Had a chance to check out the new Yakyudori outpost next to Dixieline Lumber off of Convoy Street. Kirk of mmm-yoso's first impression of the place can be found here.
Loved the bright, clean and tastefully done interior. Lots of light colored wood. Felt like a modern but true no nonsense ramen house. It's been a long while since I had a straight up Shio or Shoyu Ramen (minus the raw noodle packs in stores). Santouka offers a Shio/Tonkotsu or Shoyu/Tonkotsu that I enjoy but it's still at core a tonkotsu blend while Tajima's is kind of doing their own cloudy broth thing that I enjoy in its own way but ever so misses my nostalgia sweet spot.
I ordered the shoyu based Chashu Ramen ($9) which comes topped with a few extra roast pork slices.
Pretty darn solid. This was a hard to criticize bowl (at least for my standards). I forgot to ask the main ingredients of their soup's stock but I would guess chicken and hints of dried fish, vegetables. The medium amber clear soup tasted as I hoped, a light but developed savoriness that echos some of the flavors of the chashu marinade without any hint of bitter aftertaste. Leans on the lighter side for me personally but something I can have again the very next day. And the day after that.. :)
Noodles were great. Very springy, with a good chew and pleasant light doughy flavor that can hold its own and complement the soup (as opposed to becoming a part of it, haha). I might've liked these noodles more than Santouka's actually. The sliced pork Chashu was a medium fatty and lightly flavored to match. Hanjyuku tamago a good yolky with at least this day a lighter chashu marinade. The flavored bamboo shoots menma an expected but very welcome topping as well as the poached spinach to help keep me in shape.. ;) The green onions I'm asking for extra next time. For $0.50 I hope it's a nice heap.
The Japanese style thin skinned gyoza was fried well on one side. They may look a bit burnt but it somehow didn't affect the flavor much. At least these weren't deep fried like what a lot of places do (easy and also masks freezer burn?).
Seemed handmade which was good but the fillings were the light mostly veggie based and not out of the ordinary except for bits of sweet corn that I remember tasting. They were ok but I'm still wishing for some gyoza in SD with a good amount of ground pork with a nice cajone kick of nira chives or the garlicky bite sized ones I really enjoyed at Shinsengumi.
But when the grilling of skewers finally get going I'm sure I'll be ordering up some of those (or at least I hope they will be available during lunch). Minced chicken tsukune, negima... Some chicken hearts and/or beef tongue... I can't wait!
Fyi, a half order of white rice comes free during lunch hour with any ramen. I had some of it and the soup leftover so did this with it.. :) Can't wait to try the rest of their offerings.
Yakyudori Ramen and Yakitori, 4898 Convoy St., Suite 101, San Diego, CA 92111