Santa Ramen

Santa Ramen, originally uploaded by c(h)ristine.

I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking, so there haven’t been many posts here. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating some great meals!

I’m looking for some tasty ramen,” I asked a friend at work a few months ago.

“Oh, then you have to go to Santa Ramen,” he said.

“Santa Claus Ramen?” I joked.

“No, Santa Ramen, and you won’t be joking about the name after you taste it.”

Hrm. And then I had to go into a meeting and promptly forgot about the conversation. But last week, he nabbed me in the hallways. “We are going to Santa Ramen, want to join us?”

“Hold on, let me go grab my purse!” And away we went.

Apologies for the fuzzy cameraphone picture above, but that’s a picture of a bowl of tonkatsu (pork flavor) ramen at Santa Ramen (805 South B Street, San Mateo, CA 94401). I make it a rule not to eat pork, but I was convinced after my dining companion said, “They are known for their pork flavor ramen, it’s the BEST. You’ve got to try it.” Well, he said it with much more enthusiasm and fervor and a description that sounded like heaven.

He had about 30 minutes to sing his praises of Santa Ramen, because that’s about how long the wait was to get seated. Just to tell you how long the wait usually is, he remarked, “Wow, that was a pretty short wait,” as we plopped ourselves down, salivating for this heavenly ramen.

There were six of us at the table (a bunch of us from work drove down to San Mateo for ramen), and we let him order for us: Pork flavor ramen extra spicy with stewed pork with a whole egg, garlic, and extra noodles. Woo! We looked up at the wall to decipher what he’d ordered (the menu is on the wall and resembles a bingo board of ramen flavors and concoction–one of them is “corn”–corn ramen sounds good).

Santa Ramen

When that bowl arrived several of us said, “There is NO way we can finish this bowl!”

Ha. All of us finished our bowls.

I tasted that ramen for a week, and I’ve been dying to go back, if only to get a better photograph of the food. Oh, what the hell, who am I kidding? I want another bowl! It is the BEST ramen I have ever had outside of Japan.

After having read some reviews on the place, I’m just so sad I didn’t know about this place before the crowds all discovered it; it must have been such a gem to eat her before it was “discovered.” To have it all to yourself!

Update: I went back for another bowl and took a proper picture:

my ramen at Santa Ramen--is it telling me something?

3 responses to “Santa Ramen

  1. Mmm! That sounds sooo good. I love ramen – I just had the butter corn the other night at Ryowa in Berkeley. I also like Katana-Ya in El Cerrito, but if you feel the urge to go back, feel free to kidnap me!

  2. I hear Santa Ramen is THE Ramen Standard in the Bay Area. Some people say that Ryowa in Mountain View (but not the one in Berkeley) is competitive, that Ramen Club is competitive, and one other place in San Jose (forget the name) is also competitive. But it seems that most people compare ramen to Santa’s…it is THAT good!

    Yes, next time I have the urge for Santa ramen and I’m heading out from Berkeley, I’ll grab you! Especially since you don’t mind lines and you’d probably mellow me out during the wait.😛

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