No. 81: Late-night Ramen at Brazen
For a tiny restaurant located next door to a Comfort Dental office in a quiet neighborhood, Brazen throws a pretty stellar late-night party. At 10:30 (and sometimes later) every night but Sunday, the chic little eatery switches over to a menu with only a few items, most of which are not available during prime dinner hours. Deviled eggs made more devilish with green chile and candied bacon, a teetering burger slathered in house special sauce, and a crunchy fried-chicken sandwich are a few of the dishes cooked for night owls only. But if you're hunting for something special after working late or fueling up for the witching hour, Brazen's ramen will bowl you over.
Executive chef Carrie Baird builds the ramen bowl with housemade noodles, pork shoyu broth that's so rich it's a gel at refrigerator temperature, slabs of pork belly, and a jiggly egg dusted with togarashi and sesame seeds. The menu notes that other ingredients are "daily accompaniments," so you might also find sweet corn, tangy pickled seasonal veggies or sautéed mushrooms bobbing in the salty broth.
The whole bowl is a riot of tangy, salty, fatty and meaty flavors anchored by a nest of chewy noodles. Discounted beers, wines and cocktails offer just the right accompaniment; we recommend revving up your tastebuds with a $3 shot of Meletti amaro followed by whatever craft lager is flowing on tap. The West Highland and Berkeley neighborhoods surrounding Brazen may turn in early for the night, but you can still satisfy your late-night ramen craving here.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.
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No. 99: Bacon Shrimp and Grits at Bacon Social House
No. 98: Porchetta and Kimchi Sandwich at Brider
No. 97: Squab-and-Sunchoke Tortellini at Abejas
No. 96: Housemade Burrata at Viand
No, 95: Schweinshaxe at Rhein Haus
No. 94 Kimchi Jeon at Seoul BBQ
No. 93: Zuppa Pomodoro at Parisi Italian Market & Deli
No. 92: The Ocean Salad at Sushi-Rama
No. 91: The Signature Bowl from Churn & Burn
No. 90: Green Chorizo at Los Compadres
No. 89: The Diavola Calzone at Pino's Neighborhood Pizzeria
No. 88: Biscuits and Green Chile at the Noshery
No. 87: Chirashi at Izu Sushi
No. 86: Brisket and Ribs at GQue Championship BBQ
No. 85: The Tornado at the Chowder Room
No. 84: Korean Fried Chicken Wings at Yong Gung
No. 83: A Meatball Hero at Lil' Ricci's New York Pizzeria
No. 82: Shakshuka at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen