Sharing again a few random food related topics. Happens to lean heavier on ramen tonight.
Last month I got another gift from friends returning from the land of Omurice and Ichigo Daifuku. The same cool peeps that gave me the surprise Korejanai Robo last, this time was actually a request from me, but I received my Tomica ramen truck and bread delivery van.(!)
Tomica is Japan's equivalent to Hot Wheels or Matchbox. A slightly sunsetting moody shot on the roof of my car below.
And the truck open, ready for service. Ahh, I can hear the Charumera now... :)
It's been around six-months since my longer Yamadaya SD First Month Post and I've lately been starting to hear the "Hey, have you heard of Yamadaya? They have pretty good ramen..."
from friends. I guessed then that the place had been improving
on their consistency issues, but I still much rather have their Premium Shoyu and/or Shio Ramen like the one I had at the Costa Mesa branch.
[Yamadaya Costa Mesa - Premium Shio Ramen ($8.95)]
didn't make the menu cut at SD but I'm hoping that it'll appear in the
near future. I had the Premium Shio a couple months back and it was
equally satisfying for me as the Shoyu was. Nice strong gyokai notes of
dried fish in a chicken based clear broth with sufficient guilty oils on the surface.
What seemed like negi-abura on top was a nice touch.
The bowl still has plenty of room for further improvement, but it has the flavor profile that I mostly crave and can't seem to get elsewhere.
Ramen Yamadaya (Costa Mesa), 1175 Baker Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
did have the standard Tonkotsu at our SD location a few weeks back and
the soup was much more manageable in richness for those days you're not
into an uber kotteri style. I had the 'Yamadaya' option ($7.95 + $2)
which I think has the better upgrade value. The pork chashu was
acceptably tender but needed more of the marinade flavor infused into it. The
kakuni block-belly pretty decent as usual, but eggs were hard-boiled. When asked
they said they just over boiled it the day... Oi. :( At least they're
And shouldn't the Yamadaya Ramen upgrade also come with a drizzle of the Maayu
black charred garlic oil? I forget. The noodles weren't as overly starchy
than last which was good but I still don't think they're the best renditions of the type.
The Japanese gyozas were also better
executed this time, nice and crispy with hot fillings. I noticed
they're using a timer now and much higher heat than in the past. Too bad
I'm still not that fond of the fillings itself. Overall I say maybe two steps
forward and one back. I hope that they keep progressing, and again, that they bring over the Premium Shoyu and Shio soon.
Ramen Yamadaya (San Diego), 4706 Clairement Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117
T-shirt I found at Amoeba Records last December and I actually bought...
If you see someone in it in glee, it's probably me. Please wave hello!
Amoeba Records (Hollywood), 6400 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028
Around the same time as SD Yamadaya, I dropped in Tajima-1
for old times sake. I was probably planning on having one
of their combo lunches but I noticed a Tsukemen on the menu ($8.95) and
decided on it instead.
had been the first spot in SD that actually offered a choice between thin
and thick noodles. If you're doing Tsukemen, the fat noodles are
definitely the way to go. Nicely chilled they weren't the best or the
worst, but a bit wetter than it should. The stringy connective bits in the pork chashu
were a little bothersome, the egg also on the salty side for me but not
all important dip was surprisingly intense and rich for once. (Typical
downfalls are it being too thin.) It also had a noticeable dried fish
gyokai note which was surprising to find in a good way. In the end
though I felt there was too much going on and schizophrenic in flavor. Nice try though. RakiRaki still remains my go-to when in the mood for Tsukemen in San Diego.
Fellow blogger Jinxi had written up on Tajima's ramen recently, check it out here.
Tajima-1, 4681 Convoy St - Ste 1, San Diego, CA 92111
Masa I've often called the Sandra Lee
of the Izakaya business. I suspect there's not a lot on their menu that
is created totally from scratch, which includes their popular
Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen (the owners are from Fukuoka, Kyushu). But
they have a cozy atmosphere that I've always found comforting and the
fact that friends live nearby I find myself patronizing pretty often. I
snapped this pic since it was one of the more attractively put together bowl
garlic chips, roasted sesame seeds, flavorful pork chashu (purchased) and hot, just
adequately greasy-rich tasty tonkotsu broth... After a shared pitcher
of chilled Japanese beer on draft, the questionability of its
scratch-made origins seem to fade away, haha. I just ask to be honest
about it. :P
I did always think there's a lot other Japanese restaurants in town can learn from Masa. Final execution.
Izakaya Masa, 928 Fort Stockton Dr, San Diego, CA 92103
For me if the price is right there's plenty room for "put together ramen," like this old school Shoyu 'Chuka Soba' served as one of their daily specials lunching at Wa Dining Okan. Knowing the kitchen situation, the base was probably "from package" but the broth seemed fortified with some extra niboshi which it's all about for me.
Sure, I did wish the egg was soft-boiled and the noodle were maybe a little softer than it
should've been, but the roasted pork chashu was excellent and it still managed to be a decently satisfying bowl.
Wa Dining Okan, 3860 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111
Was at Mitsuwa Costa Mesa recently and noticed the beef tongue specialist Tsukasa
stall boarded up with a huge "coming soon!" sign. I'm looking forward
to this one. I just hope prices will stay to more reasonable food court
prices (unlike Ten-don Hannosuke in Santa Monica).
Mitsuwa Market (Torrance), 21515 Western Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501
at our own Mitsuwa, I had a quick lunch from the bento section two
weekends ago. The Oyakodon was just made and still warm and picked one
up. I was tempted by the amount of lovely green laver Aonori on the takoyaki that I had one of those too. ;)
egg was nice and wiggly rare on the "fried chicken" oyakodon. I could
tell Karaage was used for the chicken which although somewhat chewy,
gave it some extra flavor. The octopus pieces in the takoyaki was a
little tough but the amount of said Aonori and shaved bonito
katsuo-bushi made it for me.
Mitsuwa Market, 4240 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego, CA 92111
personal soul food. I haven't been impressed with my recent tacos at
neighborhood El Zarape (and their stale chips the day). But my
favorite Chicken Fajita Burrito was great as always, nice and
charred/caramelized inside. Btw this is at the original shop off Park
Blvd, not the sit down on Adams which I've yet to visit..
I noticed the person responsible for The Great Taco Hunt blog had started a new burrito centric Tumblr version called All Your Burritos Are Belong To Me [sic]. I love the simple straight forward documentative style. Almost like looking at someone's baseball card or stamp collection, ha.
El Zarape, 642 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116
What's your personal soul food? I often find myself at Izakaya Sakura
just so to have their miso soup. While they have plenty of quirks, I
feel they serve the best free/standard miso soup in San Diego. But there
are a couple other spots I'd like to try before I make the claim.
Izakaya Sakura, 3904 Convoy St #121, San Diego, CA 92111
My Championship Series chess board and pieces from The House of Staunton came early.(!) They're so bootiful.
weighted with tournament 3.75" King. Also comes with two extra queens which is
standard when ordering from HOS.
Phat and Fresh videos and miso soup.