Both Matt and I have eaten at RAMEN YAMADAYA and both had excellent meals there, this time however was a huge disappointment.
I came in an hour before closing and ordered a Chicken Karrage, which was absolutely fantastic. I also went with my standby, Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen but here’s where it all fell apart.
The Ramen was warm but not hot, the spice was non-existent, the noodles were overcooked and the egg was horrible. While the broth itself was tasty, it started to get that congealed texture pretty quickly as it wasn’t hot enough at point of serving. While the corn was great and the onions top notch, the spice powder lacked the punch I was expecting for a “spicy ramen” and the noodles were so overdone I thought they were going to fall apart on my chopsticks. The pork was good but the egg, the egg, oh, the egg… the egg quite honestly was old. Felt like it was prepped the day before, left to sit out and deposited it in my late night bowl the next evening. I was really disappointed.
Every shop has an off night and maybe I shouldn’t go for Ramen so close to closing time but as a business, you should be expected to deliver top quality product during your business hours, anything less in unacceptable. I’m still a fan of YAMADAYA but it may be a while before I return.
Dish: Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen w. Corn
Location: Ramen Yamadaya
Address: 1728 Buchanan St. San Francisco, CA 94115
New to San Franciso but not to the ramen game is Ramen Yamadaya. Originating in L.A. Ramen Yamadaya opened it’s first spot in San Francisco’s Japantown back in December 2013. Located on the walking street between Post and Sutter it is on the second floor of one of the many buildings lining the street.
Famed for its 20 hour Tonkotsu broth, Ramen Yamadaya’s main entry way has a massive hand written banner explaining the process and time required to make their broth. Naturally I had to go for my absolute favorite the Spicy Tonkotsu. Again the kitchen was exposed to the seating area and it provided a wonderful glimpse into the making of each bowl. Cooks scooped and poured and tossed all the goodies required to make each bowl with gusto.
The bowl arrived at the table and instantly I knew this had the potential to be a game changer. The broth was thick and fatty and had a robust scent that filled the area around the bowl. In the center was a nice ball of the spicy chili paste surrounded by the corn I had added as well as green onions and 2 halves of seasoned boiled egg.
First taste brought an overwhelming rush of flavor to my palette. Rich and heavy the broth was phenomenally seasoned with a nice layer of saltiness that complimented the creamy fatty undertones. A slight hint of sesame and garlic carried over to the end and won me over with each slurp of the spoon. The toppings all fit very well and the spicy chili paste gave it just enough heat to liven up an already spectacular bowl of noodles.
Easily now one of my top 3 ramen shops in the Bay Area, Ramen Yamadaya is a must go if you are a fan of Tonkotsu ramen. They are open late too which is great.
- Dish: Spicy Tonkotsu
- Location: Ramen Yamadaya
- Address: 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco, CA 94115
- Price: $9.45
- Extras: Corn $1.00