Off-Convoy: Yamadaya

Yamadaya 5
Miko’s tonkotsu shoyu ramen with a GIANT piece of kakuni.

Rating: Two thumbs up, gold star potential (two thumbs up from Glennis and Laura too!)
Date: 2/15/13
Time in: 6:46 PM, sat down at 7:07 PM
Time out: 8:02 PM
Servers’ recommendations: Tonkotsu ramen
What we ordered: Yamadaya ramen (tonkotsu shoyu broth) with extra firm noodles with kara-age and salad (Jenne); kakuni ramen (tonkotsu shoyu broth) with mabo bowl and salad (Miko); tonkotsu ramen (Laura); tonkotsu ramen (Glennis)

Yamadaya 6
Plain tonkotsu.
Yamadaya 7
My tonkotsu shoyu “Yamadaya” style, with both chashu and kakuni.  Get this one!

Number in our party: 4 (Glennis and Laura as guest judges)
Final check amount: $48.81
Price per person: $12.20 average


  • The service was much friendlier than at Yakitori Yakyudori, but they weren’t the most efficient.  The staff was always running to and fro and dropping things.  Seriously, we saw servers drop something at least 4 times during our visit.
  • The ramen broth was flavorful and fatty.  We liked the tonkotsu shoyu better than the tonkotsu regular.
  • Both the chashu and the kakuni were DELICIOUS.
  • The kakuni ramen had a GIGANTIC SLAB of pork belly on top, and I can’t tell you how satisfying it was to take giant bites of it.  I daydreamed about it for days afterward.
    The marinated eggs were quite good.  I really can’t do without the nicely marinated egg in my ramen anymore.
  • I do prefer the eggier, curlier ramen noodles — they had straighter white noodles here.  I wish I could get just the noodles from RakiRaki and have Yamadaya use them.
  • I (Jenne) am a total princess and the pea about overcooked noodles, so I got mine extra-firm. Good call. They understand it better if you say you want “hard” noodles.
  • The kara-age was the best we’ve had in town.  It is SO DIFFICULT to find chicken that’s properly fried on Convoy.  Here, it was crispy and well seasoned.  We were annoyed when the chicken came out with no mayonnaise on the side, but then, we didn’t even miss it!

    Yamadaya 2
    Note that the karaage is fried BROWN!  Not pale beige.
  • We liked that the salad was cabbage instead of lettuce, and the dressing was tasty! It was a nice break from the ramen and chicken, which can get heavy without a vegetable break.

    Yamadaya 3
    Simple yet tasty salad.
  • The mabodon was just okay.  The rice was dry and rather flavorless.  Stick to the ramen + kara-age + salad combo.

    Yamadaya 4
  • Laura says that it was the closest she’s had to the fabulous ramen she had in Yokohama on her Japan trip.

    Yamadaya 1
    They have a nice patio, but it was a little too cold to sit there.

Address: 4706 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
Phone number: 858.483.3431
Accepts credit cards? Yes
Parking: A shared lot that’s GIANT but still doesn’t seem to have enough spaces
Ideal group size: 1-4
Available vegetarian options: Edamame and rice…?
Who not to bring: Vegetarians
Noise level: 3.5

2 thoughts on “Off-Convoy: Yamadaya

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