Ramen update

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Ramen & Rice and Hokkaido Noodle House both changed owners in the past few months, and I'm still reeling. A few years back, Hokkaido (1724 Broadway) created a lovely Chinese-influenced mapo tofu ramen, and Ramen & Rice (807 Howe Avenue) counterbalanced that with its innovative Korean-influenced champong and bulgogi ramens. Ramen & Rice still offers the same menu, but lacks the warmth and nuance of former owners and operators Chuck and Lee Kim. Hokkaido, while still serving ramen, is now called Spice Kitchen, and has nixed mapo tofu in favor of some other noodle soups—including pho. I've yet to try it (I'm still mourning Hokkaido). Luckily, Shoki Ramen House (2675 24th Street and 1201 R Street) and RyuJin Ramen House (1831 S Street) are still going strong. In other ramen news, the Sacramento-based Sakura Gakuen Japanese Language School hosts its second annual Ramen Feast on Sunday, November 24, at 10:30 a.m., with ramen, baked goods, art and music. It happens at Buddhist Church of Sacramento (2401 Riverside Boulevard); visit www.sakuragakuen.com for more info.