I finally got to try Santoka in Costa Mesa after hearing so much about it on this board. I was really excited at the thought of finding another delicious ramen spot.
I ordered the #1, which is the shio (salt) ramen. My first impression was that it was a rather small bowl, especially for the price ($6.49). Upon closer inspection, it seemed that there was a decent amount of noodles, but less broth than I get at other places. It came topped with 2 slices of pork, some bamboo, a slice of fishcake and green onions.
The broth at Santoka, while very flavorful, was a little too oily for me and not as thick and creamy as Shinsengumi's. The noodles looked rather whitish, but were still nice and firm. I found the pork to be a little bit sweet and was disappointed that it didn't have that melt-in-your-mouth texture. I did like the bamboo a lot, however. It was crunchy and didn't have the strong smell that keeps me from eating the bamboo at Daikokuya.
In summary, I did enjoy Santoka, but with Shinsengumi so close by, I'll probably end up there most of the time.
Here is my personal ramen ranking:
Has anyone else tried all 3 (or others)? If so, what do you think?