Itani Ramen Media Tasting | New Izakaya Menu
Tucked between many fun watering holes in Uptown, Oakland and across from the Fox Theater is Itani Ramen. Upon entering the place, the lighting, wood decor, and photos on the wall take you on a trip to Japan’s big streets and busy back alleys.
I got there a little early and was kindly greeted by Megu when I walked in. Upon discussing my likes and dislikes I picked a drink based on Megu’s suggestion. (I’ve come to find that I’m actually very particular about my food and drinks). Megu suggested that I try their Asahi beer which is uniquely different from any Asahi beer I’ve had in the USA. It was delicious – light, crisp and cold. I won’t even try to explain why it’s different, you’ll have to go and find out for yourself.
When everyone arrived we started on 5 new Izakaya items. Sadly, I forgot to order off menu. I really wanted to try the fried pig ears which look amazing. I guess I’ll be going back soon!
We all spent about 15 minutes taking photos of the food but the Furikake waffle fries were surprisingly still perfectly crispy when we got around to eating them. Since I’m trying to eat healthier, I had to stop after 3 pieces. I latched myself onto the DIY Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls. Not only was it fun, it was also delicious. The tuna had a kick to it which I LOVE! And who doesn’t like seaweed? I could eat this dish every day. We also all loved the Shishitou peppers with cherry tomatoes.
For my choice of ramen I picked the miso pork ramen with chashu pork belly. I can’t really compare it to what I usually would prefer which is shio ramen or tonkotsu ramen. One thing I can compare is the pork belly. The pork belly was tender and melted in my mouth. The pork belly to noodle ratio was perfect. The egg was also not overcooked which was good. It drives me a little nuts when the yolk isn’t jammy.
I’m pretty impressed that there were so many offerings to pick from. If you don’t want Izakaya bites, there’s ramen and even rice bowls. The best thing about it all are the prices, they’re all very reasonable and a person on a budget could eat here and be satisfied with the serving size and prices. The DIY Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls is only $11. The salmon 3-way is so huge you can share it or take parts of it home. I’m looking forward to exploring their menu on my own.
TIP: Parking is easy (unless there’s a concert). Free street parking after 6pm. You can eat and then go bar hopping or get dessert down the block at Little Giant Ice Cream.
1736 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94612
*An izakaya (居酒屋) (Japanese: [izakaja]) is a type of informal Japanese pub. They are casual places for after-work drinking. They have been compared to Irish pubs, tapas bars and early American saloons and taverns. -Wikipedia