To take your ramen experience to "an 11," sit down and slurp a bowl of GKO Ramen. Short for “garlic knockout,” this noodle bowl is thick with the allium’s spicy, heady character, the broth an only-in-Marin concoction of toripaitan (creamy chicken).
And the noodles? Made on-site for a slightly chewy, nutty and inimitably fresh flavor.
Don’t Miss: Ginjo Toripaitan Ramen, Chashu Mazesoba, Spicy Corn Wings
Placing vegetables front and center not only balances a noodle-driven meal in a bowl but gives the Asian staple a dash of California flair. So, too, the vegan shio style ramen with gluten-free noodles – it’s made with veggie broth, not pork. Don’t fret, traditionalists – there’s plenty of chashu to top bowls of tonkatsu, shoyu and tantanmen ramen, too. We recommend trying the chashu in the house tacos with hoisin-mayo sauce. Less slurping and just as many vegetables.
Don’t Miss: Kimchi SPAM Musubi, Chicken Karaage, Pan-fried Ramen
The swift and exacting knife skills from chef Yasuo Shigeyoshi are, perhaps, most evident in precisely plated kinmedai and kamasu, just two dishes on an extensive Japanese sushi and appetizers menu.
Sushi tilts into unexpected territory with miso-cured foie gras and kazunoko, served here with bonito flake, among others. It’s a nice change of pace from the surfeit of 49er and dynamite rolls (though those are here, too).
Don’t Miss: Zurumeikai Ika (fresh whole squid), Lobster Hand Roll, Maguro Natto
If plates heaped with salad are your thing, may we suggest the Yum Woon Sen? Atop romaine lettuce spritzed with cilantro and mint, grilled prawns and gluten-free noodles come together with a lime and chile-flecked dressing, unifying the seemingly disparate ingredients most pleasingly.
There’s curry, fried rice and noodle dishes, too, but the menu comes to life in Laotian dishes like Khao Piak Sen (chicken noodle soup), Mok Moo (pork wrapped in banana leaf) and Lao sausage with tomato sauce.
Don’t Miss: Crispy Chicken Combo Plate, Spicy Eggplant, Larb Laotian-style
Though they are nearly “hidden” under the 101 at Third Street, the through-line to this Royal Thai story is big flavor and fresh ingredients. We are especially fond of the whole fish preparation – Pla Nil Saam Rod with Fresh Garlic – as well as Salmon in a Banana Leaf, and Spicy, Sauteed Catfish.
For more expected flavors, there’s Pad Si-ew with broccoli and cauliflower, Pineapple Fried Rice, and Tom Yum Soup. It’s all served in a small house, adding a family-style vibe to the family-run restaurant.
Don’t Miss: Mee Krob, Fresh Ginger Stir Fry, Yellow Curry Lamb
An extensive selection of veggie-centric rolls (Spicy Vegetable Roll, Crazy Mushroom Roll, Park Ranger Roll), is just one reason this downtown spot remains popular.
There’s Udon and Ramen as well as Bento Box specials at lunch, Teriyaki and Katsu specials at dinner. No matter when you dine, Donburi and Omakase Nigiri specials keep the regulars coming back for more.
Don’t Miss: Chirashi Special, Lion King Spicy Sushi, Sweet Potato Roll
One of the few places in Marin that serves dinner after 9pm also has a well-regarded Mai Tai and full cocktail list. Popular at lunch where the set menu includes an appetizer, soup and entrée, the restaurant’s menu includes favorites like Hot and Sour Beef or Mongolian Beef alongside Yellow Curry Chicken and Almond-pressed Duck. No matter what you order for lunch or dinner, make sure to start your meal with their Kuo Teh Shanghai Potstickers.
Don’t Miss: Lunchtime Dim Sum, Moo-Shu Pork, Won Ton Soup