Itani Ramen’s New Menu

Christina was impressed with the bold pork flavors when she visited Itani Ramen last year, but I had never been until a few weeks ago. We were invited to try some items from their new menu and when we arrived on a Wednesday night, the place was packed. We asked our server to pick out some favorites from their new menu, and soon enough our table was filling up with dishes.

F5E62717-00C5-4BBE-97D5-67192B6EB2E3.jpgWe started with the Shishitou Peppers (cherry tomatoes, bonito, $7) which were cooked nicely with a great char and dressed with a mild sauce. The peppers shined on their own, though a couple at the table next to us did lean over to stare at the bonito flakes waving around in the bowl.

91074961-07C2-4375-97B4-6C0B32C49A47.jpgNext up were the Furikake Garlic Fries (waffle fries, seaweed, sesame, mayo, $5), which had an amazing combination of textures and flavors. They were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, topped with crunchy sesame seeds, and a heavy drizzle of yuzu mayo (a Japanese citrus similar to lemon). This dish managed to be super decadent but light at the same time. It would be a great addition to a meal, or with drinks after a show at the Fox Theater. I’ll definitely be ordering these next time I go back to Itani Ramen.

43BB3467-4394-4773-9445-818750371F86.jpgAnother star of the meal was the Pork Gyoza (garlic chives, cabbage, miso, $7). We ordered them “sloppy style” without really knowing what that meant, and it turned out to be a great decision! They were doused in a thick soy sauce reduction that was salty and almost plummy, then topped with all kinds of other crunchy bits.

C8080B29-155F-4EB6-9057-1412E33B7A72.jpgThe next dish required some assembly: Spicy Tuna Handrolls ($11) with roe, rice, seaweed salad, and sheets of nori. My DIY hand rolls definitely didn’t look as composed as the ones you’d see in a sushi restaurant, but it was fun to build them ourselves and experiment with different amounts of each ingredient.

7131742C-F6D9-4AA0-9EA6-289E6B18E671.jpgWe finished the meal with ramen. First, we had the Shoyu Chicken Ramen (ground chicken, corn, daikon sprouts, $12). The ground chicken was flavored with ginger, which managed to keep the dish rather light, even though the broth was deeply rich and flavorful.

0FFAF73F-27A3-4154-AEFF-4E11288E9518.jpgThe other ramen dish we tried was the Veggie Miso Ramen (corn, lotus root, bean sprouts, $12), which we topped with Chicken Katsu ($3 extra). Compared to the chicken broth, the vegetable broth just couldn’t compete in terms of depth and flavor. But I did really like the thin, crispy chicken katsu, which was cooked to a perfect golden brown. It brought the other “ramen enhancements” on the menu to my attention and I would definitely consider experimenting with more of them to customize my ramen next time.

With their new menu items, Itani Ramen had a lot to offer beyond noodles. If you haven’t been recently, or just haven’t ventured outside the ramen section of the menu, definitely give it a try!

What is your favorite dish from Itani Ramen?

1736 Telegraph Ave, Oakland

(510) 788-7489

Becca Frost

Becca Frost

Becca is a New England native who recently moved to Oakland. She loves cooking and eating and is excited to explore her new home as an assistant at East Bay Dish.
Becca Frost

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