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Santa Ramen still rockin'

Deeg67 Mar 23, 2007 09:26 PM

Seems to me there's been some general buzz that this place has declined, but in my most recent visit I would have to say otherwise. Crowds seemed down a bit - I arrived at 6 and sat without a wait - but the ramen was exactly as I remembered. I ordered my standard - tonkatsu with stewed pork and extra noodles. It's fitting for the nation that gave us "umami" to create a dish that exemplifies it so perfectly. That pork broth is just so decadent, and the stewed pork (the sold-out sign went up about 6:20) remains as good as any I've ever tried. If they're slipping, it wasn't apparent Thursday.

  1. m
    margret Mar 24, 2007 07:07 PM

    Wow, no wait at Santa...that has never happened for us. In any case, they've been trying to speed their operation up by taking preorders from the first 10 or so people in line so that their food is on the table right after they sit down. In the bay area, there is NO equal to Santa's tonkatsu broth!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: margret
      K K Mar 24, 2007 08:52 PM

      Agreed, that pork based broth is ace.

      Though one note,

      tonkatsu - breaded fried (generally pork but could be chicken) cutlets

      tonkotsu - pork based broth (in reference)

      I used to confuse the two before too.

      1. re: K K
        margret Mar 25, 2007 02:17 AM

        me bad...and I knew the difference too. ;0)

        1. re: K K
          Deeg67 Mar 25, 2007 11:22 AM

          D'oh! My bad.

      2. l
        lobsterlover Mar 25, 2007 02:13 PM

        I hate to disagree, but I'm not willing to dish out $10 for ramen. Ringo Hut is just as
        good (Santa Clara) and half the price.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lobsterlover
          margret Mar 25, 2007 06:12 PM

          That sounds great! Where is this place in Santa Clara...google came up empty.

          1. re: margret
            Melanie Wong Mar 25, 2007 06:56 PM

            That would be Ringer Hut, west a ways from Mitsuwa on the other side of the street, though I don't think it can be compared to Santa.

        2. w
          Wolfy_sm Mar 25, 2007 10:45 PM

          I pass by Santa a few times a week and I see their popularity is still high. 8:30pm this past Fri had 5 people waiting outside. 11:20am Sat (10 min before opening) had at least 20 people lined up. (I've seen people line up at 30min before opening on weekends). 11:35am Sun had no one outside which was unusual. Maybe an occupant of the new condos across the street can point a web cam to gauge the Santa wait time.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Wolfy_sm
            Maple Mar 25, 2007 11:18 PM

            Better yet, perhaps some entrepreneurial soul would put people's names on the waiting list for a small fee...

            1. re: Maple
              Melanie Wong Mar 25, 2007 11:21 PM

              Ha! Ramen concierge, an idea whose time has come.

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