I know, I know, a ramen post on the hottest day of the year.... have I lost it or what? But this post is from all the way back in May...... there are so many COMC (Clearing out the memory card) posts, and I'm trying to catch up.
I hadn't been to Izakaya Masa in quite a while. In fact, the last time I visited, Masa was still serving lunch. For some reason, I always appreciated the place when it was still Teriyaki Cowboy. I always knew what to expect, decent, reasonable, semi fast food Japanese. When they became Masa, I found the lunches to be reasonable, but for some reason, I've never thought the place to be worth the special trip for dinner.
So when I read Dennis's post after returning from China regarding Izakaya Masa's weekend lunch, and the Hakata Ramen in particular, I made sure to drop by. I had heard about Masa's Hakata Ramen from several acquaintances, as well as "sammusubi" in a comment on my Ramen Comparison post. Not much had changed at Izakaya Masa, things look basically the same.
I decided to kinda go my own way, and started with something I think Masa does well. Chuka Kurage (Jellyfish Salad - $3.95).
Of course I went for the Hakata Ramen ($6.95):
The Tonkotsu style broth, usually the product of rapidly boiled pork bones, resulting in a rich, milky looking broth, was on thin side, missing the tongue coating richness I enjoy. I love regular straight up shio or shoyu ramen; but this is tonkotsu broth so my expectations are different. There was a strange, almost metallic tinged aftertaste that made me think that perhaps a "base" was being used to perhaps help things out? The chashu tasted a bit on the mild side, but were sufficiently tender and moist.
From my experience, one of the signatures of Hakata Ramen are the thin and straight noodles, these noodles had a decent "crunch", but were thicker than what I would consider Hakata style noodles to be.
Overall, this was a decent bowl, priced right, but not outstanding. Still, it's nice to have options in the Mission Hills area. Funny thing, just like Dennis, most of the folks who recommended the ramen from Masa to me personally, usually consumed it while, ummmm.... how should I say it? Well perhaps the lyrics to this song say it best:
"I'm just a little impaired
I know, right now you don't care
But soon enough you're gonna think of me....."
And heck, it's probably better than a greasy California Burrito from Santana's up the street right? Right?
928 Fort Stockton Dr
San Diego, CA 92103