DOES IT LIVE UP TO THE HYPE?
No, not really. After reading about Ramen Halu in various places, I've been dying to try it. After trying it, I wouldn't say that I'm dying to go back.
I had to try the bowl that bears the restaurant's name. The regular sized bowl was fairly large and at a ramen-appropriate price of $7.50. The noodles were by far the best part!! They were fresh, thick, and chewy!! Mmm... al dente rules. The bowl also came with a pile of bamboo shoots that had a lot of flavor to them, ear mushrooms (my favorite! I heart these slippery little suckers), some boiled spinach, seaweed, green onions, and an extremely thin slice of chashu (pork). If you want more meat, you can order more chashu by the slices. It all adds up though and then your bowl of ramen ain't so reasonably priced. The broth, a so-called "special" blend of chicken, pork, and fish, is something that must've taken hours to make. I think it gets too salty near the end of the bowl and by then, you'll also find small chunks of white fat collecting at the surface. They look like miniscule icebergs floating in your ocean of ramen... the Tonkatsu broth at Maruichi in Mt. View is better IMHO. Better broth and most definitely less fatty.
The restaurant is tiny, looks well-worn, but is clean. I really like the bright, colorfully painted ceiling. Service is kind of brisk, kind of cold, kind of nice - depends on who talks to you. And they don't serve regular soda (read: Coke), instead you can get flavored Asian sodas that come in really fun glass bottles with a marble inside of it. OoOoOo!!