2249 S El Camino Real
Oceanside, CA 92054
I woke up this morning to the sound of pounding rain and the sight of thick gray clouds. A perfect day to drive down to Oceanside and eat ramen at Teri Cafe I thought. Man...what was I thinking! I didn't realize that traffic from LA to Oceanside would be so bad on this let's-just-stay-home-because-it's-raining day. After close to two hours of driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, we finally arrived with huge expectations desperately hoping that the drive would be worth it. I've often heard whispers of how great Teri Cafe's ramen is, but being more than just a stone's-throw from LA, I never took them seriously. After all, the Hawaiian-esque nature of the place made me think that it would be more like saimin than ramen. As we approached and entered the cafe, it reminded me a lot like those other hawaiian bbq restaurants (L&L, The Loft, Ono). Strictly here just for the ramen, I found it hard not to salivate after seeing the teriyaki chicken, beef, and fried shrimp. Perhaps I'll just take some of that home to go. Anyway, on to the ramen. We swiftly ordered and sat down, patiently waiting for what could be a huge disappointment or a surprising relief.
Shoyu-ramen: It looked good. It smelled good. It tasted...great! Whew, I'm so glad that we weren't leaving disappointed. No saimin here. This shoyu-ramen would rival many of the top ramen-ya's in LA and OC but I'm still not sure if it's worth the drive just to eat and go home. But if I ever need to go to San Diego, I'm definitely stopping by Teri Cafe every time! The soup was refreshing and perfect for this semi-chilly day. It was full of flavor without the overbearing taste of too much shoyu. The toppings (super moist chashu, egg, moyashi, negi, and seaweed) were delicious. The chashu was melty and worth asking for more. And for the tasty egg noodles...did I mention that they have their own factory? I bet they sell them to most of the ramen-ya's in LA. They taste eerily familiar. Overall, the trip was worth it and I can't wait to go back for more.
Gyoza: The gyoza was really good, but I just wish they weren't fried. They could have been ten times better. I'll probably get the chahan next time.