Tajima Japanese Noodle House – San Diego, CA

4681 Convoy Street, Suite #1
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 278-5367

It’s about time I turned that radiused corner heading due south on Interstate 5, in search of the best ramen that San Diego has to offer. I couldn’t have picked a better day to drive down the coast either. With clear blue skies, 72 degree weather, and an abundance of sunshine, it was a beautiful December day for slurping in San Diego.

My first stop was the much anticipated Tajima Noodle House. Arguably, the best ramen SD has to offer (according to most locals), I’ve been anxiously waiting for over a year now to experience that revelation on my own. Upon reviewing the menu, Tajima offers four choices for soup base (shoyu, shio, miso, and tonkotsu a.k.a. “Tajima Original“) and two choices of noodles (thin-cut vs. thick-cut). There’s also plenty of rice bowls and entrees along with udon and soba, in case ramen isn’t part of your diet. Obviously, I completely ignored those other sections.

Shoyu Ramen (w/thin-cut noodles): The instant my tongue touched the soup, I could taste a strong niboshi flavor that harmonized well with a deep, yet crisp, shoyu taste. Not quite kotteri and not exactly assari, but interesting nonetheless. The toppings (chashu, hanjuku ajitama, nori, negi) were simple and barely worth mentioning. The chashu was very tough and very disappointing. The egg, on the other hand, was delicious. The thin-cut noodles tasted fresh, were perfectly cooked, and paired well with this broth. No complaints there.

Tonkotsu Ramen (w/thick-cut noodles): As I mentioned above, this is also known as the “Tajima Original“. I was hoping that “original” would translate into the best ramen that Tajima has to offer, but apparently this wasn’t the case. The Tonkotsu Ramen, in my opinion, was far inferior to the Shoyu Ramen above. Light and bordering on bland, it wasn’t horrible, but I was expecting so much more. Where was the creamy, smooth, jaw-dropping flavor that a good tonkotsu is known for? Evidently not here. Contrastly, the thick-cut noodles were a welcome change, but probably would have tasted better in the shoyu.

Here’s an up close comparison of the thin-cut vs. thick-cut. As you can see, there is a big difference. I usually love a thicker cut of noodles, but I’d have to give a slight edge to Tajima’s thin-cut today. They were a lot easier to slurp!

I’m not done with SD. Stay tuned and you will see…

Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30am~2:30pm
Dinner: Mon-Fri 5:30~10:30; Sat-Sun 12pm~10:30pm
Late Night: Thu-Sat 10:30pm~3:30am

8 Replies to “Tajima Japanese Noodle House – San Diego, CA”

  1. Hi Keizo,I’ve been so busy and missed out the last few updates. Very nice! 🙂 San Diego for Ramen! You are a true Ramen Otaku! (^_~)It’s unfortunate you didn’t find any legendary Ramen at this place that’s supposed to be SD’s best. The search continues…(BTW, IMHO, you were right to start with their Shoyu and Tonkotsu. If a true Ramen-ya can’t even get their basic Shoyu and Tonkotsu right, how can their Mabo Ramen or Kakuni Ramen be better? 🙂

  2. Not really. I actually expected something better, but it was still the best out of the 3 that day. I would love to go back and try the other ramen on the menu…someday.

  3. There is a big difference between the shoyu from here vs Chopstix. Too bad about the chasu, but at least everything else seemed to be in order.Keizo, did this place lived to the hype in SD?

  4. Hey Dennis! I knew you’d be the first to comment…haha. I know what you mean. No need to be nervous! 🙂 I noticed after I ordered that they had a daily special of Mabo ramen and Kakuni Ramen. I thought about canceling my order but didn’t. Have you tried either? Are they any good? I kinda feel like driving back down just to try them.

  5. I should’ve said base soup flavor instead of “shoyu” since I don’t know if the tajima original (and especially doubt the miso) has it. But they definitely don’t taste straight up miso or tonkotsu in either case.. I thought I should correct myself beause you passionate ramen people kinda make me nervous! haha. 😉

  6. Ha, thanks for the mention Keizo!My humble opinion but I agree any deviation from the Shoyu flavor leaves me slightly hanging as well. A mild miso flavored shoyu or mild tonkotsu flavored shoyu.. I think the straight Shoyu has the strongest identity here. Still I appreciate them because it’s a nice change when I get tired of the “mall ramen”.. I’m tell’n ya, it’s slim pickings down here! Can’t wait for your end of year top ten list btw!!

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