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#21 Kernel

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 02:17 PM

Went for lunch today and was really pleased. I had the chicken/pork broth and added fried chicken. The broth was delicious, deeply flavored with a bit of smoke. I loved the fried chicken add on. Great, light batter and moist chicken.

#22 jennifer

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:36 PM

Great lunch at Boke Bowl today! Bowls of the pork/chicken broth with the fried chicken, cornmeal fried oysters, pork belly & egg added between the two bowls. All terrific. They offer the oysters on the side now since the breading can come off easily into the soup. I actually like the breading bits floating around the soup but appreciate the option and care they take to make sure each of the ingredients really shines.

One more bowl for the little one, they offer a bambino bowl. It's a smaller version of the regular sized bowl and my 4YO plowed through it. They even have "training" chopsticks on the tables for kids. Loved the steamed pork buns, and the miso vanilla-bean soft serve. Seemed like there was a touch of salt in this ice cream which was really nice.

The condiments tray really makes the soup. The housemade sriracha is excellent, and there's a new super spicy green sauce with a boke-style logo of a kid crying on the front (aka HOT sauce!). The Japanese 7-spice pepper stuff that you sprinkle in is also great. They even have a sesame seed grinder. Very cool.

I love this place!

#23 iheartfromage

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:27 PM

I'll add another great review of Boke Bowl. Went last Saturday around 12:45pm-ish and miraculously/unintentionally timed it perfectly -- within five minutes of sitting down, there was a line practically out the door and nowhere to sit.

Per usual, we over-ordered yet managed to eat every last bite. The cauliflower and brussels sprouts salad was delicious -- sweet, salty, crunchy (thanks to tofu "croutons" mentioned in an earlier post) - yum!

I had the seafood miso bowl with tofu added. I overheard someone mention that they smoke their tofu. Whether or not that's correct, it was some of the tastiest un-marinated/un-fried tofu I've ever had. The flavor was subtle but unlike most tofu that hasn't been bathed in sodium or oil, it had good flavor.

I scarfed down an eggplant bun while waiting for our bowls to arrive. Again with the smokiness! The eggplant was done perfectly and had a dollop of something creamy nestled between it and the bun itself. A dash of hot sauce and I quickly regretted only ordering one!

Husband had a variety of items involving pork products that I didn't try, but he proclaimed all tasty enough for a return visit. Look forward to going back!

#24 polloelastico

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 09:13 PM

I went to Boke a week after they opened.

There were some minor quibbles I flipped around in my brain as I prepared to spew out this quick report, but now that I'm writing it I realized it's filtered through a prism of what I wanted Boke Bowl to be rather than what they are. And I have to say I like their bowl of soup -- in this case it was the straight up pork and chicken ramen. I look forward to trying other permutations.
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#25 truth

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 01:17 AM

went here for lunch this week.

i had the pork / chicken broth with a side of the fried chicken.

the chicken was phenomenal. had that peppery flavor, great batter, very moist, and i really liked the sauce on it.

the broth was unexpectedly spicy, which was a bit undesirable for me but i should have asked.

i am not one to complain about portion size, but i have a few quibbles here: the bowls we got looked half empty, and there were barely any noodles in them. maybe my expectations are skewed from pho and other ramens, but it just seemed very small for the price. I paid the $1.50 for the japchae noodles (this also confuses me, these are dirt cheap noodles, and their in house noodles must cost more to make, so why the charge?), and there was barely any in the bowl. also very little pork, squash, or anything else in there. the flavor was good.

i really enjoyed my meal, especially the fried chicken, but it was so expensive for the quantity. i am usually more than willing to pay extra for quality over quantity, but something was off in the ratios for me. perhaps because i was eating with a friend who has endless hunger and was thinking of him. will go back but not in a rush.
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#26 jennifer

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 08:31 AM

went here for lunch this week.

i had the pork / chicken broth with a side of the fried chicken.

