Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mitsuwa Foodcourt

Mitsuwa Food Court
4240 Kearny Mesa Rd
San Diego, CA 92111
Neighborhood: Kearny Mesa
(858) 974-1101

Despite shopping regularly at Mitsuwa, I've never actually eaten in its small food court. It''s always been one of those things where I say I'll try it out sometime.  This weekend, I finally made it a point to eat there for lunch. Mitsuwa has two restaurants in its food court: Kayaba and Santouka.

Kayaba offers udon, curry and katsu.  Santouka offers ramen. Boyfriend opted to eat at Kayaba. I chose to try the ramen at Santouka.

I chose a bowl of regular miso ramen.  I don't know a lot about japanese ramen. It's not something I've eaten much of and only have recently started exploring. It's my understanding that Santouka offers Tonkotsu style ramen.  This means they make the broth with pork bones, creating a cloudy broth.

I liked how there were bamboo shoots in the ramen. I found the chasu (pork slices) to be a bit dry and too fatty for my taste.  Overall, I enjoyed my bowl of ramen a lot.  Boyfriend liked it too. I did find that it was a bit too salty though. In the beginning it was fine, but near the end I was feeling the salt, and I couldn't drink any broth after I finished my noodles.

Boyfriend ordered the fried pork chop with curry. I thought the fried pork cutlet was pretty good.  The batter was a bit too thick for me, but I liked that the meat was thick as well.  I often find the pork cutlets to be too thin. I really liked the red pickled vegetables. A lot of the other offerings at Kabaya come with some soup, potato salad. I wish this curry pork combo came with it.

We're definitely going to have to come back and try some more of the food court items next time we go shopping at Mitsuwa.

Also while I was at Mitsuwa, I discovered that they carry mochi from Mikawaya! I'm not sure how long they have been carrying it. Perhaps a very long time, but I just never knew. I didn't even know about Mikawaya mochi until a few months ago. I had found Mikawaya mochi at the Mitsuwa in Costa Mesa, but I'm ecstatic that they have it in SD. They had all the offerings they have at Mikawaya in LA.  It's located in an odd spot. Its' not near the other mochi offered at Mitsuwa.  Instead, they are on a rack nearby the freezer.

 

19 Responses to “Mitsuwa Foodcourt”

  1. 1

    Darlene — April 20, 2010 @ 6:40 am

    I haven’t eaten at either one of the place either although Mitsuwa is usually a quick lunch option for me in their bento section. I’ll have to give one of these places a try when I’m not in a rush to return to work. BTW: Suama is my favorite mochi.

  2. 2

    Sandy — April 20, 2010 @ 7:56 am

    Santouka’s ramen is on the salty side for me; I much prefer the broth at Yakitori. As you mentioned, they are different styles of broth. I haven’t eaten at Kabaya in ages, so it may be time for a re-visit and pick up some Mikawaya mochi. I usually just pick up a bento inside the store, too.

  3. 3

    Kirbie — April 20, 2010 @ 9:25 am

    I like the bentos there too. Every time I’m there, the food court is always so crowded and I heard so much good stuff about Santouka, so I decided to finally check it out.

  4. 4

    Kirbie — April 20, 2010 @ 9:27 am

    I think Santouka’s ramen is a bit on the salty side too! It was okay when I was eating the noodles, but near the end, it got a little too salty for me. I prefer the broth at Yakitori too, though I like how there is more items in Santouka’s ramen.

  5. 5

    Jess — April 20, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

    My personal opinion is that the best ramen at Santouka is the spicy miso. But it might be too salty to you. Even I had to order a soda to go with it. But it’s good.
    A lot of time I see couples go to the food court and almost always, the girl would go for ramen and the guy would go for katsu curry rice. Quite interesting.
    The mochi at Mitsuwa has been there for at least a couple of years since the first day I stopped there… Do you know if they price the same as Nigiya’s?

