Torraku Ramen truck debuts at SoMa StrEatFood Park


(Gary Soup) #1

What may be the only dedicated ramen food truck in SF, Torraku Ramen, debuted today at the SoMa StrEatFood Park. They offer Tonkotsu, Shoyu, Miso and Curry Ramen with choice of chashu or kikuni toppings for $12, or Seafood Ramen for $13. The price seems a little steep, though a double digit price is becoming more the rule than the exception at new ramen joints (and the gray hoodie gives you a clue as to what’s driving prices at SoMa).

The first Yelp reviewer gave it a 1-star rating for having a long wait (but did not comment on the food). I was there after the lunchtime peak, waited about 10 minutes, and liked my shoyu chashu ramen just fine (though I’m not a ramen fanatic and therefore inexpert). It was piping hot, the medium curly noodles pleasantly chewy, and the broth deep in flavor and not overly salty. The (no cost) spicy option had the broth respectably spicy, so there’s no need to order the “Extra Spicy” add-on unless you are a chili head. Not a lot of protein in the toppings, but hey, it’s ramen.

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#2

Thanks for the report. Its a little odd to see street food in the Bay Area starting to price not like street food.

A bowl at the Chuka Soba Inoue at the Tsukiji market in Tokyo (which arguably has even higher real estate prices than the Bay Area) is only 700 yen, which is only USD$6.

www.masaemon.jp/entry/2013/10/06/tokyo/tsukiji/ramen/inoue


(For the Horde!) #3

Ramen is starting to hike up in price because of the trend/hype, I believe. It is like a new discovery and everyone try to do something special and accordingly increase their prices. Not to say that we shouldn’t have $12 ramen. However, we are starting to see $18 ramen…etc.


(Prabhakar Ragde) #4

It’s so funny to see this after seeing ¥800-1000 prices in Japan, even at places with long lines… and that is with taxes included and no tipping.


(mr. dunstable) #5

That’s always sort of been my problem with SF food trucks in general. Except for some taco trucks, it’s usually not that cheap. I don’t mean to suggest that these trucks are overcharging; I realize that it costs more to do business in the Bay Area, but it does take a lot of the fun out of it.


#6

As long as enough people are willing to pay, its not overcharging isn’t it- just like what Souperman was referring to re: hoodies in the OP.

I looked up the price for Orenchi’s ramen in Santa Clara and its $10.3-10.5 per bowl, whereas Orenchi Beyond’s ramen in SF is $13. Maybe an SF/ neighborhood premium. Truck has less facilities upkeep. So it seems like there is a little bit of discount for the Torraku truck. @Souperman , have you been to Beyond? If so, how was the comparison in quality?


(Gary Soup) #7

Trucks have to pay the host a daily rental fee plus a percentage of the gross. I don’t know what it is at SoMa StrEat Food Park, but OTG Fort Mason Center charged $50+10% last I knew. The physical limits of an on-truck kitchen limit productivity, especially for items like ramen where they boil the noodles to order for every serving. They can’'t scale up supply very well when demand rises.

Hapa Ramen (not that I’ve ever been a fan) launched their B&M with ramen prices ranging from $15 for vegetarian to $28 for Duck Ramen, but that is a reflection more of Richie Nakano’s megalomania than any economic forces.

I haven’t been to Orenchi Beyond.

[SHOUT TO ADMIN: Can you please add “ramen” to your spellcheck dictionary? It is a thing.]


Forum spell checking?
#8

3 posts were split to a new topic: Forum spell checking?


(Gary Soup) #10

I just became aware the the Lei Feng truck now bills itself as Lei Feng Ramen. Sorry, but I can’t picture Lei Feng eating ramen.