Tonkotsu Ramen @ Hoshi in Santa Clara
On a cold night in March, I stopped by Hoshi in Santa Clara’s Pruneridge Shopping Center for a hot bowl of ramen, my first time here. Hoshi has a barebones, tiny interior warmed up by the gentle buzz of happy customers, long-time regulars chatting up the sushi chef, and the many handwritten signs posted on the walls. Most of the menu features small plates for izakaya-type meals, plus noodles and a sushi bar.
To start, I ordered the “homemade deep-fried tofu patty”, Jikasei Ganmodoki $6.50, because I wanted to see what it might be. Also I tend to be sucker for “homemade” and my waitress said it was good. But this time both failed me. From the brown and rubbery exterior to the bland and parched interior, I didn’t “get” the appeal of this dish. Other than the flavor of the tofu bits, this was oddly flavorless despite the embedded bits of brown and green unidentifiable something. I asked if this was supposed to be served with a dipping sauce, and I was advised to pour some soy sauce on it. Didn’t help.
I liked the ramen here . . . but maybe I was too hungry after the first dish’s disappointment. It’s middle of the road, comforting and non-offensive style intended to fill up drinkers after a night out at the izakaya. The milky, pork bone stock was pleasant enough but not that characterful. Tasty roast pork, fresh spinach, and somewhat soggy noodles topped with half a hard-boiled egg and some sesame seeds, plus candied red ginger served on the side. Nothing to go out of your way for and the $9.25 price tag is a bit steep.
Hoshi’s tonkotsu ramen comes in at #24 in the rankings.
I’d love to hear more about other dishes here from the izakaya side of the menu.
PERSONAL RAMEN RANKING
1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Santa, 805 S B St, San Mateo (pre-move)
3. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
4. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
5. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
6. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
7. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose (closed)
8. Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont (closed
)9.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
10.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
11.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
12.Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
13.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
14.Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
15.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
16.Sanmi, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
17.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
18.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
19.Kahoo, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
20.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
21.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
22.Kumako, 211 E. Jackson Street, San Jose
23.Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
24.Japanese Restaurant Hoshi, 246 Saratoga Avenue, Santa Clara
25.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
26.Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley (after ownership change)
27.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
28.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino (closed)
29.Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino (closed)
30.Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
31.Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
32.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco
33.King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark (closed)
34.Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco
35.Genki Ramen, 3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
36.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
37.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
38.100% Healthy Desserts, 1155 Taraval St., San Francisco
39.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
49.H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
41.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
42.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
43.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
44.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
45.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
46.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
47.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
48.Taraval Okazu Ya, 1735 Taraval St., San Francisco
49.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
50.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
51.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas (closed)
52.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
53.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco (closed)
54.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
55.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
56.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley
246 Saratoga Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95050
re: K K
Oh good, I love battera style.
The owner has a blog on the website and updates it daily with the lunch special ($8.95). For example, here's today's:
・Salt Broiled Salmon
Would love to hear about these daily lunches too.
re: Melanie Wong
As I told you last time we met, you should try ramen at Halu on Clement in SF (most of my friends love it) as I wonder where that will fall on your list.
The lunch specials are extremely good value and authentic Japanese teishoku, easily beating many places in the South Bay. Very nice touch.