Eat at Ramen Gaijin in Sebastopol
Forchetta is Italian for “forks,” while Bastoni means “sticks.” So really, Sebastopol’s Forchetta/Bastoni might now better be called Bastoni/Bastoni.
That’s because the Forchetta Italian dining room has closed, and Ramen Gaijin has opened, featuring just as its name suggests, delectable, slurpable noodle soups eaten with chopsticks.
A project of chefs Matthew Williams and Moishe Hahn-Schuman, the permanent eatery follows on the tails of a successful test run as a pop-up inside Woodfour Brewing Company at The Barlow that began in August.
While the menu is mostly about ramen, there are other delectable bites, as well. Okonomiyaki looks tempting, stocked with Dungeness crab and matsutake mushrooms ($12), as does albacore tataki with hedgehog mushrooms, edamame, and sea grasses ($11).
Celebrating winter, a Little Gem salad is decorated with Fuyu persimmon, chicories, avocado and puffed rice ($8), while sunomono salad is made of kohlrabi, carrot, Tokyo turnip and Chioggia beet ($6).
But really, we’re here for the homemade noodles, like the toasted rye ramen bobbing in shoyu broth with pork belly chashu, Tokyo negi onion, and wakame and woodear mushrooms ($14), or the Tan Tan ramen with Sapporo noodles, pork belly chashu, ground pork sesame, chile, and charred cabbage ($14).
Vegetarians, meanwhile, will be happy with Sapporo ramen in miso topped with fried tofu, roasted pumpkin, charred cabbage and wood ear mushrooms ($13).
Food is better with drinks, and the list supports the Asian theme, too, offering various sakes, plus whiskies, beer and wine.
Chopsticks up … dig in!