Solo trip to Maru:
Chicken Paitan ramen, with added fried gyoza
- Good flavor broth. Thick and creamy. Such delicious pork that melts in your mouth and has a surprising sweet flavor. Egg cooked perfectly. Too much noodles, not enough broth.
- They asked me if I wanted steamed or fried, and when I said fried, I was picturing pan-fried. I was disappointed at first to see them deep-fried, but they actually had a nice texture soaked in the broth, and a nice flavor. Next time I will order steamed for comparison’s sake.
- The portion size was filling, but I still kinda wanted a larger bowl. This is the “regular” size, not large, but for $14, I expected a bit more. [note: I got the menu pic from their website, but the actual prices in the menu are all $1 higher than what is listed online…]
- The noodles were good. They are hand-made in house. I don’t know what type of noodle is more “authentic” but I prefer the style at Mirakutei. These were a little thinner and heavier.
- Hot sauce fail: when I asked for chili oil, she brought me sriracha… I didn’t notice any oil at other tables, so maybe they just don’t have it.
- I did not enjoy the cocktail, but that is definitely my own damn fault for ordering a cucumber martini… I was trying to be fancy, I guess.
- Service was friendly, but not very attentive. No water refills, and it took over 10 minutes of dishes pushed to the side and credit card on the table for anyone to bring the bill. Maybe they didn’t have a server assigned to the kitchen bar?
- Nothing I would go out of my way for, but conveniently located on my way home from most things. Probably good for a group
Note: I had been to Maru once before with mom. I remember we liked our meal, but can’t remember exact details. I know I had a decent ramen – not in the running for best in the city, but better than Hapa or Noraneko. I know the only thing we had ordered that we had NOT enjoyed was the sweet potato fries, which were somewhat dessert-like. Since I was with my pescetarian mama, I am guessing that at that meal we probably shared some veggies and fish too.
Later visit: HAPPY HOUR report
(Happy hour is M-F 4-6 and 9-10, and Sat and Sun 11:30-6 and 9-10)
“Bo” Gyoza ($4)
Pro status on taking food photos… These are the half-eaten hand rolls and remainders of nigiri. Happy hour hand rolls = $3.50 each. Nigiri are from regular menu
Shio-Sapporo ramen with an egg added ($5 on menu, $6.50 with the egg)
Tokyo ramen with an egg added ($5 on menu, $6.50 with the egg)
- Shio-Sapporo ramen: Decent. This broth was a bit bland. Relied on chili oil for flavor (turns out they do have chili oil!). Like I commented before – too many noodles, not enough broth. The pork has delicious flavor. The eggs are perfect.
- Tokyo ramen: More flavorful broth than the Shio-Sapporo. Stood on its own without hot sauce. Same comments as above with noodles, egg, and pork. While I liked it best out of these two, I don’t think either was particularly better than the Chicken Paitan I had the previous visit.
- The nigiri was okay, but I probably won’t order nigiri from Maru again (these are from regular menu, not happy hour menu)
- The hand rolls were okay – a good snack that I would do again if I come back for happy hour. Yellowtail was the best of the three. I’ve never had eel without that sweet sauce that usually comes on it until today, and it was a little fishy – not sure if that was due to lack of sauce or just a fishy bit of eel.
- Gyoza: at dinner, when they ask you if you want steamed or fried gyoza in your ramen – this is neither of those options. They were good enough, but I probably wouldn’t order them again.
- This happy hour is not a great value at all. The portions are small. A half portion of ramen for half the price of a full bowl is not a deal, Maru. This meal plus 2 drinks and tip came to $50…
- Not my favorite sushi, not my favorite ramen, but totally decent. Would rather go somewhere else.