Santa Ramen's broth
My husband and I went to Santa for the first time on Wed. It was great. I had the extra spicy with soy bean broth and he had the kimchee with pork broth. My question is, do they put butter in the broth or what? It seems too creamy for there not to be any dairy in it.
I had my first ramen at Santa in San Mateo this weekend. Got there 15 min BEFORE opening and there was already a line of 15+ people.
Having tried Ramen Halu in San Jose a couple of weeks ago, I have a reference to compare. I tried the pork flavor ramen. The broth at Santa's is much better than Halu's, although the pork at Halu was better (I like the thinner cuts of the pork at Halu vs the thicker cut at Santa). I ordered extra noodles at both restaurants and overall I thought the noodle part of the dish at both places were pretty much even, except that Halu does definitely give you more ramen vs Santa.
One of my favorite ramen broths currently is the shio at Himawari, only a few blocks from Santa. If you like butter-flavored ramen broth, I recommend ordering shio with butter and corn.
The sea salt that Himawari uses, ostensibly from Okinawa, is more briny and iodiny than the shio that I've tasted elsewhere.
Himawari, 202 2nd Ave., San Mateo, 650 375-1005
I am coming to believe that ramen bars need to be rated on the parts rather than all together. A couple examples off the top of my head:
The chashu and the noodles at Santa are outstanding, but I am not a devotee of the suupu
Mountain View's Maru-ichi makes their own noodles, which is fun to watch although maybe not perfect to eat; both the kuro and the tonkotsu broth are extraordinary
The classic light Tokyo-style broth at Ryowa is refined, and many people admire the noodles they buy
Ramen-halu in San Jose has a very strange, sweetish broth that some people revere
re: Melanie Wong
Melanie's got it--pork fat--but it is called "tonkotsu ramen" and the broth is made by boiling the bones. Sort of like the Korean soup Kom tang. It's a Kyushu specialty. My favorite. They put the beni shoga (pink pickled ginger) on there to cut the fat taste. It's also called Hakata (after Kyushu town) ramen.
Santa's is the best locally.