Ramen! Who knew it was more than just that packaged crap that they sell for dirt cheap at the store? There’s actually like an art to it, and a good bowl of ramen (or anything) can make the world a finer place.
I went here with my co-workers first, and then I made Jake and our out-of-towner friend Chris go again just so I could have more ramen in my belly. Ramen Yamadaya is actually a Southern California chain from LA and this is the first location in San Diego (though I saw on their site they hope to open a second shop in Downtown soon).
That’s a lot of hours, man.
[kakuni ramen – $10.95]
I don’t have the prices listed for any of these, since I don’t remember them
I got the same thing on both visits, which is basically the pork bone broth ramen with a GIGANTIC piece of braised pork belly. The pork belly is super tender and I ended up breaking it up with my fork (yes, I use a fork) so it could be evenly dispersed in the ramen. I shared this bowl with Jake on my second visit since I already knew one bowl was a lot for me. I ordered extra noodles though so Jake and I would have enough.
I love the taste of the broth – it’s rich and a little fatty tasting and has a lovely flavor. It’s sort of salty, but not too much and I think it’s delicious.
Jake didn’t seem to like it as much, commenting that the broth tasted fishy to him, but I suspect that was only because of the added seaweed. I’d prefer it without the seaweed as well, but I didn’t remember to ask them to not put it in.
I got some corn on the side ($1) which they brought to us after we had already been eating for a bit so I just dumped it in. I also really like the noodles they use, though I think the noodles could have been a little firmer. In any case, I thought it was totally delicious.
[tonkotsu spicy – $8.45]
David and Jose both got this spicy ramen thing. You can see the red spicy up there in the corner (if you can call that a corner, since you know, these bowls are round). Once swished around the whole bowl turns red. Keep the red stuff away from my bowl, please.
[tonkotsu kotteri – $8.45]
Matt got the kotteri which I don’t exactly remember what that is… but it has an added oil in it. I didn’t try it, but I love how it looks.
[karaage chicken – $6.95]
I wasn’t sure if Jake and Chris would like the ramen, so as a back-up I also ordered the karaage chicken. This is like Japanese fried chicken, but it was all in pieces and was boneless. It had a nice flavor and the coating wasn’t too thick on the chicken pieces.
I really liked this on both of my visits. The service was horribly slow the first time I went with my co-workers, like painfully slow since I was so hungry I wanted to hit something. And then again painfully slow just trying to get the check… but I wasn’t deterred from not coming back since I still really enjoyed the ramen. Thankfully the service was not painfully slow on my second visit and maybe they were just having a bad service day the first time (at lease they were always friendly). I still don’t really know all of the differences or the ins and outs of it all, but I think it’s simply delicious and am looking forward to more bowls of ramen in the future, either here or trying new ramen places. If you have some ramen suggestions for me, please let me know!
4706 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92117