I previously visited Ramen Yamadaya shortly after it opened. My previous post goes more in depth into Ramen Yamadaya and you can read about it here. Recently I went again with a friend. I hadn’t actually been expecting to take pictures, but after ordering some different menu items, I had an urge to do an updated post even though I didn’t have my normal restaurant camera on me.
As you may recall, my first visit, we were seated outside in the dark, making it hard to take proper photos. This time I got to sit indoors but without the right camera. One of these days, I’ll be able to take proper pictures of this place.
When we arrived, the place was packed with a waitlist. Obviously word had gotten out.
After a few minutes, we were offered a seat at the bar. Normally I wouldn’t mind sitting at the bar, but the day we ate there it was in the mid 80s outside. Inside, it was even warmer since the place has no A/C. And right next to the bar, with all the steam coming from the giant pots, it was at least 10 degrees warmer.
We felt really bad for the kitchen staff, who were all sweating like crazy.
We started out with an order of the takoyaki, something I’d seen on gastro bits’ post.
The octopus balls are lightly battered, with a piece of octopus in the middle. The dish was topped with bonito flakes. This was one of the better versions I’ve had in San Diego, though I still love the versions in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles best.
With the heat, I considered getting the Tsukemen ramen since that is served dry with a dipping sauce, but ramen expert Dennis of A Radiused Corner mentioned that the version in San Diego isn’t very good, so I decided to skip it. Also, even with the heat, I was really craving the tonkotsu broth, so I went with that.
I had previously had the Kotteri and found it to be too rich and salty for my taste. (Dennis also informed me that Kotteri means “extra rich.”) This time I opted for the regular tonkotsu ramen but with all the toppings served in the yamadaya ramen style. This broth was just right. Still quite rich and creamy, but not too salty. As I mentioned in my last post, the Tonkotsu broth is made of pork bones and boiled for 20 hours.
My noodles this time were also slightly al dente which is what I prefer. They serve the thin white noodles here, which is specific to Hakata-style Tonkotsu ramen (information provided by Dennis!). I still miss the thicker wavy noodles.
My friend opted to get a combination, where you get ramen, gyoza (4 pieces) or kara-age (4 pieces) plus a choice of mini bowl for the cost of ramen + $4.80.
She started with the gyoza.
Her croquette bowl was buried under a pile of bonito flakes
Overall, we had an enjoyable lunch despite the hot sticky heat. It made us feel like we were eating in Asia in the summer. The food seems to have gotten more consistent, though the servers still were a little inconsistent when it came to taking orders and water refills.
4706 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego,CA 92117