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Food & Drink

Kimura Introduces SA to Ramen Mania, With Mixed Results

Photo: Dan Payton, License: N/A

Dan Payton

Finally, a ramen haven for noodle-holics



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Kimura offers several dishes for non-ramen lovers as well. I was disappointed to learn that cold buckwheat noodles, a seeming no-brainer for San Antonio, had been 86’d due to production issues. We can go to most any Asian restaurant for gyoza dumplings, often called pot stickers. The ginger flavor of Kimura’s pork version was a wow! but the normally crusty-tender texture disappointed—there being almost no crust on our serving. The flavor and texture of a grilled octopus appetizer were both spot-on, but the plain, nicely charred bits need more support than a bed of undressed carrot shreds. The broiled unagi (eel) served as an entrée is well flavored, but sits unceremoniously atop a larger portion of white rice. It’s both hard to eat and needs more attention to the visual. The Japanese understand this as much as any culinary culture—if not more. Needing no garnish or other intervention was the excellent cucumber sunomono salad.

But then there’s the rice. Sushi apprentices in Japan study it for years before being allowed to touch fish, and though we don’t expect that here, we might be excused for wanting rice with firmer texture to support Kimura’s fine nigiri toppings. Grains of the liquid variety, i.e. liquor, are nicely curated in the form of Japanese beers, sake and inventive cocktails, like the Last Word with gin, Chartreuse and maraschino. One imagines the beverages pair well with Kimura’s late night limited menu, available from 10 p.m. to midnight.

The renovated space itself, once the launching point for Sandbar Fish House and then a bakery, has morphed into shades of brown—the better to set off a stylish mural and the truly handsome bar top and tables fashioned from charred pine that has been meticulously sanded and then clear-coated. Perhaps when staff has worked in the space long enough some of this aesthetic will wear off on the food. Until then, some repeat viewings of Tampopo wouldn’t hurt the kitchen either.

Kimura

152 E Pecan,
(210) 444-0702,
kimurasa.com
Hours Lunch: 11-2 Mon-Fri; Dinner: 5:30-10 Mon-Sat; Late night menu: 10-midnight Mon-Sat Prices $10-$21
The Skinny Kimura is an homage to Japan by Restaurant Gwendolyn’s Michael Sohocki (who lived there for several years) and co-owner Jenn Wade after whose Japanese grandmother it’s named.
Best Bets Cucumber sunomono, miso ramen, Last Word cocktail

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