When Bruce suggested ramen for dinner, after a long day going up and down Big Sur without food, we jumped at it. According to him, the best ramen to be had was Santa Ramen in San Mateo, though this was debated by Chi, whom we met later in the evening, who insisted that equally excellent ramen could be found in Japanese town in San Francisco proper.
We didn’t have the luxury of time to test out both their assertions, but we thoroughly enjoyed Santa Ramen. The spicy pork broth I got was flavorful and not too savory, a main failing of many ramen places. And the noodles had just the right texture and consistency – chewy and springy. We lapped up the food in contented silence, enjoying the crunchiness of shallots and spring onions with the noodles. Being greedy, we also ordered small plates of simply grilled squid with a dash of lemon, crispy hot chicken karagee, and fried tofu.
I’d return to Santa Ramen anytime! It beats the overrated Ippudo in New York hands down (when we were there last May, we had to wait 3 hours to get a seating, and the broth turned out to be way too salty and oily).
1944 South El Camino Real
San Mateo, California 94403