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Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen

4646 Convoy Street, Kearny Mesa

Rakiraki, Kearny Mesa’s hipster noodle house, has an oxtail ramen dinner on the menu that’s an absolute must-grind.

The ramen part is more of the same: Rakiraki’s chicken-based ramen, with its light and surprisingly fatty broth, and kinky, chewy, (usually) just-about-perfect noodles. The delight is the oxtail, weirdly served in a separate bowl, but to great effect. The reason it’s so killer is that the light, tangy broth surrounding the chunks of oxtail serves as a brilliant foil to the chicken grease that slicks the surface of the noodles. Breaking down the succulent hunks of tailflesh leaves a film of gelatin on every surface that contacts the meat, but the resulting bone-suckery qualifies as borderline meat perfection. It’s an exercise in full-tilt, go-for-it eating; but what a way to send the message to friends and dates that you mean business at the table!

On the other side of the menu, Rakiraki’s lunch special kills it, too. $8.95 for a bowl of ramen and some of their crunchy katsu over rice? Deal. It gets pricier as you stray from the basic order, but it’s still a good deal for a coma-inducing amount of lunch food.

Go. Go now. Eat this ramen!

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