Oh the weather outside is frightful, but a bowl of hot ramen is so delightful. And if you’re looking for some place to go, go to Izakaya Sozai! Sozai! Sozai! Sure, we’ve all indulged in ramen in our college/broke years and we have also all tried the biggest foodie trend in 2010, but my trip to Izakaya Sozai was the first time I “GOT” ramen. Get it? I am normally an udon or sukiyaki girl when it comes to my Japanese noodle soups but the ramen at Sozai is a whole different story.
Izakayas are the tapas of Japanese food, which means that the menu is vast, approachable, and affordable. My favorite of the yakitori offerings at Sozai is, without question, the bacon wrapped mochi. For the most part, bacon wrapped food is trite. However, this lovely skewer is anything but boring. You have soft and doughy mochi with the contrast of fatty and crispy bacon. The combination will take you there. After consuming this stick of heaven you are done and left with only five words “Put a skewer in me.”
Although, you can’t be done, the printed menu is only one small piece of the izakaya experience. A board on the wall features a plethora of daily specials that are not to be missed. However, if you are looking for something more filling that will warm your tummy and soul then you must head to the “After Sake” section of your menu. You better down a cup of sake prior because you are in for a divine dish. The Ritsu Tonkotsu Ramen ($8) is the ultimate must-have at Sozai. Splurge with the $2 upgrade and add in some melt in your mouth pork belly. My goodness, this is some perfectly porky ramen. Every detail, from the boiled egg that was cured in miso to the crisp sheet of seaweed, is on point. This dish will allow you to do more than order ramen, this dish will allow you to “get” ramen on a much deeper level. If you are looking for a religious ramen experience there is no need to head to the South Bay, you just have to make a short trip to the Inner Sunset. Happy Holidays and go pork it!Izakaya Sozai 1500 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122