the chicken was phenomenal. had that peppery flavor, great batter, very moist, and i really liked the sauce on it.

the broth was unexpectedly spicy, which was a bit undesirable for me but i should have asked.

i am not one to complain about portion size, but i have a few quibbles here: the bowls we got looked half empty, and there were barely any noodles in them. maybe my expectations are skewed from pho and other ramens, but it just seemed very small for the price. I paid the $1.50 for the japchae noodles (this also confuses me, these are dirt cheap noodles, and their in house noodles must cost more to make, so why the charge?), and there was barely any in the bowl. also very little pork, squash, or anything else in there. the flavor was good.

i really enjoyed my meal, especially the fried chicken, but it was so expensive for the quantity. i am usually more than willing to pay extra for quality over quantity, but something was off in the ratios for me. perhaps because i was eating with a friend who has endless hunger and was thinking of him. will go back but not in a rush.


Bummer, I wonder if your experience was an anomaly and not the norm. I say this because the broth in our bowls had almost no spiciness and they were pretty full of soup and ingredients. The only spice/heat in our bowls came from what we added to them from the condiment tray.

#27 superdog

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 08:46 AM

went here for lunch this week.

i had the pork / chicken broth with a side of the fried chicken.

the chicken was phenomenal. had that peppery flavor, great batter, very moist, and i really liked the sauce on it.

the broth was unexpectedly spicy, which was a bit undesirable for me but i should have asked.

i am not one to complain about portion size, but i have a few quibbles here: the bowls we got looked half empty, and there were barely any noodles in them. maybe my expectations are skewed from pho and other ramens, but it just seemed very small for the price. I paid the $1.50 for the japchae noodles (this also confuses me, these are dirt cheap noodles, and their in house noodles must cost more to make, so why the charge?), and there was barely any in the bowl. also very little pork, squash, or anything else in there. the flavor was good.

i really enjoyed my meal, especially the fried chicken, but it was so expensive for the quantity. i am usually more than willing to pay extra for quality over quantity, but something was off in the ratios for me. perhaps because i was eating with a friend who has endless hunger and was thinking of him. will go back but not in a rush.


Sounds like what you've got is the bambino(kids) bowl instead of the full adult size one.
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#28 Catastrophysicist

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 10:12 AM

@ truth: I've been twice, and both times I felt there could of been another ladle of broth, maybe, but all the other ratios seemed spot on. How did the size compare to your dining partners?

#29 truth

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 11:41 AM

Bummer, I wonder if your experience was an anomaly and not the norm. I say this because the broth in our bowls had almost no spiciness and they were pretty full of soup and ingredients. The only spice/heat in our bowls came from what we added to them from the condiment tray.


my tolerance for spice is way low these days, but there was an obvious chili-oil kind of sheen on the top of the broth.


Sounds like what you've got is the bambino(kids) bowl instead of the full adult size one.


it looked the same as what everyone else was getting. ended up being enough food for my light tastes, but my buddy was still starving afterwards and I did have the fried chicken add-on (so good)

@ truth: I've been twice, and both times I felt there could of been another ladle of broth, maybe, but all the other ratios seemed spot on. How did the size compare to your dining partners?


yeah another ladle of broth and maybe double the noodles
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#30 polloelastico

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:55 PM

My bowl was definitely on the small side as well. I agree with Truth that the portion size should be larger.
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#31 tdub

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:06 PM

Gotta agree, if I had any quibble, it is with portion size. Smaller than a soup from HA & VL and laughably smaller than a good $8 bowl of quality pho. Yeah, I know there's expense, overhead, etc, but one is almost required to order the extras to fill up and by then, a 12+ dollar price point for an east side lunch is getting up there.

