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Jul 5, 2011 08:57 PM

Tamaya ramen review....

I write about a restaurant because I feel strongly about its food that I want to share with others. Well... let me start by saying this is not a "happy" review.

I wanted to get ramen tonight, I've seen good reviews about a ramen place on Las Tunas in San Gabriel and remember reading one rave review that it's one of the top 3 ramen places in Socal (besides Santouka, Yamadaya). So I wanna try it out.

As I was driving on Las Tunas, I saw Tamaya and this gotta be it. Let me jump to the end that it is not, I was referring to Ton Chan which is also on Las Tunas Blvd.

Back to the review. I ordered a Shoyu based Negi Ramen with Egg+Pork don (forgot the name). The ramen was straight (shoyu usually uses curly ramen), and slightly undercooked. It was a tad chewy for the first few bites. After soaking in the soup for a minute, it got softer and got the right chewiness and softness. Cannot quite put my hands on to it, but something is missing with the noodle.

As for the broth, it does not taste like any Japanese Shoyu soup based that I have tried. The soup does not taste like ramen soup, instead it tasted like some very good "chinese" chicken soup. So it felt really weird, it didn't taste like I was eating japanese ramen. Plus I was expecting the shoyu soup to be saltier, it was not. The marinated bamboo shoot was a tad too sweet, but the egg and chashu was okay.

What about the don? The ground pork was rather bland, and the egg was slightly overcooked and the red ginger was a bit dry. Worst was the rice, they probably used different kinds of rice due to the radiation, but it didn't look like traditional japanese rice. It usually is starchier, and more chewy than say jasmine. But the rice was too soft (too much water) and not sticky. Almost all japanese rice that I had tasted at a japanese restaurant were cooked properly unlike Tamaya. I could not even pick up the rice with chopstick, that was how "non"-sticky it was.

I cannot quite remember the last time I was utterly disappointed with a restaurant, I guess Tamaya made my list.

3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

Las Tunas Restaurant
3603 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

17142 Colima Rd Ste E, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

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  1. I still miss Won Tin, the former tenant that used to be in this location.

    7 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Too bad I didn't get a chance to try Won Tin. Now I am afraid to try Ton Chan Ramen, yelpers gave Tamaya 3.5 stars and 4 stars for Ton Chan; and I was totally disappointed with Tamaya's ramen today.

      17142 Colima Rd Ste E, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

      1. re: hoozswup

        Ton Chan is passable, sometimes maybe even good, by SGV standards.

        Will it rock your world? No.

        But then I enjoyed X-Men First Class as well. And, it also did not rock my world.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Thanks, if I need a ramen fix in SGV neighborhood, I will give Ton Chan a try since I have tried the rest in SGV.

          Talking about ramen, reading up on the broth and would love to try it at home. Traditional good broth takes 6 hours, and will also try the quick recipe with 30 minutes mushroom broth. Should be fun, will see what CH has in terms of recipe too.

      2. re: ipsedixit

        I loved Won Tin Gourmet too! But when I bring it up in conversation, people seem to barely recall it, other than they know that some kind of Chinese restaurant used to be there.

        I always got their (trying to translate here) century egg roast pork porridge whenever I got sick.

        1. re: andytseng

          Won Tin was quite a decent place--unpretentious, affordable, and had good food. They lasted many years in that location.

          1. re: raytamsgv

            aww, people remember won tin! it was our family's "usual" place whenever we got together. my mom, who always has something to complain about, never had a bad word to say about won tin.

            i tried tamaya one time as well and have never been back either. oh well.

            1. re: raytamsgv

              Good congee.

              And they work that red "C" placard like it was part of the building's decor.