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Soy bean (miso) seaweed ramen @ Santa, San Mateo

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Soy bean (miso) seaweed ramen @ Santa, San Mateo

Melanie Wong | Jun 13, 2006 11:58 PM

In April I was in transit on 101 in striking distance of Santa when it dawned on me at around 8pm that it might be a good time to try to catch the change of seating. I lucked out to snag a single at the counter with no wait at all.

This time I returned to miso stock, which I had liked in an earlier bowl but not with the spicy kimchee. I tried it with seaweed, which included wakame and dried nori. The thick slab of roast pork was fattier and much tastier than earlier rounds here. But unfortunately, I forgot to ask for "no bean sprouts", and they were too dilutive. The seaweed topping didn't work for me, its brininess clashing with the salty fermented bean flavor. I like Santa's version of red-yellow miso broth sprinkled with pork fat very much, but haven't seemed to hone in on the right combination. Suggestions?

Oh, also wanted to mention that I was there on a Wednesday night. Though I forgot to ask for my noodles cooked "hard", it wasn't necessary. This adds more fuel to my hypothesis that Wednesday and Thursday are Santa's best days.

PERSONAL RAMEN RANKING

1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Santa, 805 S B St, San Mateo
3. Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley
4. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
5. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
6. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
7. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
8. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
9. Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont
10.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
11.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
12.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
13.Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
14.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
15.Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
16.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
17.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
18.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
19.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
20.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
21.Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
22.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
23.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
24.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
25.Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino
26.Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
27.Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
28.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco
29.King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark
30.Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco
31.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
32.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
33.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
34.H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
35.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
36.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
37.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
38.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
39.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
40.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
41.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
42.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
43.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
44.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas
45.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
46.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco
47.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
48.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
49.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

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