Winter time means increased ramen cravings for the panda. Kayo's had shot way up my must-go-to list after chalking up a ton of glowing reviews. I came in for lunch on a Saturday and nabbed a spot at the bar area.
There are a few beers and ciders on draft, usually locally made options.
|Yup that's a sumo wrestler on a tap handle....|
The menu stays fairly simple. There are six traditional ramens, three signature ramens, a few side dishes, and five rice dishes. There's also a seasonal ramen special, which was Curry Ramen in the winter.
The noodles that you'll get are house-made and called Noodle 47 because it took 47 tries to get it right. You can also get the low-carb noodle option (half Noodle 47, half zucchini and daikon) or no-carb noodle option (all zucchini and daikon).
I got the Spicy Miso Ramen ($11) this time, which has a combination of different miso pastes. You can get it spicy, which I naturally wanted. Toppings include spinach and choice of tofu or pork (I chose pork).
Amazing pork here. Some of the most tender and juicy meat around. Highly recommended.
The spicy miso broth here is probably the best I've had. Extremely flavorful and hearty. The spice is ratcheted up such that the chileheads will be satisfied but the mere spicy fan will not get scared away. This broth alone would get me to keep coming back.
There's only one spicy option for the miso broth. For dishes like the TanTan Ramen and the MaLa Ramen, you can pick a spice level all the way to extra hot.
On my next visit, I'd also consider trying the Potstickers (five for $7) and Garlic Fried Rice (starts at $7.50). There's even a TanTan Donburi ($10) that intrigues me.
I now know why Kayo's Ramen has received such positive press. Add me to the list of growing fans. This is an elite spot in Portland! 9.25/10
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