Ramen Marathon Pt. 6: Tajima Hillcrest


Address: 3739 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Date Visited:
# of Marathoners: 11 (Alli, Jayzee, Jenn, Jenne, Laura, Matt, Melissa, Michael, Miko, Sarah P, Trinh)

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

  • Overall: 4.3
  • Noodle: 4.27
  • Broth: 4.23
  • Meat: 4.05
  • Egg: 3.77
  • Other Toppings: 3.55


  • Order: Pig Meets Ramen + Red Bomb (Fat Noodles), shared with Sarah P
  • Overall Score: 4.5
  • Noodle: Nice thickness, nice and curly. 5
  • Broth: Delicious. Self-added “red bomb.” 4.5
  • Meat: Very good (was the special from Carnitas Snack Shack). More like grilled meat — depended on the bite. 4.5
  • Egg: Good yolk, white good texture. Not marinated. 4
  • Other Toppings: Really nice plating. Well done chives — not hard. Red pepper threads? 4
  • Service: Great, saved us the only large table. Brought us separate bowls without having to ask.
  • Ambience: Good but a little loud.
  • Other Food: House sake — good!
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Yes, all the time.


  • Order: Tonkotsu (Thin Noodle, Pork Chashu)
  • Overall Score: 5
  • Noodle: Thin. Not chewy. Not thick. 3.5
  • Broth: Good salt. No notes after. 4
  • Meat: Thin, flavorful, salt perfect. 5
  • Egg: Cold. Cooked well. 4
  • Other Toppings: Good selection. 4
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Yes.


  • Order: Tajima (Pork Chashu, Thin Noodles), shared with Michael
  • Overall Score: 4.5
  • Noodle: Perfect texture, good flavor. 5
  • Broth: Fatty mouth feel, not too salty, lacking a bit of depth. 4
  • Meat: Chashu is great, nice charred flavor. Pork belly is too dry. 4
  • Egg: Perfectly cooked, good marinated flavor. 5
  • Other Toppings: Chives, scallions, bean sprouts, fried garlic, nori. 4
  • Price: Good value, especially compared to Tokyo Ramen.
  • Service: Excellent service, friendly staff.
  • Ambience: Bright, not too hipster. Nice communal table.
  • Other Food: House sake — very good value. $6 for a carafe. Smooth, light, clean finish. Very good!
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Yes!


  • Order: Pig Meets Ramen + Red Bomb (Thin Noodles)
  • Overall Score: 4
  • Noodle: The thin noodles are pretty good but too soft. 3
  • Broth: Nice flavor but too salty + fatty. 3
  • Meat: The special Carnitas Snack Shack pork belly was AMAZING. 5
  • Egg: Very good flavor & decent texture. 5
  • Other Toppings: Red pepper threads pretty but tasteless. Chives meh. Fried garlic nice. 3
  • Price: Good value I think? Other prices were decent anyway.
  • Service: ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
  • Ambience: Kinda loud, decor kinda try-hard.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? This isn’t really what I want when I want ramen. I’d rather go to Carnitas Snack Shack & get more pork belly.


  • Order: Tajima + Extra Egg (Pork Chashu, Fat Noodles, No Fried Garlic), shared with Miko
  • Overall Score: 4
  • Noodle: Really tasty + good texture of thick noodles. 5
  • Broth: Good broth, fatty w/ sesame seed. It’s good … like Santouka. 5
  • Meat: The thin chashu was just meh but I really thought the kakuni had a great sake shoyu marinade. 4
  • Egg: I didn’t like the sweeter half egg marinade. I prefer salty. 3
  • Other Toppings: Sesame seeds, green onion medium long + short pieces, bean sprouts (yuck!). 3
  • Ambience: Bathroom is terrible smelling! So bad I couldn’t pee and I have to … bad. But I do like big tables.
  • Service: Ok.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Yes.


