Northern Cali Conclusion: Santa rules!

Santa Ramen
1944 S. El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA
(650) 344-5918

I started out this trip determined only to try new places that I’ve never been to, but with all the mediocrity in the city I just HAD to visit Santa! It’s been almost a year since my last visit and my dreams of “pure kotteri heaven” have never been matched. I needed a quick reminder to ensure that it still exists. And indeed it does…

(Shout goes out to Lynae of the Clippers Spirit!)

Shoyu Ramen w/Stewed Premium Pork: To be honest, I felt a little nauseous after eating at Kahoo today. I wasn’t sure if it was MSG overload or just plain heartburn, but this ramen made everything feel better. No joke! It might have been mental, but there’s nothing fake about this Shoyu Ramen. Rich, bold, distinct, deep. There’s not enough adjectives in my vocabulary to describe it.

I also heard great things about their Kakuni, but never had a chance to try it until now. Amazing! Every intoxicating bite was tender and addictive. Seriously, the sake was permeating perfectly!

So that’s it! It’s time to head back to LA. I hope you enjoyed my posts as much as I enjoyed the trip. If I had to do a northern cali ramen ranking based on places that I’ve been, it would probably go something like this:

  1. Santa Ramen
  2. Ramen Halu
  3. Shoki Ramen House
  4. Kahoo Ramen
  5. Maru Ichi
  6. Ramen House Ryowa
  7. Katana-Ya
  8. Suzu
  9. Osaka Ramen
  10. Iroha

IMO: Everything outside of this top 5 is probably not worth trying unless you live close by and don’t have any other choice. Oyasumi!

14 Replies to “Northern Cali Conclusion: Santa rules!”

  1. Next time you're back in SF, try these three places:

    1) Izakaya Sozai (Sunset)
    2) Ken Ken Ramen (Mission)
    3) Hapa Ramen (Ferry Bldg.)

  2. Finally got to try Santa Ramen and I have to say, I would drive from San Francisco just to eat at Santa. Their buta kakuni is so good but sadly, I've been stuck eating tonkotsu every time I go there. I really have to try the shoyu and miso. Gotta have that kakuni everytime I go. As far as Tanpopo goes, they're not bad. In Japantown, I would go Bushi-tei Bistro, Tanpopo…but I wouldn't go back to Suzu (went 3 times, disappointed twice. When your noodles come to you and some of them are stuck together with the look of being frozen…hmmm).

  3. Hi mcmao. Thanks! Haha, yeah that's a good question. My bro wasn't really feeling ramen that night so he preferred to go to Iroha. I agreed since they had ramen too, but I still gotta hit up Tanpopo one of these days.

  4. Great north Cal rankings! Just wondering what brought you into Iroha but not Tanpopo while you were in the Japantown neighborhood?

  5. @Paul: Thanks for the info on tenkaippin. I knew you were good for somethin’ haha.@edjusted: Thanks!@EK: Thanks, but try to stay away from the city! haha.

  6. Hi Keizo,Congrats on the NorCal Ramen Crawl. Really nice set of posts and tour of the area. 🙂 Next time I’m up there I’ll be sure to try your Top 5. Doumo!

  7. tenkaippin is famous for their kotteri tonkotsu ramen. it was good when i tried their restaurant in waikiki. since then i heard they moved to another location. as you may already know, it’s a chain ramenya from japan. i thought it was good, but still not as good as japan.

  8. @Pepsi: Yeah, Santa is definitely a must-go-to restaurant when visiting the bay area.@Anonymous: Hmm..Tenkaippin eh? I’ll be sure to check it out when I do my Hawaii crawl! But best in my life? Really? Better than anything in Japan?? That’s one huge promise! 😛

  9. you need to eat ramen at tenkaippin. i’m not sure if there’s one in california, but if you are ever in hawaii, you should definitely go there. i promise it’ll be the greatest ramen you have had in your life.

  10. Hey Keizo,Glad you are able to go up to NoCal and enjoy some of their finest ramen in what they have to offer. Glad that Santa Ramen did lived up to the expectations. Anything less will meant that I will skip the ramens up there. Kidding! 😛

  11. @Dennis: Yeah that kakuni was good. I’m still dreaming.@St. Nick: Yup, it’s xmas everyday at Santa Ramen. You should know!

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