Eatery - Ramen Yamadaya (CA)

1175 Baker St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Japanese, Ramen

Though we had originally decided to get udon that night, an impromptu trip to IKEA resulted in Duc and me trying to find somewhere else nearby to eat since we were on a time schedule. Yelp helped us in finding a well-ranked ramen place so we stopped here - trading one Japanese noodle dish for another. I noticed that we were pretty much the only non-Japanese there when we walked in. That's a pretty good sign though, especially since the guests were in the older crowd. I like to believe that if older Japanese people frequent a Japanese restaurant, it's a sign that the food is authentic and good enough to merit visits (and this applies for other ethnic foods as well).

Anyhow, the menu was pretty much varying dishes of ramen and a few sides. I got the tonkotsu shoyu (Tokyo-style soy sauce flavored ramen) with extra chashu pork. Yummy! Aside from the slight saltiness that was due most likely to a little bit more soy sauce than I would've preferred, the entire thing was delicious. It was odd though because I hadn't like ramen when I had had it at Shinsengumi but I really enjoyed what I had here. The noodles were a good texture and the soup very hearty, the type that makes you feel warm inside and out. It was a good thing the night was chilly too because it sure made everything feel more comfortable. The broth had a lot of flavor from the pork bones themselves.

Duc got the tonkotsu kotteri (fatty ramen w/black garlic oil) style which was very thick in my opinion; he had also stacked on two kinds of chashu pork, an egg, menma, and extra nori). It wasn't thick in a bad, unbearable way. I just didn't think it adequately was to my taste because it made me full even after just one sip. A hearty soup indeed. He slurped the whole thing up before I had even gotten halfway though my bowl! We're definitely coming back another time.