with flavor. It did indeed deliver on the flavor promised.
The noodle bun was made out of thicker noodles rather than the thin noodles used in their ramen bowls. I thought the noodles were a tad too soft and the bun held together only until about halfway through the eating process. When I made my homemade one, the bun had held together a little better with the top ramen I used. And while I know top ramen is cheap and low quality, I have to confess I preferred that as a bun over the noodles used to make this ramen bun.
The biggest issue I had was, taken out of context of the soup, the ramen noodles just tasted like salty, soft noodles. They lost their addicting ramen characteristic. I haven’t tried the original one so it’s hard to properly compare how Rakiraki’s version holds up to chef Keizo Shimamoto’s.
Tonkatsu Ramen Burger
Mr. K opted to try his ramen burger served with a thick cut, fried pork loin. He enjoyed this one better than the tsukune version. While I liked his, the tonkatsu didn’t have nearly the flavor of the chicken patty, so I actually preferred the tsukune. I felt like the tonkatsu needed some sauce, otherwise it was too bland.
The sweet potato fries were hot and crunchy, served with ketchup and spicy mayonnaise.
I don’t think I’d order this again here on another visit, but it was interesting to try once. For another take, check out Darlene’s review here.
Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen
4646 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111