Ramen Jinya Costa Mesa
Well, missed this opening by a few months also. Tried to go last night but it was closed. Even though the sign says Mon-Sun, they are closed Tuesdays. For now. That might change according to the waitress.
I tried the classic tonkotsu and the chicken broth with chicken wonton ramen with a side of pork chashu and special egg.
The tonkotsu broth I felt was easily inferior to Yamadaya's. At least one or two notches below in terms of porkiness and flavor for me.
The chicken broth was excellent. Rich and milky but different. A nice change from the ubiquitous tonkotsu broths.
Noodles I thought was a bit softer and less al dente than the ones at Yamadaya. The chashu was good. The egg was stellar. I wish all ramen places had this egg. Weird that you have to order it separately though. Chicken karaage was also good and had a strong alcohol (sake? mirin?) scent. Very different from Yamadaya's version but just as good in a different way.
As I suspected, I think I prefer the clean and pure focus of the shio and shoyu broths at Yamadaya these days. But I will definitely be back for that chicken broth ramen.
The Sawtelle Jinya location seems to have stepped up its game. I went there last night and it was better than the Westwood Yamadaya (I've yet to try the Culver City Yamadaya). The black tonkotsu broth was rich but did not overpower the taster with garlic. The noodles were firm, and the hanjuku egg is legit. While the Tsujita tonkotsu ramen 1 block away ranked a 8.5 out of 10 with me, this bowl at Jinya is a 8.0 out of 10.
Have you tried Yamadaya Torrance? The Westwood one was the weakest compared to the Torrance and Costa Mesa branches. Never tried the Culver city branch.
Going to head up to Shunji end of the month to hemorrhage the wallet a bit thanks to you ;) maybe I'll swing by Tsujita for lunch before heading back down the next day.
i think when jinya is on, their tonkotsu black is every bit as good as yamadaya. then again, i've had bowls that were less than stellar as well at jinya.
the egg is much more consistent at jinya however.
either way, the bounty of good ramen joints in comparison to just a few years ago is staggering.