Perhaps it’s telling that the best thing I had at Da Sun Ramen, a Japanese restaurant that took over the Chinatown space previously held by Sapporo, was not ramen.
That’s not to denigrate the ramen in any way. The broth in the tonkotsu ramen was luscious and full, with tender slices of pork, mushrooms, peppers, scallions and of course noodles. It was a fine ramen.
But I found myself loving the Japanese curry more. Japanese curries are more gravy-like than Indian or Thai curries, and are rarely as spicy as either of those can be. And curry is one of the least traditional dishes you’ll find in a Japanese restaurant. It’s a bastardization of Indian curry invented by British colonizers. But when I lived in Phoenix I had a favorite takeout place that did a wonderful Japanese beef curry that became my go-to to-go dish. Still, 33 years later, there are times I crave it.
But Da Sun’s took me back with its version. Tender hunks of beef, carrots and potatoes, all served over fluffy rice. Nirvana.
I was disappointed with the steamed pork buns. The buns were hard and dry and the filling too minuscule to make up for it.
The ume onigiri, a rice ball that was more pyramidic in shape, with a soft plum at its center, was a bit more satisfying.
Da Sun’s interior would hardly be called bright and sunny, but I was greeted warmly by the woman running the dining room, so there’s that.