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« Kyoto - Our Favorite Fried Chicken at Karako | Main | Ajisen Ramen in San Diego »

Sunday, 26 February 2017



Wow, looks like a really good addition to the SD ramen scene.


Nice review. Will have to go soon after such a rare largely positive experience!


crossing fingers they can keep consistent.


Oh man that looks good! Scorching hot broth and firm noodles... can it actually be true?


Be nice if I could get decent ramen.


If they can stay consistent it will be Jason.

Check them out RD, straight up, but good tonkotsu.

I am too Kat!

Check them out and see what you think Derek.

I hope you find some soon Billy!


Ha. I was there too on Saturday at 5 with my brothers. If you look closely at your 2nd picture you can see me waiting outside! Solid bowl for sure. Can't wait for their miso.


How funny Junichi. Though I figured you'd be there.....

Mani Vidar

Man you are funny.

"as it's not my thing to get all worked up about places opening."

You are the guy who patrols convoy for openings and closings. You also hit places up the literally they they open. I never enter a place until the 90 day mark, so they can get past any f%%k ups, ain't gonna happen at my expense.

I think you are spot on about 80% of the time. Not bad, but Great Wow was ATROCIOUS. A joke of a restaurant, if you can call it that.

Et Voila, on the other hand, while not perfect, is fantastic. If was preparing for a "fat" film role like Robert DiNero, that is where i would go twice a week.


Hey Mani - So let's work with this shall we? I actually drive on Convoy 4-5 times a patrols? Not really....observant, yes. The 90 day rule....well, that's what a revisit is about, no? And let me ask you, how many people do you know that you agree with 80% of the time? Great Wow.....unfortunately, I don't describe places I visit in a single's based on my experience....if I did a post on you based on your comment, well what would that single word be, eh? And Et Voila is not perfect, but is quite good, and I think folks understand that from my post.... These are my opinions, based on my experiences....and yes, I've had jiaozi in Shandong/Beijing and elsewhere, so that's what I base things on......hopefully you've been there too.

Mani Vidar

Hey Kirk:

Yes, I have been to Beijing, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Have not made it Shanghai yet.

I think you were way off the mark on Noodle Hut, and probably ordered the worst dishes on the menu. Why in the world you stray from the what they do best? I have eaten this food in China and Noodle Hut was spot on.

I also think the dumplings at Dumpling Hut were superb, although the place is a dump for sure.

Well, you make some good points, but the 20% you are off, man you are off.

But I will say this! You take one for the team on many occasions. Nazca Grill, etc. A rough ride on the Porcelain Bus for your readership is a noble thing. :)


Well Mani - Here's something interesting....Noodle Hut hasn't been open for 90 days yet, huh? From what I understand, Shaanxi Cai is their bread and butter along with noodles with some Sichuan, guess what I ordered? Perhaps instead of using long rambling sentences you can make some recommendations? There are always revisits, right? I can only write about what I like and dislike....not what you like or dislike. Actually, I preferred the jiaozi at Great Wow to Dumpling Hut as did most of the folks I eat with who are from China. Perhaps you just need to find a food blog who agrees with you 100% of the time?

Mani Vidar


Don't be too defensive. Overall you do us a great service by experiencing the good the badd and the downright ugly. I admire you for taking risks with your gut, very admirable. I am sure there have been some rough mornings.

Noodle Hut: "Not open 90 days" is disingenuous as many menu items and set up are left over from Xian Kitchen. BTW, I have found the hand cut noodle dishes at Magic Kitchen to be superb. Great Wow actually did have some decent dumplings but the service was so rude and discombobulated it was an utter farce.

Will be interested in your take on Ajisen Ramen.

You seemed to be a little star struck and weak kneeed when you encountered EndoSan. They are next on my list.

Keep patrolling and chowing.

Mani Vidar

Sorry, MEANT to type:

BTW, your search function, categories, and track backs are excellent. Really appreciate addresses too. It took Reader and Beat years to include addies.

A design re-fresh is in order however. The 90's called and they want their template back. :)


Not defensive at all Mani. I treat folks who comment the way they treat me. I really don't think I was star struck though - "a straight-up good bowl of tonkotsu ramen" is not quite saying it's Ippudo. As for the refresh...probably not. I'm not in this for and real benefit other than to recall meals and list stuff. I'd probably retire the blog than refresh. I'm actually a child of the 80's I'm more likely to do something super retro than bring up to date...

Mani Vidar

No worries Doctor K. All good. As I said, just perplexed by some of your conclusions. None the less, your patrols and grub trolling are fun to read about.

Why so prickly about the web design? Does not have to be all or nothing. Retro would be great!


Kirk, just had lunch here, and 100% agreed with your assessment – piping hot broth with a funky note to it that I loved, perfect noodles, and ajitama that was good but a little overcooked and cold (I still feel like Nishiki is the only place in SD that reliably bangs out nearly perfect ajitama). And I work within very short walking distance, so think I found my new weekly ramen spot. =] Very very happy with this place.

Mani Vidar


I totally agree about Nishiki. We brought our sister in law there, who is from Tokyo, and whose father owns a Ramen shop there, and she was hooked.


So I ate Menya twice this week - first getting the Tonkotsu and the second time getting the Tantan with the katsu. The Tonkotsu was just like you described, great firm noodles, moist chashu, and easily my favorite tonkotsu broth in San Diego (the chicken karaage was also superb).

Unfortunately the tantan mein less so. Noodles were still good and the pork cutlet was near perfect (best pork cutlet I've had in a loooong time) but the balance of the broth was off, too much fat between the broth and sesame paste which resulted in the broth tasting bland. The ground pork was also overly sweet with the overall dish having little to no spice. Will definitely be sticking to the #2 in the future.

Also noticed that the restaurant smells badly of smoke/cigarettes both days I went by. I asked about it today and they said it was coming in through the vents from the smoking lounge next door. Hoping they can get that fixed soon. Thanks again for the ramen suggestion!


Glad you enjoyed it Sage. Thanks for letting me know how your meal turned out.

Hey Derek - I think I'll stick with the Tonkotsu here then. I gotta check out the karaage.....

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