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Santa Ramen

It really makes me said how bad ramen is in America. 7 years in Japan taught me how good ramen can be. Now that I’m back in the states I get people telling me how good places like Santa Ramen are. I then go try them only to find they are about high school cafeteria quality in taste compared to the real thing in Tokyo. (yes, I know ramen is actaully Chinese food)

I ordered the Santa Ramen Tonkotsu Chashu Ramen. The meat was cold and flavorless. The soup was barely passible as Tonkotsu based and the noodles seemed more like spagetti than ramen noodles.

Santa Ramen may be the best in the bay area, I really don’t know. But it’s not even close the real thing and was therefore a huge disappointment after all the hype. :-( I guess the best way to put it is when I lived in Tokyo there were ramen places I craved, places that were good, places that were I would go back to if others wanted to go and places that were bland that I would never go back to knowing all the better places were available. Santa Ramen fits in the “bland, never go back to” category.

If you know what the real thing is like you won’t like Santa Ramen.

  • AndrewVestal

    Come to OC and I will take you to Shinsengumi, which is probably the third-best ramen I’ve ever had (and certainly the best in the US!)

    I lived in Japan for 5 years! YOU CAN TRUST MEEEE

  • http://360.yahoo.com/hinutsu_btm Peter
    surprise

    I have not been thinking or craving about authentic ramen for a while. But now that you mention it, I really miss Bikkuri Ramen noodle shop http://www.ramen1ban.co.jp/index2.htm for a good, low price and yet sometimes dirty bowl of various ramen. Of course, whenever I can only find a few coins of yen in my pocket, I go for the simple 180 yen bowl. Ooh, I wan’t to go back to Osaka!

  • http://brian.wanamaker.com/mybicycle/blogger.html brian
    yup, that’s about right.

    Gman, I seriously worry sometimes that you have an overly negative view on life. However, in this case, you have sadly nailed it spot-on. Santa Ramen was hyped as being the best in the Bay Area, but it’s sub-par by any standard. The place across from my work is so bad that I’ve only eaten there 3 or 4 times in the six years I’ve worked here, but it’s still better than Santa Ramen.

    I’ll save you another disappointment: Ringer Hut in San Jose, near the Japanese supermarket on Saratoga. Under no circumstances should you ever eat there. It’s like Panda Express meets Mos Eisley.

  • http://blog.hanfordlemoore.com hanford
    Sorry

    I am sorry I let you down. But, I was only passing along the information as I knew it. I’m no Ramen Expert.

  • walsh92663

    I have to agree with AndrewVestal… Shinsengumi is quite good. I may not have the experience you guys have with having lived in Japan, but I figure it must mean something that it’s usually packed to the rafters with local and visiting Japanese (I’m often one of the few, if not the only gaijin in the palce). Hopefully next time you’re down this way you’ll give it a try.

  • http://blog.greggman.com greggman

    I well definately give shinsengumi a try next time I’m down that way.

    As for being filled with natives…I used to take that as a sign of good but I’ve since found it’s more a sign of community. Example: Mitsuwa at Bristol and Paularino is generally full of Japanese people but none of the food in their food court is even remotely good.

    Even stranger, finding a good Chinese place in the bay area has really been a chore. The place is full of Chinese neighborhoods with restaurants full of Chinese natives and yet none of my Chinese friends can recommend any of them :-(

    Oh, and sorry if my posts have been negative. I aware that it comes across that way. It has to do with there’s more motivation to post about things that bug me. I’ll try to post more positive stuff.

  • walsh92663
    kushiage?

    Have you ever seen anywhere that serves kushiage (I think I’m writing it correctly… basically it’s deep fried things on sticks). I know you’re not a big fan of Roppongi Hills, but there is a palce called kushinobo we used to eat at and we’ve yet to find anything like it here in OC or in SF. THat and some ochozuke but not the kind with fish broth, but rather with green tea. Thanks.