Thursday, March 29, 2007

Santa Ramen

Waiting to get into Santa Ramen in San Mateo is like waiting to get into an exclusive club. The two times that I went, I was out in the cold, with a long line of folks in front of me, all of us eager to get inside and satisfy our craving for their famous noodles. I believe I waited 40 minutes each time, getting hungrier by the minute.

But each time, once I got inside and had my first spoonful of soup from my ramen bowl, the wait was totally worth it. In fact, I completely forgot about my prior agonizing starvation.

Santa is hands-down the BEST ramen I've ever had in California. And I've tried quite a few ramen places in San Diego, LA, Irvine, and San Jose. But Santa beats them all. The soup (I've tried the miso and pork base) is very flavorful but not super salty. The noodles are a perfect texture - not too firm or soggy, even after you get to the bottom of the bowl. I usually get cha siu ramen with a boiled egg cut in half, and it's just delish! Prices range from about $8-10 per bowl.

I've also tried their karage (Japanese fried chicken), and it's pretty good as well. I wish they gave you more pieces, though.

My only complaint is that they should really expand their restaurant (I think my apartment is larger than this place) so they can serve more people at once. But until that happens, I suggest you get there about 20-30 minutes before they open so you can go right in and get some of those yummy noodles. Mmmm oishii!!!

Santa Ramen
805 South B Street
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 344-5918


Passionate Eater said...

So this is the famed Santa Ramen! Well, this Santa better bring me some ramen presents, because after your rave descriptions, I am dying to try this place!

Unknown said...

Wow, it's almost midnight right now, and I'm so hungry, and looking at that picture is making me go craaazy. Hope you're having fun at Mr. Smith's. Too bad your wireless isn't working so you can tell me all about your adventurous night. =P

Erica said...

What about ramen in SF? And this will be blasphemous to say in your food blog perhaps, but Helen makes awesome ramen that tastes pretty close to restaurant ramen, seriously!

Anonymous said...

I will have to agree that Helen makes great ramen that I would gladly pay to eat! I told her to consider opening a noodle restaurant :)

Anonymous said...

but their egg isn't as good as the poached egg at Tajima i bet!!! by the way, tajima got cheap and took out the wonderful bamboo and replaced it with bean sprouts... damn it!!

Anonymous said...

oh. that was me btw.