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Ramen Dojo – San Mateo

Even though I’d just stuffed myself with ramen a few days earlier, that wasn’t going to keep me from eating some more. This time, I was outside of the city, at Ramen Dojo, in San Mateo. This place is great because the menu is so small. You get ramen. That’s pretty much it. And they all come with pretty much the same thing. You can pick from between a few broths, and you can get extra toppings if you want. You can also pick the spiciness of your broth. But otherwise, ramen is what you get, and you get it with what they give everybody. I like the ease of this place.
All of the ramen come with roasted pork, fried whole garlic, kikurage mushrooms, chives, a little quail egg, chicken gravy, ground chicken, shiitake mushrooms, chopped ginger, dried shrimp, sesame chili oil, and shredded red pepper. A got the soybean broth, skipped the chives, and got extra mushrooms. This is good stuff. The whole red leaf lettuce thing is weird though.
I got the soy sauce broth and added kimchi. Yo, this was amazing. And there was tons of food. The bowls look deceptively small, but there’s quite a lot of food in this. I could have eaten this all day. I could have done without the chives and the shredded red pepper though, as they didn’t do anything for me. I found the red pepper rather annoying and stringy. The quail egg also wasn’t that fantastic. I would have preferred a simple hard-boiled chicken egg instead. But the noodles were fantastic, so was the broth, and whoever supplies them with their kimchi deserves a medal. This is quality stuff. Oh Ramen Dojo, why can’t you be near my house?
Ramen Dojo on Urbanspoon

Ramen Fest At Katana-Ya

Being from Philly where there are no ramen spots to be had, whenever I’m at a place where they have such a glorious thing, I try to take advantage. So I was back at Katana-Ya. Here’s the veggie ramen with miso broth. Pretty freakin gorgeous, eh?
I also somehow ended up with a veggie ramen. But mine was much more firey. I got the spicy tofu ramen, which had a crapton of kimchi in it, and tofu, and awesomeness. And this bowl was crazy big. It was about the size of my torso. Yeah, that’s right, I ate my torso worth of ramen. And it was wondrous!

Katana-Ya on Urbanspoon

N’Joy Sushi & Roll

My company isn’t located in Seattle proper, sadly, we’re way up north in the burbs. Some of my colleagues wanted to go eat at Bonefish Grill, but I was not interested. I mean really though, there’s nothing wrong with Bonefish Grill, I have eaten there and liked it, but I’m in Seattle. I’m not going to go eat somewhere I can go to at home. So I roamed around a little bit and drove to nearby Mill Creek to N’Joy Sushi & Roll. It’s in one of those newer fancy stripmalls. The place is pretty sizeable and has a big sushi bar in the middle. It’s also a korean-run sushi spot.
I started with a sunomono salad. I don’t know why I love this so much, but I just do. It’s just thinly sliced cucumbers with a little vinegar based marinade along with some imitation crab meat and a shrimp. It’s just one of my favorite things to order. I like vinegary things and this sunomono was particularly good. And I love how sesame seeds add that little bit of nuttiness. Having a good fresh cucumber helps. There’s nothing worse than an old soggy mushy cucumber, or one with a thick waxy peel. This cucumber was just perfect.
Even though it was fairly hot out, I was still wanting some noodles. So I got the nabeyaki udon, which is served in this nabe, or metal cauldron like thing. It had some random seafood and veggies inside. I was so surprised by the excellent broth. The broth is key and sometimes you get really bland broth and sometimes you just get ok broth. This broth was great! It had enough flavor and I could tell it was made from scratch. I actually found some bonito flakes inside the broth so I was happy to know it wasn’t powdered. Overall, the udon was surprisingly good.
This seems like a place where crazy rolls rule the joint. Their menu has an extensive list, complete with pictures, of the many wacky and creative sushi rolls they serve. I wanted to at least try one so I got the mango roll, which was a special of the day. This thing was just way too much. I think it had shrimp tempura and avocado on the inside, and was topped with salmon, mango, mango sauce, tobiko, poppy seeds (!?!?), and a bunch of squirts of random sauces. Whoa. It was actually too sweet and there was just way too much going on. I think if they just left the mango sauce out and just went with the slice mango, it would have been much more tolerable. But all of the stuff slopped on top was just overkill. Sweet, sweet, overkill. Service was good and everyone was friendly. I didn’t have to wait very long for my food at all. The proprietors are quite friendly and it seems like there are lots of regulars here. I think it’s a nice spot in the northern burbs for some affordable japanese fare.

N'Joy Sushi & Roll on Urbanspoon

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