805 S B St, San Mateo, CA | Directions 9440137.562154 -122.318586
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central San Mateo
Unfortunately, I will never go back again. I went with my husband last weekend. The restaurant moved to the new place and was crowded. There was not place to write down your name. We had to wait in line for 30 minutes. I ordered a noodle soup and added some more veggie. When my noodle came, there was very little soup. There was not much taste because the soup was only filled 2/3 of the bowl. When I asked the waitress to give me some more soup, they refused. I told to the manager and explained that there was no taste because of the extra veggie that I added to the bowl. The veggie was raw since it was not enough soup to steam it. The manager won't give me the extra soup. I offered to pay for it. I couldn't believe that the manager said that I would have to buy another bowl of noodle. I total paid $15 for the bowl before tax and tips (without ordering extra soup). If I order extra soup, the bowl was going to cost almost $30 including tax & tip. Seriously, beside all these, their quality is not as good as how it used to be. Any Japanese noodle place can offer better noodle soup. I had the terrible experience. Don't go there. I would give them 0 star if it is an option.
Best Ramen – I'm a noodle fan and Santa has the best Ramen I've tried. The ramen is cooked perfectly and the broths (all 3) are just divine. The chicken gizzard skewer and agedashi are also very good.
Yes, the line can get really long...but that'e because it's very good. If you don't have the patience, then leave and try again next time.
We drive by, if there's no line, we park and eat our ramen. If there's a long time, we go somewhere else...it's that simple, no need to huff and puff.
Enjoy the ramen, it's the BEST!
Worst service ever – O.k. the ramen is probably the best in the bay area, but you can get this level of ramen almost anywhere you walk into in Tokyo. Trust me I've lived in Tokyo for 17 years.
The wait is too long before you get seated and after. You do wait 40 min at least to get your food and the restaurant only probably seats about 25 people. Not only do you wait long the service is horrible, the attitude of the waiters/waiteresses are horrible. The only promptness was perceived when they came to pick up the tab at our table. That was the fastest thing that happened in there. I've been there 3 times, never went back and never will. Totally not worth it.
a taste of Japan, authentic and quaint – Although many would argue this ramen shop is overcrowded, too small, and has a long line. . .anyone who truly knows ramen from Japan would know that these are all signs of a good place to eat! Take it from someone who spent 2 years living in Sapporo, (a city in Japan known for it's beer and it's ramen), that when it comes to authenticity, Santa Ramen is as close as you can get. The eager waiting, tight space, and paper Japanese menu on the wall all adds to the character of this quaint shop. Occasionally you hear the infamous, "Irrashaimase!" as you walk in the door, (Japanese greeting when you enter a restaurant/shop.) I particularly enjoy the 'tonkotsu' or pork flavored broth.
I work for an Asian chef, and I have taken our culinary consultants to Santa, we all agree. . .OISHII! DELICIOUS!
Don't believe the hype – A friend recommended this place as one of the best ramen places around, but while it may be the best ramen place in San Mateo, the food is only average and the service is slow. The soup base was a little off and the noodles lacked texture. I'd say this is an average ramen place, and definitely not worth the 30-minutes or more wait. If you want to know what good ramen is, try Shin Sen Gumi if you're ever in Fountain Valley.
Japan's got long lines too so don't complain – For ramen connoisseurs, you can't beat Santa. I just got back from 2 weeks in Japan and tried several reputable places (my favorite being Jiro at Mita) and I haven't found anything closer to what I had there than Santa. Perhaps more importantly though, the Ramen at Santa has it's own flavor that's unmistakably Santa.
Santas broth is rich and savory. Their noodles are fresh and perfectly cooked, and they have the hard-to-find pork broth. The pork-broth dishes cannot be described in words. Their roasted pork is the best Ive had and the kimchi (for those who like it) is very satisfying. Add egg for extra treat.
During dinnertime, get Japanese-style fried chicken ... it's beyond reason.
By the way, you poser Japanophiles: 1) Not all ramen in Japan is good and 2) I waited over an hour at the place I enjoyed most.
So inefficient, it's un-Japanese – I was drawn to Santa based on its reputation for being the best ramen in town. I don't mind waiting for a table since it's a small, simple place that has grown to have a good fan base. However, waiting for another 30-45 minutes AFTER you order is not acceptable. I don't know if they prepare each bowl of soup from scratch or what, but that's just not the way to do it. The ramen was above average overall, indeed better than most I've had in the Bay Area, but not nearly as good as anything you can get at any random place in Tokyo. Ramen is suppose to be a quick convenient food, turnover is key. Taking their sweet ole time to tease us into thinking it's prepared with TLC doesn't work with me.
Best in town – Hey, I always drive all the way from east bay just to have their ramen. They are the best in San Mateo and San Francisco Area. I highly recommend the pork flavor broth. Their ramen is just so good and still make you want to have another one even though you feel so full.
good but not great – It's definitely the best ramen place in San Mateo and better than any place I know in Japantown. However, I'm not sure if the food matches up to the popularity evidenced by the long wait. I've had much better ramen in LA.
What a disappointment! – For a 45min wait this place is simply not worth it. I was sorely disappointed because many friends recommended this place and I was expecting it to be as good as Ryowa Ramen at Mountain View. The miso soup was bland and the ramen did not have the 'crunch'. Service was average, and the place is really small (~30 people max) with no waiting area we had to stand outside in the cold!
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