Saturday, January 30, 2016

Noodle bar, Japanese-style crepes, bubble tea at Love Yogurt in Oakland.

Stopped into Love Yogurt in Oakland the other day, a newer self-serve yogurt place at 229 Atwood St (map) in what used to be an office equipment store. It opened in November after relocating from the South Side, and---along with Fuku Tea and T4U---was one of three Asian tea and dessert places to open in Oakland the second half of 2015. It's recently begun to advertise its noodle and crepe offerings on Forbes Ave. Here's a look at the menu:

The Pitt News had a fluffy review on November 30---" you’ll probably be emotionally paralyzed by the amount of options waiting for you at Love Yogurt"---and a January 28 Yelp review calls it home to the best Japanese ramen in Pittsburgh:
So this dessert place also sells ramen now, which is fantastic since good ramen (or noodle soups in general) doesn't really exist elsewhere in Oakland. Their "noodle bar" is really a customizable menu where you pick every component of your ramen to your liking, from the noodle to the broth to the toppings. The base price is relatively cheap, and you can get a good bowl of noodles with all of the standard Japanese ingredients for just about $10. Otherwise you can have it as cheap or as expensive as you want, which is really convenient. If you want to go all meat, feel free; if you don't like seaweed or broccoli, then it won't cost you anything to skip it. It's a great alternative to just having different preset options like at Ramen Bar.

Aside from the novelty of building your own bowl, the portion and flavor are all there as well. The bowl was pretty big, and with the number of ingredients I chose, there was a good ratio of noodles and broth, and at the end of the meal I was pretty full. For my particular bowl, the noodles came out nice and spongy, the broth was rich and flavorful; the bamboo was soft and chewy, the seawood was nice and crispy, and there were several pieces of chashu which were just the right amount of fatty. Surprisingly the best ramen in Pittsburgh (there isn't much competition to begin with) was found here for me, beating out Ramen Bar in both taste and value.

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