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san mateo ramen advice needed

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Will be in San Mateo Tuesday, with plans to eat for the first time at a ramen place.

Have perused this Board's ramen conversations (thanks to all).

Two questions:

First, which of these should we pick (culled from Melanie Wong's extraordinary list):

Himawari
Izakaya Mai
Ramen Dojo

Second, what should we order at your first choice pick?

Many thanks!

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Himawari
202 2nd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

Izakaya Mai Restaurant
212 2nd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

Ramen Dojo
805 S B St, San Mateo, CA 94401

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  1. ramen dojo but its closed on tuesday

    1. The spicy garlic broth at Dojo is my favorite, but show up early and be prepared to stand in line for 30-60 minutes.

      Himawari is pretty good and more accessible.

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      Himawari
      202 2nd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

      1. Note that my rec for Izakaya Mai is for the spicy miso ramen. If you're not a miso fan, I'd go somewhere else and this is not a ramen specialist. My favorite bowl at HImawari is the butter clam ramen, however, many find it too light (or bland), whereas I enjoy it subtlety compared to the gutbuster style. I actively dislike the tonkotsu ramen at Himawari. So, just saying my list is not the bible.

        San Mateo's also home to Ramen Parlor. But it's closed on Tuesdays. Haven't been there yet.

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        Ramen Parlor
        901 S B St, San Mateo, CA 94401

        4 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          agree with both points on Himawari. For me, clam butter or bust at Himawari. I do like that bowl though. If Sweet Breams is open down the block, be sure to stop in for taiyaki.

          I went to Ramen Parlor a couple weeks ago. It was pretty good, better than I expected. The noodles are different than Dojo's somehow, but I'm not enough of an expert to know more than they seemed rounder and more yellow. I prefer Dojo's noodles, but it's a personal preference I think.

          IMO, there was way too much stuff in the default toppings. I got the regular miso, extra kikurage, which is my usual order at Ramen Dojo. Parlor's miso broth was pretty good (as opposed to Himawari's miso, which was inedible last time I had it), and the quail eggs were better than Dojo- not overcooked as at its sibling. I will return, but next time, hold the raw onions, hold the (super salty, tough) shrimp, hold the broccoli rabe, bean sprouts on the side. The SO, who always orders his beloved regular spicy garlic pork at Dojo, liked his pork bowl as well, though would agree on cutting out some toppings.

          We still prefer Dojo, but if it's an hour wait at Dojo versus no wait at Parlor, well, Parlor will do fine.

          1. re: artemis

            Glad to read another report on Ramen Parlor as it gets its footing, thanks.

            Wondering where sue ended up.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              thanks for wondering! after much to-ing/fro-ing, postponing to a day when dojo's open.

              1. re: sundeck sue

                Good decision.