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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