There are only two weeks left before California bans foie gras forever. Foie gras is fattened duck or goose liver. The reason for the ban is the inhumane method of force feeding the ducks in order to fatten up the liver. This process makes for a rich, buttery delicacy.
Last week a friend of mine forwarded a marketing email for foie gras ramen. Chef Hiro Sone of Bar Terra in St. Helena and Ame in San Francisco have added it to their menu until the ban. I became intrigued by this $24.95 bowl of ramen.
I wasn’t prepared to eat at Ame, the fancy restaurant inside the St. Regis Hotel, but the bowl of ramen was also being offered at their bar or lounge. I came out to the City early today and wanted to try this “heaven in a bowl”. I texted my friend in Palo Alto who met me in San Francisco within an hour.
Eric was our bartender/server at the lounge. He knew we came for the ramen and the more he talked about it, I got that if I wanted to look like I knew what I was talking about, I should be referring to it as “foie”. He sold me a red lager from Japan called Coeda that was to pair with the “foie”.
Our bowls of ramen came out and looked delicious. It had a miso based broth, two wontons, grilled corn, and mustard greens. The perfectly seared “foie” lay on top. Was it the best ramen I have ever had? Probably not. I still heart Orenchi in Santa Clara, but I enjoyed everything about this bowl of goodness. It was simple, delicate, and filled my heart with happiness. The “foie” was awesome and surprising so were the wontons. I have never left a ramen bowl dry until today.
Reminder: Only two weeks left!