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What is best at Santouka Ramen Costa Mesa?

Any help?


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  1. To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!

    Oh, you meant what do I order? I get the shio (salt) ramen, katamen (firm noodles). I like the special roast pork sometimes, but it's not so awesome for me that I can't live happily with the regular roast pork. Sometimes I get the combo w/ the ikura don (salmon roe bowl).

    9 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      Ah...the riddle of steel. Nice.

      Thanks for the info. What are the portion sizes like?


      1. re: swicks

        Portion sizes are a little small, so I always go for the larger size bowl.

        And like professor salt, I like the shio ramen broth best.

        My friend Lani tried the ramen with the spicy broth (sorry, forgot the actual name of the dish) and really liked it.

        1. re: eefoodgeek

          eefoodgeek- spicy miso ^__^ (my personal fav)*

      2. re: Professor Salt

        Does anyone have any idea of what goes into their Shio broth? I've been making broth in crock-pots or pressure cookers at home and wanted to make theirs.

        Take Care

        - P

        1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

          The key ingredients are whole pork bones, vegetables and dried fish. The trick with getting a white tonkotsu broth is to violently boil the marrow out of those bones for hours on end. A gentle simmer ain't gonna cut it.


          1. re: Professor Salt

            Now I think i've found a recipe online I can try. Though I wish Santuka would sell their broth to go.

            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

              I doubt they would. I went there for lunch last week and I noticed a sign that I have never seen before. It says "no to go orders".

              1. re: cdmedici

                It is the Same Sign, up since day one, outside the one at Venice and Centinela in our hood.

                Does anyone in LA sell the Broth?

                1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                  Hey Matt. I bring a thermos, get it for there, and then pour off the broth for cooking later. Eat the ramen there, so it doesn't get soggy.

      3. it's all about the shio ramen. mmm!

        1. The "special roast pork" is the one that comes with the toroniku shio ramen. I actually like the regular chashu that comes with the regular shio ramen better, but the toroniku shio ramen's broth tastes better. Toroniku comes with 8-10 pieces of pork, instead of just 2.

          Toroniku shio ramen is #s 7-9 (regular, small, large).

          2 Replies
          1. re: mrhooks

            The shio broth is the same, if I'm not mistaken. The difference is the extra fatty pieces of toro niku, that packs in more flavor.

            But yeah, this is what you should order if you want the best combination IMO.

            1. re: WBGuy

              I did a comparison test, and they did not taste the same to me. And one time I went and they had a sign that said they were out of toroniku shio soup. I don't think they'd specify toroniku if it wasn't different.

          2. I think the special pork combo is the one that comes with all the pork and fixings on the side. I prefer that way, as it allows me to enjoy the flavor of the pork and the broth separately.

            1. My friend and I just tried the Shio ramen a month ago (in the Santouka in Torrance) for the first time and really liked it, although the portion is kinda small compared to other places, and they only give 2 pieces of pork! However, we really liked the broth, we both detected a bit of wine in the flavor -- anyone else seem to catch that?

              2 Replies
              1. re: chowchow12345678

                You get more pieces of pork if you get the special pork combo. Look how many slices are in this picture:

                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  Not to mention two pieces of pork is pretty much what you get at any ramen place unless you order one that specifically comes with more (toroniku at Santouka, extra chasyu at SSG, etc.)

              2. Is this the best ramen place in southern OC? I'm looking for good ramen in Newport/Irvine/Costa Mesa/Tustin and am wondering if Santouka is the best?

                11 Replies
                1. re: josephnl

                  Paging Rameniac. Come in, Rameniac.

                  Well, here's his website while we wait for answer.

                  1. re: josephnl

                    I'm no ramen expert, but Santouka seems to be among the best. Some might like Shin Sen Gumi in Fountain Valley a bit more because you have options on how firm or soft you want the noodles, along with spice levels, but you're limited to the Hakata-style broth.

                    Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen
                    18315 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

                      1. re: ns1

                        Is it that much more than Santouka? I seem to remember some of the Santouka bowls costing $7.50-8. It's been awhile since I've been to SSG, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't more than $9. Don't think I've ever paid $10 for a ramen bowl.

                        1. re: ns1

                          You may be thinking of the SSG yakitori/shabu shabu restaurants. Their ramen restaurants aren't any mor expensive than Santouka.

                          1. re: slacker

                            No, I'm not confused.

                            Santouka is what, 7 bucks for a small bowl 8 bucks for a large bowl?

                            SSG is (IIRC) 7 bucks for an a la carte bowl. Then you pay to add options. Add enough options and it'll end up costing more, no?

                            My numbers are hazy so feel free to correct me.

                            1. re: ns1

                              A regular (medium) bowl of Santouka toroniku goes for $9.49.

                              1. re: ns1

                                I order toroniku shio ramen at Santouka all the time. I usually wind up spending around $12+ to eat there. SSG's ramen starts at...$7? Extra chasyu, egg, bamboo, and it's more like $11 before tax and tip. Throw in the hakata-specific stuff like mentaiko or takana, and it's even higher. Me, I try to save my appetite for kaedama instead. Extra chasyu and occasionally mentaiko and bamboo are all I ever add.

                                When I go to those places for lunch, I wind up spending roughly the same amount (toroniku shio ramen vs. SSG's A set (ramen and gyoza)). SSG is perhaps slightly more expensive because you have to tip there.

                                Regular shio ramen is $7-8. But then you can save $2 by not getting extra chasyu at SSG as well, so it equals out.

                                1. re: mrhooks

                                  Oh. Interesting. I didn't remember it being that expensive when I was there last week. Are prices the same in torrance as they are in costa mesa?

                                  1. re: ns1

                                    I assume it's the same price everywhere. I've been to Torrance a handful of times but predominantly have gone to West L.A. since it opened in Dec. '06. I was last there in early January. It had always been $9.49 up until that time. Save for something different like their kimchi ramen, I've always bought the toroniku.

                                2. re: ns1

                                  But the great part is that when you are done with your noodles and still have broth, you can buy more noodles for only 99 cents, to be added to your existing broth.

                        2. whas the diff betw the reg shio and the toroniku shio (xcept more pork)?? i always get either the spicy miso or the reg shio but if ppl think the toroniku rules then i'd like to try it.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: namstermonster

                            Well, toroniku puts everything off to the side, and so while you get more pork, the pork is also more intense in flavor as a result of not being in the broth. And the broth is so rich as it is that it doesn't lose anything as a result of the pork not being in it.

                            1. re: SauceSupreme

                              ah.. so the broths are essentially the same. thanks :)

                              1. re: namstermonster

                                I thought the comment about already said the broth is -not- the same?

                          2. I really enjoy the shoyu or shio chasu ramen. I love their chasu...