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The Official Battle of The Ramens (SoCal Edition)

I've been waiting for this day for a long time. My long awaited post. The Ramen Showdown! Down to the Final 2 Contestants! Let's start!

(This is the Santouka at inside the food court of the Mitsuwa Market. Cash Only.)

A is for ... adequate.

Wow... talk about a let down. This place is hailed as the #1 Ramen place in SoCal. I finally made it a point to finally and officially to judge Santouka in my own personal BATTLE OF THE RAMENS and this is what I get! I've been to Daikokuya (really disappointed me by the way & way overrated), Hakata, multiple Asijens(all over SoCal), Ramen Nip (San Fernando Valley), Tajima (San Diego), and have been told by my aunt as well as everyone and their Mother that I need to come to Santouka. Well you know what? I'm disappointed. So let me break it down.
I got the shio (salt) special pork ramen. Their special pork is pork neck. Countless patrons have claimed that their special pork melts in your mouth. Trust me their pork definitely aint special. Here's what real bomb Thai style pork neck should look like. (Click here It's under Meal #3) All that aside though, their salt broth was good. It wasn't too salty for me but the noodles were the same as Top Ramen. If I wanted to eat ramen from a package, I could have gone into my kitchen cabinet and opened up a bag. It would have saved me 40 mins of driving there and $23. The noodles at Hakata Ramen Shinsengumi are much better. The special pork was bland. I'm pretty sure that Thais have the best pork neck.
This is the BF's order of Spicy Miso ramen and the gohan/cha siu (pork) rice. The pork was bland. I love Japanese food, but I after taking my first bite I wanted to run into any Chinese establishment buy some cha siu (BBQ pork) and just stick it on white rice. It would have been way better. Parking was also a pain in the butt. Everything was full but once we got inside there was no line for Santouka because we went during an off hour. Maybe it's an evil ploy to make people believe that there's a bunch of people inside to add to the Santouka hype. (har har, I kid.) I know they really do get super crowded. They have Santoukas in the Mtsuwa Markets in Torrence and Costa Mesa as well if you want to try and see for yourself! I'm really fair when I rate something so I'll always give it another try so I'll report back when I do. And what was the best part of my day?

I got to buy a super cute $7 Japanese toy at Mitsuwa and have some amazing, rich green tea yogurt at the booth directly across from Santouka. I couldn't find their name but you'll see it when you're there. Best green tea yogurt ever!

Oh and by the way, just in case you wanted to know how THE BEST RAMEN in SoCal looks like, it looks something like this!

Here's my old ramen review of the other places if you want to know what you should order or what other ramen joints to completely skip. (click here.) Honestly why would you not want to go here? You get to watch the Master making ramen unlike Santouka. But I would suggest to all those people who love Santouka to give Hakata Ramen Shinsengumi. You will convert and follow me! Try their Hakata Special. Ask them to bring you a jar of extra garlic and skip adding all the extra ingredients. Just get the bare basic with your choice of noodles, get medium broth, & medium oil. By the way, I go to the one at 8450 East Valley Blvd. Rosemead although they have multiple locations like Redondo Beach, etc.

And if you end up being curious and just want to try out Santouka anyways, I would suggest getting the salt ramen with the special pork and skip out on their miso choices. Also FYI their broths are all tonkatsu based, which means they're made with pork bone. So sorry to those that can't eat pork. This place isn't for you. Just want to let you know, before you damn me to hell for making you eat it. Also go during an off time so that there's a higher chance you can find parking because honestly the place is structured to be crowded all the time. I mean they share a place with Mitsuwa and CVS!

Happy Eatings! I give the Ramen King Crown to Hakata Shinsengumi! TEAM HAKATA!

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