#32 averilpdx

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:45 PM

I found the portion to be on the small side, but it was enough for me. I could easily see it not being enough for some folks. My only complaint was not enough broth. I LOVE broth. I don't get why they wouldn't just add some more broth to fill the space of the bowl. In any case, tasty stuff. I may just ask for extra broth next time

#33 matt.r

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 11:37 AM

Tried the new Boke Bowl for the first time a couple days ago. It was some great soup, and I really appreciated how quickly they got us our food. It took less than five minutes, which makes sense considering what actually goes into a bowl of ramen. I'm just used to waiting quite a bit longer at ramen places in L.A., so that was a nice surprise.

As for the soup itself, it seemed really full of noodles this time around. It was definitely a more substantial bowl than I had at any of their pop-ups, so maybe they're responding to feedback about that.I just got an egg in mine, and overall it was pretty delicious. I can't really compare it to other ramen places because it seems so different, but it was tasty nonetheless. The only minor quip was that the pulled pork was pretty dry. I'm not sure if that could be a result of us eating near closing time (after everything's been sitting around since 10), but I'm happy to report that it didn't detract too much from the ramen.

I like Boke Bowl, and I think this permanent location is great. It looks like it's built to be replicated elsewhere in town, so I won't be surprised if they open another one in the next year or two.

#34 philthyanimal

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:12 AM

just had boke bowl for the first time...i enjoyed the broth and liked how hearty it was. i thought it was satisfying but thought the pulled pork was way too dry and was a bit distracting. i opted to add on fried oysters and while the oysters were decent on their own, i dont see how adding them to the ramen really enhanced the overall experience. the oysters were breaded in a cornmeal batter and the batter just didnt work for me. while eating spoonfuls of broth and oyster, the cornmeal was slightly dominating and fell off the piece of oyster. a tempura batter may have been the better choice to let the oyster and the broth both stand out, however the crispy texture may be sacrificed.

on their dining tables they had a few house made hot sauces...including a housemade siriracha and a green chili hot sauce. i enjoyed the housemade siriracha more than any other sirirachas not made by huy fong. their version is much less garlickly and the heat is a tad milder and comes in a little later than the standard huy fong version. the green chili sauce was pretty solid tho...to me it is a very versatile hot sauce that i could picture using on tacos, sandwiches, breakfast, potatoesm etc. i would probably keep a bottle stocked in my pantry at all times if they sold it. i like it better than the jalapeno hot sauce that pickleopolis makes that is served at bunk sandwicehs.

#35 polloelastico

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 08:41 AM

on their dining tables they had a few house made hot sauces...including a housemade siriracha and a green chili hot sauce. i enjoyed the housemade siriracha more than any other sirirachas not made by huy fong. their version is much less garlickly and the heat is a tad milder and comes in a little later than the standard huy fong version. the green chili sauce was pretty solid tho...to me it is a very versatile hot sauce that i could picture using on tacos, sandwiches, breakfast, potatoesm etc. i would probably keep a bottle stocked in my pantry at all times if they sold it. i like it better than the jalapeno hot sauce that pickleopolis makes that is served at bunk sandwicehs.

I agree with you philthy- those hot sauces are great. I can see them trying to merchandise them.
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#36 Neven

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:57 AM

Went for the Korean Fried Chicken Night at Boke Bowl last night.

While this is marked as a once-a-week, reservation event, they save some space for walk-ins. We didn't wait very long; it still amazes me how smoothly this place runs.

Three of us ordered the whole-chicken dinner ($50); as expected, this was way too much food. If I remember it all correctly, we got…

- A big bowl of ginger/scallion rice. Lovely.
- A big plate of pickles: cucumber, shitake, daikon, carrot, cauliflower, and a few more I'm forgetting now. All excellent.
- Kimchi. Theirs is of the fresh/sweet variety (contrast with Tanuki's funky, savory, rich kimchi.) I'll eat 3 pounds of either one.
- 8 steam buns. I think we got half pork and half plain buns; the plan was probably to stuff them with all the other food. I did so happily. The pork was fattier and juicier this time.
- Nori package. Fill with rice, kimchi, sauce, eat, repeat.
- Their ODS sauce, which I think is an aioli with mustard seed and scallion. Great stuff, and it goes really well with fried chicken.
- We also added some soy-sauce/garlic greens and fried pears. Both were great. Those pears are magical. If I had to guess what they were without knowing, I wouldn't know where to start.

