Ramen is getting the hype nowadays in the U.S. Many friends visit me in Japan saying they want to try “real” ramen. I will say that Japan has really good ramen, and favorites can be found everywhere according to your taste. Each ramen shop has different history and background, they use all sorts of broth, for example miso, salt, pork, and soy sauce, and probably specialize in one. Each store has their unique noodles as well. Ramen seems simple, but it is more complex than thought.
Ramen Dojo was my first ramen shop visit in the California for me in the past year. Located in the edge of San Mateo central area, we went there on a Sunday night. There was a wait, and we probably waited for about 40 minutes in total. The menu is quite extensive for a ramen shop. It offers three different broths:soy sauce, garlic pork, and soy bean. Personal ramen broth favorite is pork or “tonkotsu,” so I had no struggle to chose my soup. There was an option of making the soup to spicy or to various levels of spiciiness, and I chose the regular spicy. My regular spicy garlic pork ramen with extra kikurage mushrooms was delicious! I was surprised to find this deep flavor of ramen in the States. I guess the ramen hype is really bringing up the ramen gradelevel. The soup was hot and rich, the noodles were cooked perfectly, and the pork that came with it (I got an extra slice of pork from Andy) was fatty, thickly cut, and delicious. Other ingredients that automatically came with my ramen were fried whole garlic, green chives, quail egg (cooked perfectly), sasame chili oil (the black dots in my soup), shredded red pepper, and fresh lettuce. It was the right size, I did not get bored of the ramen at all and finished everything–though I will say that I was pretty hungry after the wait and the cold temperature outside. Overall, I would certainly come back to this place again if I lived nearby.