We are enthusiastic local customers who have been to Ramen Gaijin twice ("Triple Shot," March 30), but the no-reservations rule is a misstep. During a 90-minute wait, we noted that the entire bar side was empty by 8:30pm. Ramen Gaijin has three distinct areas: the wet bar, the ramen side of the restaurant and a middle section that straddles both halves. The restaurant's inability to serve ramen, at least in the middle, is a misstep. We would gladly sit there to enjoy the ramen menu, as I'm sure others would as well when confronted with a very long wait.
Yes, the food is amazing: you will shake your head in disbelief that this is available in Sebastopol. We will always come back; however, we worry that the "no reservations" rule will hurt the restaurant, and the limited ramen seating is just unfortunate. This is apparently because they did not expand the ramen-cooking area of the kitchen during the renovation. That's puzzling, as it's called Ramen Gaijin, not "One-Third Ramen" or "Ramen If You're Patient."
Personally, I like the no-reservation rule. It's your restaurant, run it as you will. I had the Tan Tan ramen. One of the best plates I've ever had in Sonoma County. Ever. Wow. Very nicely done. Will definitely be back. Will stand in line, happily.
Once again the National Park Service is under fire in the Bay Area for issues of mismanagement ("Beef of Burden," March 30). There's been a constant drone of criticism from Drakes Bay to West Marin cattle ranching practices to tule elk dying of thirst to massive traffic at Muir Woods damaging the environment to curtailing legitimate recreational uses at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Has anyone ever given thought that maybe the National Park Service is not the right agency, considering that its experience and forte is managing remote wilderness areas? Yes, these are hard, complex issues. Yes, there are competing interests. Of course it's not easy. Yet this is not a good performance review by any stretch. Can anyone argue that it's not time for a total shake-up and revamping of NPS leadership and operations in the Bay Area?
Dept. of Corrections
The National Park Service called last week with a couple of clarifications and corrections to last week's "Beef of Burden" story. There are 4,000 cattle in Point Reyes National Seashore, and another 2,000 in parkland administered by the PRNS but located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area—not 6,000 in PRNS, as we reported. The NPS also wanted to make clear that in the Drakes Bay Oyster Company lawsuit, the NPS was sued by Drakes Bay. The story was unclear on that point. Finally, NPS wanted to clarify that the parks service enlisted the University of Wisconsin to test 18 elk for Johne's disease and found that, while none of the animals exhibited symptoms of the disease, which includes emaciation, a few were found to have contracted the bacteria that causes the disease.
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