We also got the chicken, of course. Keep in mind: this is NOT their buttermilk fried chicken they serve with ramen and on buns. It's unbreaded, unbattered, brined and pan-fried chicken with shallots(?) and a soy-sauce/ginger sauce. It's good… like a good roast chicken. But for my personal taste, the sides were actually more interesting. I'd also rather eat a big plate of the buttermilk chicken. Your mileage is guaranteed to vary.

I think their chicken follows Momofuku's cold-smoke/brine recipe. A lot of the food at Boke seems Momofuku-lifted, and that's 100% fine by me, especially at these prices and this convenience level. I've tried this recipe at home and I had similar results: great chicken, but not necessarily better than what I make when I spend 10x less time on it.

We also got the "twinkies". They were so-so; a bit dry and dense, with little filling. I'd rethink or scratch these.

Overall, I'm still super happy with Boke Bowl. Not all the food here is best in its class, but they get so many things so right. I can see myself going here a lot.

#37 loti

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:51 PM

My wife and I went today for lunch.

I got the pork and chicken ramen with a poached egg and pork belly.
My wife got the seafood miso ramen. She also got a add on of fried chicken.

Everything was wonderful I tried my wife's fried chicken and it was amazing.

The only negatives I came out of this visit was mirrored by some on here. Not enough broth and my wife thought there wasn't enough noodles in hers. Hers did look like it had less noodles then mine.
The last negative which I shared with the manager was that we thought the broth could have been hotter by mean of cooked heat. I am used to having a big steamy bowl and the broth while having excellent flavor I thought should have been a lot hotter.

These negatives will not keep me from going back. Next time he told me to tell them if the broth is not hot enough. He said it should have been.

#38 Catastrophysicist

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:09 PM

I don't think enough can be said about the caramelized fennel broth, I'm not sure that I will be able to deviate on future visits. Also, the last bowl I had there was enormous. Yet, when my neighbor received the same order as me (sans chicken, for shame) his bounty was considerably less, to my eyes. I thought that the cashier had indicated previously that everything was portioned out ahead of time, but who knows. It would appear that there seems to be an inconsistency of size.

#39 Quo Vadis

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:54 AM

I don't think enough can be said about the caramelized fennel broth, I'm not sure that I will be able to deviate on future visits. Also, the last bowl I had there was enormous. Yet, when my neighbor received the same order as me (sans chicken, for shame) his bounty was considerably less, to my eyes. I thought that the cashier had indicated previously that everything was portioned out ahead of time, but who knows. It would appear that there seems to be an inconsistency of size.


The kinds of noodle baskets most places use here can be problematic- smaller diameter noodles can tend to get caught in the holes and fall overboard. Since I would find it unlikely that they don;t preportion I hazard a guess on feisty, theiving noodle baskets.
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#40 philthyanimal

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:20 PM


I don't think enough can be said about the caramelized fennel broth, I'm not sure that I will be able to deviate on future visits. Also, the last bowl I had there was enormous. Yet, when my neighbor received the same order as me (sans chicken, for shame) his bounty was considerably less, to my eyes. I thought that the cashier had indicated previously that everything was portioned out ahead of time, but who knows. It would appear that there seems to be an inconsistency of size.


The kinds of noodle baskets most places use here can be problematic- smaller diameter noodles can tend to get caught in the holes and fall overboard. Since I would find it unlikely that they don;t preportion I hazard a guess on feisty, theiving noodle baskets.
:ninja:


i've seen them prep the noodles and saw large sheet pans of preportioned noodle bundles. it looked like they might have used a scale as well, but i cant confirm that.