  • Order: Pig Meets Ramen
  • Overall Score: 3.75
  • Noodle: Noodles were good. I like fat noodles better! 4
  • Broth: Broth was alright. 4
  • Meat: It was ok, but I wanted more of a kick to it. I prefer spicy. Also not a lot of meat. 3
  • Egg: Meh. 3
  • Other Toppings: Meh. 3
  • Service: They ran out of shot glasses!
  • Ambience: It was alright.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? I’d like to come back and try their spicy ramen. It was okay but harder to eat when already stuffed. Need to pace better.


  • Order: Pig Meets Ramen (Thin Noodles), shared with Trinh
  • Overall Score: 4
  • Noodle: I’m a flour noodle person! 5
  • Broth: I really like the spicy kick. 5
  • Meat: Carnitas! I loved the mix of Mexican + ramen! 5
  • Egg: I enjoyed that the egg was more cooked. 3
  • Other Toppings: Red stringy stuff — I don’t like it. Everything else — good! 3
  • Service: The server was great, but the first girl that came up to us was only ok.
  • Ambience: Simple, small.
  • Other Food: Coconut sake was good!
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Yes! Really good!


  • Order: Tajima (Pork Chashu, Thin Noodles), shared with Jenn
  • Overall Score: 4
  • Noodle: Slightly overcooked. 4
  • Broth: A little bland. Good thickness. 3
  • Meat: Chashu: Good flavor. A little dry. Kakuni: A little salty. Way too dry + stringy. 3
  • Egg: Best egg I’ve had so far. 5
  • Other Toppings: Fried garlic! 4
  • Service: Good, fast, friendly.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Yes.


  • Order: Tajima + Extra Egg (Pork Chashu, Fat Noodles, No Fried Garlic), shared with Miko
  • Overall Score: 4
  • Noodle: Thick but flat. Chewy. Could be firmer. 3.5
  • Broth: Broth flavor is good. Tastes the most like Japanese ramen I’ve liked. Best tonkotsu broth I’ve tried so far on this marathon. 4.5
  • Meat: Chashu is a bit tough & too chewy. Kakuni is also just okay — dry and too salty. 2
  • Egg: Overcooked a touch and so a bit mealy. Sweeter in flavor. 2.5
  • Other Toppings: No menma! 😦 No white pepper 😦 Chives, bean sprouts, nori are all fine. 3
  • Price: Ramen is decently priced, but $1 for a half egg seems expensive.
  • Service: Our main server was very nice and handsome. I did wonder if the servers were trying harder because we had our Ramen Marathon sheets with us.
  • Ambience: Bad acoustics — it was hard to hear anyone other than my next-seat neighbor. Cute and bright though. Much nicer than Tokyo Ramen.
  • Other Food: We had coconut nigori Kizakura sake. It went down easy.
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Yes, especially after a night out in Hillcrest.

Sarah P

  • Order: Pig Meets Ramen + Red Bomb (Fat Noodles), shared with Alli
  • Overall Score: 4.5
  • Noodle: Thick noodle, chewy. 5
  • Broth: Tonkotsu base + as much spice as you want from the red bomb. 4.5
  • Meat: Carnitas Snack Shack pork underbelly, nice char, a little dry. 4
  • Egg: Ok, a little too done for me. 3
  • Other Toppings: Red bomb! Chives/green onion, roasted garlic, sprouts, seaweed, impossibly thinly-sliced pepper strips. 4
  • Price: Good and cheap!
  • Service: Very accommodating in so many ways.
  • Ambience: It’s our local place 🙂 I might be too close to it to rate it …
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again? Always!


  • Order: Pig Meets Ramen (Thin Noodles), shared with Melissa
  • Overall Score: 5
  • Noodle: Flour noodle. 4
  • Broth: Creamy, a little spicy. 5
  • Meat: Carnitas from Carnitas Snack Shack. So good. 5
  • Egg: Good but a little too cooked for my taste. 4
  • Other Toppings: 4
  • Price: Worth the price.
  • Service: Good. They were attentive.
  • Ambience: Has a modern Japanese theme to it. A little loud.
  • Other Food: Sake!!! Coconut nigori so good!
  • Impression/Would You Come Here Again?Yes!

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