4633 Convoy St.
San Diego, CA 92111
Within walking distance from my first stop, Chopstix had already formed a line during its peak lunch hour so that's how I ended up eating at my second stop beforehand. I also spent some time at BOOK-OFF to digest and rest and regretfully ended up spending waaay too much on manga...dammit!
By the time I returned, the peak lunch hour was over and I was ready to tackle my third and final stop of the day. Like Tajima, they have more than just ramen, but who really cares anyway...hehe. (Btw, it looked like everyone else cared because nobody around me seemed to be ordering the ramen.)
Shoyu Ramen: I really had a hard time deciding whether I should order the shoyu or the mabo, but I settled with the shoyu since mabo might be a little more filling and I wasn't sure if my stomach could take it. In any case, shoyu is always my first preferred measurement so it was the right thing to do. At first glance, the gritty residue forming on the edge of the bowl from the soup triggered a pleasant memory, but sadly it could not live up to that expectation. The soup was a very classic "old-school" shoyu that probably once gave birth to the more exotic versions prevailing throughout Japan today. It was slightly on the bland side with very little exhilaration. The toppings (chashu, egg, naruto, moyashi, negi) were forgettable.
The noodles weren't bad. They just felt a bit too slippery and lacked a significant chew. They sort of reminded me of rockstar, but saying that would be much too harsh. I now wished I had chosen the mabo...maybe next time.
Gyoza: Rarely do I run into a gyoza that's disgracefully inedible. I...am...serious. These tasted like they were filled with dirt. And that's still being somewhat generous with its description.
Overall, it was a great day trip to San Diego. Sadly, the ramen here is only ma~ma~ (for the ones I've tried so far) and somewhat deplorable. I know there is demand, so hopefully that'll force new ramen-ya's to open or old ramen-ya's to improve. Please keep me posted so I can keep you posted!