Wokou is a ramen and yakitori restaurant that opened earlier this year in San Diego, inside the new The Village at Pacific Highland Ranch complex in Carmel Valley.
After hearing good buzz about the restaurant, we recently went to check it out. The restaurant offers a variety of small plates, ramen, yakitori, and a full bar that includes Japanese whisky and more than a dozen beers on tap.
After placing your order at the front, you can choose a table out on the patio or sit inside the restaurant surrounded by colorful murals.
Fried Chicken Wings
We started our meal with an order of chicken wings, which you can get with salt and pepper or glazed with a sweet chili sauce. We opted for the dry salt and pepper rub.
The wings had a decent crunch to them, but they did seem a little plain and in need of some other seasonings. I do wish we had chosen the glazed ones instead.
Black Garlic Ramen
I chose the black garlic ramen as I’m pretty obsessed with black garlic. This ramen did indeed deliver on the garlic. The tonkotsu broth had strong garlic overtones and the toasted garlic chips brought even more garlic flavor to every bite. The garlic may be too strong for some, but I really enjoyed it.
The ramen was also served with ground chicken, which was very tender and light.
Spicy Carnitas Ramen
We couldn’t resist ordering this so very Southern Californian ramen bowl. We both found the chili flavor to be the dominating and only flavor we could detect in the red broth, completely overpowering the pork.
I had high hopes for this one, but it didn’t quite work for me, though it seems to be a popular choice.
I had heard good things about their drunken noodles, so I couldn’t resist ordering this as well. This tasted like a Japanese-Chinese hybrid dish, using chewy udon noodles but cooked like a stir fry lo-mein. I can see how this would pair well with a beer.
Overall, we had a good time here. The ramen isn’t quite up there with my go-to places, but I do think this restaurant is a nice addition to the area.
5965 Village Way, San Diego, CA 92130