On my way home from work last night, I stopped by Santa in San Mateo after hearing good things about it. It's a relatively small, cozy place. 6 small tables, and 8 places or so at the counter.
The menu is in both Japanese and English and there were many combinations of toppings and styles to choose from. I wanted to try the Tonkatsu style ramen, but for the purposes of comparing to other ramen places, I ordered a large chasiu shoyu ramen and a small sapporo. There is a page of common appetizer type dishes you can order but I decided to skip it last night.
After five to 10 minutes or so, I was brought my bowl. The broth was thick and light brown in color, with lots of small bits of pork fat floating in it. There were five medium wedges of chasiu and the rest were standard toppings. The noodles had a round cross section. Some people have mentioned that it's "thinner" but I don't think so. Hard to compare it since other ramenyas use the noodles with a rectangular cross section.
Anyways the broth was really hot and kept its temperature pretty well. The noodles were firm, but personally I would have liked it just a bit firmer. The saltiness of the broth is somewhat comparable to the saltiness of the broth of Ramen Halu's Halu style. The size of the chasiu wedges are smaller than Halu and the volume of noodles (large sized) were probably similar although I felt that Santa had more. This may be because Halu uses larger bowls and gives more broth so after I am done with the noodles at Halu, there is quite a bit of broth left, while at Santa there was only a quarter cup of broth left at the end.
I thought the place had really good ramen. I can see why people rate it quite highly. Santa and Halu are probably top two and I'll have to go to Santa some more to try the other styles and some of the appetizers.
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