Ramen Marathon Pt. 5: Tokyo Ramen

IMG_6082
Shoyu + egg.

Address: 501 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Date Visited:
6/9/2017
# of Marathoners:
12 (Alli, Jayzee, Jenn, Jenne, Karen, Laura, Matt, Melissa, Michael, Miko, Sarah P, Trinh)

SCORES
Scale:
1: I hated it  ♦ 2: I did not like it ♦ 3: I am neutral ♦ 4: I liked it ♦ 5: I loved it

  • Overall: 3.08
  • Noodle: 3.92
  • Broth: 3.5
  • Meat: 4.08
  • Egg: 4.25
  • Other Toppings: 2.88

Alli

  • Order: Tonkotsu Black, shared with Sarah P
  • Overall Score: 3
  • Noodle: Good thickness, bendy, not much flavor. 4
  • Broth: Creamy and flavorless? Bits of char. 3
  • Meat: Succulent, what meat is supposed to taste like. 5
  • Egg: Whole, good yolk + white flavor. 4
  • Other Toppings: Tough green onion stalks — a little woody. 2
  • Service: Wonderful. Really nice/friendly. Offered to bring us an extra table and installed a base to make it level.
  • Ambience: Decent.
  • Other Food: Addictive sweet potato sugar fries.
IMG_6080
These are complimentary!
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Maybe.

Jayzee

  • Order: Shoyu
  • Overall Score: 2
  • Noodle: 4
  • Broth: 4
  • Meat: Meh. 3
  • Egg: Good. Great. 5
  • Other Toppings: 3
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? No.

Jenn

  • Order: Tonkotsu Black, shared with Michael
  • Overall Score: 2.5
  • Noodle: Good texture. 4
  • Broth: Bland for garlic broth. 3
  • Meat: Flavorful, tender. 5
  • Egg: Good cook, came cold. Good flavor. 4
  • Other Toppings: Chives — too strong. Bamboos shoots lack flavor. 2
  • Price: Not worth the price.
  • Service: Very attentive. Interesting gimmick w/deal @ bottom of the bowl.
  • Ambience: Hipster, less so than Rakiraki.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Good atmosphere, but not impressed enough with ramen to come back.

Jenne

  • Order: Tan Tan + Egg
  • Overall Score: 3
  • Noodle: Too soft but not bad. 3
  • Broth: Nice & light & simple. 4
  • Meat: Ground pork was fine. 3
  • Egg: Good flavor but mealy. 3
  • Other Toppings: I liked the chili oil & bok choy. 4
  • Service: Friendly + helpful but they forgot my egg.
  • Ambience: Annoying music, interior feels dated.
  • Other Food: I don’t really like the sweet potato things.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Not bad, I would come here late at night, but if I was craving ramen it wouldn’t be my go-to.

Karen

  • Order: Tonkotsu
  • Overall Score: 4
  • Noodle: 4
  • Broth: Not salty as some broth. 5
  • Meat: Tender and fatty. 5
  • Egg: Perfect. 5
  • Other Toppings: Green onions should be smaller. 3
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Overall very good. Love the broth. It’s not very salty. I like the idea of finding something @ the bottom of the bowl. Yes, I would come here again.

Laura

  • Order: Shoyu + Egg, shared with Miko
  • Overall Score: 4
  • Noodle: Pretty good. 5
  • Broth: I like this shoyu broth. Tastes rich and homey but not fatty. 4.5
  • Meat: Nice, thick, and fatty cuts of well-seasoned chashu. Flavorful in every bite. 5
  • Egg: Sooo good. Perfectly cooked + gooey yolk and nicely seasoned. Better than Rakiraki. I tend to not like the whole egg, but this is bomb. 5
  • Other Toppings: Long stalks of chive. But the long stalks are a little too strong. 3
  • Price: Good value.
  • Service: Good.
  • Ambience: Meh. I don’t tend to like restaurants in Hillcrest. It’s got a weird sports bar feel. What’s up with good Asian restaurants putting in TVs.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Yes if my friends are going but not on my own b/c it’s not relaxing + in Hillcrest parking is sad.

