Kirbie's Cravings

Ramen Yamadaya

Ramen Yamadaya, a popular ramen chain from Los Angeles, recently opened a location in San Diego. I always get excited when LA places finally make their way down to San Diego, so I couldn’t wait more than a few days to check it out.

I’ve actually never been to the LA locations, but have heard good things from friends. I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but my ramen knowledge is pretty limited. For a better coverage of Ramen Yamadaya, head over to A Radiused Corner.

Ramen Yamadaya specializes in Tonkotsu broth ramen. Tonkotsu broth is made of pork bones, boiled for 20 hours according to Ramen Yamadaya, which results in a rich, creamy broth. The noodles used are thin, white and straight, unlike the wavy noodles usually associated with ramen.

The location (nearby Little Sheep) is quite small. We had a party of six and rather than push a few tables together, they decided to seat us outside on the patio which was  unfurnished except for two Samuel Adams picnic tables. I hope they spruce up this outside seating in the future because it felt dark and separated, like I was just sitting at some free picnic table in a public park. It also made picture taking quite difficult since the patio was only lit by the plaza lights.

Here’s the menu:




I had the Tonkotsu Kotteri and some of DH’s Yamadaya Ramen. The broths were very rich and creamy which I loved. I did find mine a tad too salty though. There were some inconsistencies evidenced in our bowls, something I’m hoping can be chalked up to grand opening kinks. For instance, my noodles were cooked too soft. I was musing that I should have asked for firmer noodles and then I tasted my brothers noodles which were just the right firmness I had been expecting. Brother’s shoyu broth also was much more watered down compared to some of the others. And DH’s Yamadaya Ramen broth wasn’t as piping hot as I would have liked.

While there are still some kinks, I’m excited that Ramen Yamadaya has opened in San Diego, and I’ll be back again once they’ve had a chance to settle in.

Ramen Yamadaya
4706 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego,CA 92117
Ramen Yamadaya on Urbanspoon

12 comments on “Ramen Yamadaya”

  1. Hi Kirbie, nice spread. I hope they get their kinks worked out soon too. Looking forward in trying their dip tsukemen.

  2. I saw Dennis’ post too and went right away w/ sis to try out the place! We were pretty disappointed – she still prefers Yakitori Yakyudori for their ramen. But thanks for explaining the noodles b/c we were both unsure why it was different than the other ramen places.

    We both found the pork belly in the ramen at Yamadaya to be much better. What did you think of the pork as well as the portion size of the ramen?

    • I guess it depends what style of ramen you like also. I really like tonkotsu style broth. The portion size seemed comparable for the two places. I’m not sure about the pork belly. I can’t quite remember the one for Yakitori Yakyudori since it’s been a while since I’ve been there.

  3. Great pics despite the lighting – looks like I really need to check out this place 🙂

  4. I read Dennis’ post, and now after reading yours, I’ll wait awhile before I try this place. I like the ramen at YY, and it’s good to have options!

  5. OMG! Kirbie, I was eating there the same night as yours,cause I recognize it from your picture. I agree that it was on the salty side, but I don’t have the noodle problem with my bowl. I think I will go back there for a second try too.

  6. Hi again Kirbie, I must’ve gotten lucky with my bowl!?
    Anyway wanted to clarify a few points for some. First there’s a lo~t of styles of ramen. Rich and salty to thin and subtle, and everything in between. Somehow it seems the rich tonkotsu took off here in the States but it’s actually not my favorite style of ramen. The thin straight noodles at Yamadaya are a Hakata thing. Most tonkotsu places don’t bother with it probably because they’re harder to find. That’s one kudos I’ve always given to Izakaya Masa. Santouka’s noodles are different because their style of tonkotsu comes from a totally different region in Japan. Also often a Tokotsu-Shoyu is a little thinner (but not always), but also the Kotteri you got means ‘extra rich’, just to put things in perspective. Hope this helps when ordering for some. But yeah first things first, I hope Yamadaya irons things out soon. Expectations are high from everyone so they need to step things up fast. Anyway take care..

    • Thanks for all the explaining Dennis! I was actually just thinking about this post while washing my dishes and was wondering why Santouka’s noodles are different even though they serve a tonkotsu ramen. I have a lot to learn and your posts and explanations help. I actually only started eating japanese-style ramen about 2 years ago.

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