4681 Convoy Street, Suite #1
San Diego, CA 92111
It's about time I turned that radiused corner heading due south on Interstate 5, in search of the best ramen that San Diego has to offer. I couldn't have picked a better day to drive down the coast either. With clear blue skies, 72 degree weather, and an abundance of sunshine, it was a beautiful December day for slurping in San Diego.
My first stop was the much anticipated Tajima Noodle House. Arguably, the best ramen SD has to offer (according to most locals), I've been anxiously waiting for over a year now to experience that revelation on my own. Upon reviewing the menu, Tajima offers four choices for soup base (shoyu, shio, miso, and tonkotsu a.k.a. "Tajima Original") and two choices of noodles (thin-cut vs. thick-cut). There's also plenty of rice bowls and entrees along with udon and soba, in case ramen isn't part of your diet. Obviously, I completely ignored those other sections.
Shoyu Ramen (w/thin-cut noodles): The instant my tongue touched the soup, I could taste a strong niboshi flavor that harmonized well with a deep, yet crisp, shoyu taste. Not quite kotteri and not exactly assari, but interesting nonetheless. The toppings (chashu, hanjuku ajitama, nori, negi) were simple and barely worth mentioning. The chashu was very tough and very disappointing. The egg, on the other hand, was delicious. The thin-cut noodles tasted fresh, were perfectly cooked, and paired well with this broth. No complaints there.
Tonkotsu Ramen (w/thick-cut noodles): As I mentioned above, this is also known as the "Tajima Original". I was hoping that "original" would translate into the best ramen that Tajima has to offer, but apparently this wasn't the case. The Tonkotsu Ramen, in my opinion, was far inferior to the Shoyu Ramen above. Light and bordering on bland, it wasn't horrible, but I was expecting so much more. Where was the creamy, smooth, jaw-dropping flavor that a good tonkotsu is known for? Evidently not here. Contrastly, the thick-cut noodles were a welcome change, but probably would have tasted better in the shoyu.
Here's an up close comparison of the thin-cut vs. thick-cut. As you can see, there is a big difference. I usually love a thicker cut of noodles, but I'd have to give a slight edge to Tajima's thin-cut today. They were a lot easier to slurp!
I'm not done with SD. Stay tuned and you will see...
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30am~2:30pm
Dinner: Mon-Fri 5:30~10:30; Sat-Sun 12pm~10:30pm
Late Night: Thu-Sat 10:30pm~3:30am