In lieu of San Francisco’s fickle weather, the title should really read, “Tomorrow may
rain drop 20 degrees blow crazy wind.” I love this city, but seriously, it needs to stop with its weather Tourette’s, pick a climate, and stick to it.
Luckily, today was sunny and gorgeous. I was fortunate to spend that time outside eating good food with good friends before it took a turn for the obnoxiously blustery. The meal of the day? Brunch, in the form of a Japanese platter at Ken Ken Ramen.
Now, before I review this place, keep in mind that I am extremely biased towards Japanese food and could eat it forever. But my three friends deemed it delicious as well, so I’m taking that as validation and I hope you do, too.
Ken Ken Ramen is in an odd spot on 18th and Mission and surrounded by Mexican joints. It’s tiny and only recently opened up its doors for brunch two weeks back. They haven’t advertised it much, so it was nearly empty when we arrived and we sat down immediately (a much more pleasant experience than a certain place I visited a few days before).
Everything here is unpretentious and concise. There is only one choice for brunch – an assorted, bento-like spread of rice, pickled vegetables, smoked salmon (or miso eggplant, if you prefer), daikon, tamago, and soup. Everything was portioned well and tasted delicious except for the daikon, which I found too large of a piece and didn’t like the taste too much. The salmon, however, was beautifully tender and went very well with the glutinous rice. A word of caution: They only give you chopsticks here, so if you aren’t a fan of them, be sure to ask for alternative utensils or you won’t receive any.
The highlight of the meal, and the reason I wanted to come here in the first place, was the alcoholic boba. Yes, you read correctly: booze + boba = happiness. While not adventurous enough to try to the beer and boba combination, the jasmine milk tea with sake was delicious. It was a
tipsy sweet way to end my meal and begin enjoying the rest of my lazy Sunday.
What I like about a place like Ken Ken is that it doesn’t over-complicate things, nor does it need to. Sundays are meant for simple, happy things, and as I followed the sun home with the Beatles pumping through my headphones and my Ray Ban vision, I feel rested, content and ready for the week. And with that, cheers to an effortless weekend and upcoming cookie recipe for you readers this week!
God, I love brunch.