Matthew

  • Order: Tonkotsu Ramen + Spicy Pork Belly Chashu
  • Overall Score: 4
  • Noodle: 4
  • Broth: 4
  • Meat: Spicy! Yum! 4
  • Egg: Egg was ok. Nothing to write home about. 3
  • Other Toppings: 4
  • Service: 🙂
  • Ambience: 🙂
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Ramen good! Tummy happy! The spicy pork really went a long way.

Melissa

  • Order: Tonkotsu Black, shared with Trinh
  • Overall Score: 3
  • Noodle: Nice + soft. 4
  • Broth: It feels like it’s missing something. 3
  • Meat: Nothing special, but not terrible. 3
  • Egg: Not really a soft-boiled egg person. 4
  • Other Toppings: 4
  • Service: Good service + I like the bowls with the discounts on the bottom.
  • Ambience: Trendy, but also not. It needed to go full hipster or nothing! Why were they playing Chainsmokers?? Unacceptable.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Probably not.

Michael

  • Order: Tonkotsu Black, shared with Jenn
  • Overall Score: 2
  • Noodle: Well-cooked egg noodles. 3
  • Broth: Disappointing. Empty. Bland. 2
  • Meat: Generous portions. Texture was tough, though. 3
  • Egg: Good flavor, well cooked. 4
  • Other Toppings: Chives too strong. Texture too pointy along with sprouts. 1
  • Price: The price was fine.
  • Service: Not crowded on Friday @ 7:00 pm. Prompt ordering.
  • Ambience: Hipster, but not as bad as Rakiraki.
  • Other Food: Dumplings in soup looked tempting. But something something discretion and valor. Sushi rolls looked pretty trashy.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Meh. No.

Miko

  • Order: Shoyu + Egg, shared with Laura
  • Overall Score: 3.5
  • Noodle: Firm, chijiremen, between thick and thin. Good! Chewy! 4
  • Broth: I’m always happy when there is shoyu flavor. Not too greasy. Simple. A little too salty. Is this made from an instant pack? It kind of tastes like it … 3.5
  • Meat: Chashu has strong flavor and is soft. 4
  • Egg: Good flavor, well-seasoned, soft-boiled well. Might be the best so far. 5

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  • Other Toppings: I’d much rather menma than these bamboo shoots, which have no flavor. I wish they had butter. Chives? I like them okay though. 2.5
  • Price: The price on the shoyu is decent, especially because it comes with a whole egg.
  • Service: Nice and attentive.
  • Ambience: The ambience is the drawback. The walls are painted black, and I don’t like this semi-fancy sports bar vibe. It feels like they were trying to be hipster but they couldn’t quite afford a cool enough decorator.
  • Other Food: I liked the crunchy sweet potato sticks. I wouldn’t order them, but they’re a nice free treat.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? It’s not quite the sum of its parts somehow. Maybe. The ambience is just so bad.

Sarah P

  • Order: Tonkotsu Black, shared with Alli
  • Overall Score: 2
  • Noodle: Thicker, curly noodle, nice and chewy. 4
  • Broth: Weak and flavorless. Where’s the salt or garlic? 2
  • Meat: Giant slab of meat which is well cooked. 4
  • Egg: Whole egg! Yolk is nice and creamy; I wish it had a little more seasoning. 4
  • Other Toppings: Meh. 2
  • Price: Pretty standard.
  • Service: Waitress expanded the table for us, so that was nice.
  • Ambience: Ramen sports bar with some tasteful EDM? Pop mix?
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? No.

Trinh

  • Order: Tonkotsu Black, shared with Melissa
  • Overall Score: 4
  • Noodle: 4
  • Broth: Like the garlic flavor. 4
  • Meat: So good! Nice + fatty and flavorful. 5
  • Egg: Good color. Still a little runny on the inside. 5
  • Other Toppings: 4
  • Service: Good, they were attentive and able to accommodate a large party.
  • Ambience: Nice. Modern looking. Lots of TV screens. EDM music.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? It’s a fun vibe + food is great. So yes!
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