San Mateo, CA
Apparently, I've been a good boy this year because Santa Ramen has just delivered some of the best presents a ramen lover can ask for. About 10 minutes south of SFO, Santa Ramen (in their new location) is a must-eat-on-a-regular-basis ramen-ya that will leave you speechless. I already can't wait to return.
Shoyu Ramen: Heaven. Pure kotteri heaven! It's been awhile since I've tasted something so good--and I'm not even in Japan! The only thing missing were the tempura chips like you get at Musashi, but who really cares--I didn't. If you're looking for something assari, then you're better off ordering the tonkotsu (ya you read that right). This soup is very rich and contains the perfect amount of shoyu. The toppings (mouthwatering chashu, menma, negi, and a piece of roasted seaweed) were almost perfect and the firm, chewy noodles were amazing. But the soup definitely played the starring role.
Tonkotsu Ramen: A creamy broth that also soothes your soul. Surprisingly light tasting, some might even call it dreamy. The toppings (savory chashu, sliced kikurage, and negi) rested peacefully atop a milky sea. The noodles were the same as above and performed magnificently once again.
Miso Ramen: Mi-so good. A sweet miso flavor with a hint of spice. If you don't like miso, then you must give this one a try. It may not be straight from Hokkaido, but it does a great job of acting like it. The toppings were like above with the addition of bean sprouts. And the noodles were once again amazing.
I doubt the noodles are home-made, but even spaghetti noodles would taste good in this broth.
If you ever visit SF and only have enough time for one ramen-ya, then definitely go kick it with Santa. You won't be disappointed!