  6. 6

    Faye — April 20, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

    I also felt that the Santouka’s ramen tasted like a Salt Lick. It was beyond salty!
    Thank you for explaining Tonkotsu style ramen! I always read it as Tonkatsu…
    The Kabaya tonkatsu looks yummy! I love it when the pork is big and juicy, not thin and flat. How was the curry sauce?

  7. 7

    Kirbie — April 20, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

    Hmm..I’m tempted to order the spicy miso but I’m afraid of it being too salty! That’s interesting about what couples go for. I wonder why that is. Though I was tempted to try something from Kabaya, but I was set on trying Santouka’s ramen.
    I’ve never been on the lookout for Mikawaya mochi since I didn’t even know about Mikawaya until I visited Little Tokyo. The price for a package of four mochi is $4.60. The mochi at Nijiya isn’t Mikawaya though. It’s Hogetsu. And the package has 3. I think the Nijiya price is $3.40 for 3, but I’m not positive. And they usually only have 3 kinds, whereas I saw almost all the Mikawaya ones at Mitsuwa. I also don’t like that the Nijiya ones are refrigerated. They don’t taste as good as going down to Hogetsu and getting fresh ones.

  8. 8

    Kirbie — April 20, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

    Heehee, the words are pretty similar! I think when the pork is big and juicy too. That’s how I ate it growing up. The curry sauce was a bit watery in my opinion. But I like mine really thick..and with lots of stuff in it. I thought it was weird that it was just plain curry sauce.

  9. 9

    rox — April 20, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    Oh I love Santouka! We have a Mitsuwa here in Los Angeles that has a Santouka in it. So delicious.

  10. 10

    caninecologne — April 20, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    hi kirbie
    cool! thanx for the info about mikawaya mochi at mitsuwa! liked how you and the boyfriend split up try diff’t things. good strategy.
    this lady i know told me (not sure if it’s true) that the owners of hogetsu used to work for fugetsu. must’ve been a long time ago since hogetsu’s been around since i was in high school ( a good 20+ years).

  11. 11

    Carol — April 20, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

    I find the miso ramen way too salty too and I love salt. I like the shio ramen best and the soy sauce ramen is pretty good too. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there.

  12. 12

    Carolyn Jung — April 20, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

    Japanese markets have the best prepared foods ever! I go crazy every time I go to the Mitsuwa near my house.

  13. 13

    Kirbie — April 21, 2010 @ 11:17 am

    I’m betting the LA one is better than SD! I always see specials that are only available at the LA and Orange County locations.

  14. 14

    Kirbie — April 21, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    Kirk told me the same thing, so I think it’s true. And it makes sense because their mochi are so similar!
    Boyfriend and I try to always get diff things so we can sample more and for the blog. He’s a good sport about it. =)

  15. 15

    Kirbie — April 21, 2010 @ 11:19 am

    Hmm, I chose miso cause I thought it would be less salty. Shio and soy sauce sounded super salty! Maybe I got lucky that day because I am always finding things too salty and I thought this was just slightly too salty.

  16. 16

    Kirbie — April 21, 2010 @ 11:19 am

    I agree. So many goodies. My bill at Mitsuwa is always scary.

  17. 17

    caninecologne — April 21, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

    hi kirbie – ha ha, yes, my husband does the same thing – ordering something diff’t than me “for the blog”, but also so we can maximize our $$$ spent rather than getting 2 similar or same food entrees.
    the japanese lady i know used to be the hogetsu couple’s daughter’s japanese lang. teacher. that was years ago since the daughter is now grown up.

  18. 18

    kam — December 2, 2010 @ 9:47 am

    if u have a chance next time coming up to torrance, there is also another mitsuwa supermarket complex there, has a food court too about 15 restaurants. one of them is called: “Santouka,” which is a famous brand throughout asia. I have eaten there b4, and i think they have the best tasty ramen yet here in united states.

    • Kirbie replied: — December 2nd, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

      I definitely will stop by the Torrance one next time I’m in the area. I bet the food court there is really nice!

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