Kokoro Ramen: Delicious ramen at fair prices
By: Andrew Dinh
Nothing warms my heart like a rich and flavorful bowl of ramen. For several years, Milpitas has lacked a ramen shop, revealing a gaping hole in a culturally and culinarily diverse community. Kokoro Ramen, recently established in Milpitas on West Calaveras Boulevard, serves a hearty bowl of Japanese noodles fit to satisfy ramen cravings and follows a culinary trend spreading like wildfire across the United States.
Kokoro Ramen offers various Japanese appetizers, from edamame to takoyaki to gyoza, and centers its menu around a pork bone broth based ramen, offering classic flavors such as salt, soy sauce, and miso. Aromatic broths, firm noodles, soft boiled eggs, slices of pork, and other assorted toppings characterize the typical bowl of ramen. Kokoro Ramen utilizes the textbook ramen formula and creates a unique bowl of noodles, combining traditional flavors with their own modern twists, such as splashes of black garlic oil and roasted garlic cloves.
Sitting down in the small and cozy restaurant, I opted to try the gyoza, $4.95 for 5, and black garlic pork ramen, $10.95. The server was attentive, promptly bringing out glasses of water and a plate of hot gyoza, a Japanese pan-fried dumpling filled with meat and vegetables. From my past experiences at Japanese restaurants, gyoza tends to be hit or miss. The dumplings, doughy, excessively fried, and nearly flavorless, were definitely not worth the $4.95 pricetag. The bowl of ramen, on the other hand, was spectacular. Firm noodles combined with a delightful and rich broth made for satisfying slurps and a wonderful culinary experience. Hints of garlic added extra flavor to the soup and the sliced pork gave extra layers of smokiness to an intricate dish. All of the flavors and textures in the bowl of ramen came together in every bite in a delightful, tasty explosion.
I definitely recommend trying Kokoro Ramen for its affordable price, good service, and even better food. I would give this restaurant a strong rating of 4.5 out of 5.