Every time I’ve made any attempt to eat at Ramen Dojo, I always see an obscenely long line and end up at Ramen Parlor instead. Although lately, I’ve seen the wait at Ramen Parlor really start to creep up to unreasonable as well. Needless to say, I decided to endure the wait because it was one of those rare opportunities where PCessJK, Nabi and I could actually have dinner to catch up together. To be honest, this was almost 2 years ago now and we haven’t been able to get together since, but it was still a great meal that was worth posting on, albeit very much overdue.
The restaurant is tiny maybe 10 tables and a bar for like 25 diners at any one time. It’s obvious why there is such a long line. Like every ramen place, you’re allowed to choose your broth (Garlic Pork, Soy Sauce and Soy Bean) and each bowl comes with a set of toppings and the option to choose from a host of others. Every ramen bowl comes with 2 pieces of roasted pork, fried whole garlic, kikurage mushrooms, fresh green chives, 1 quail egg, and a chicken gravy which is cooked ground chicken, chopped shiitake mushrooms, ginger, sausage and shredded red pepper. I think the sheer variety and amount of different toppings already makes the ramen a bit more non-traditional. Not to mention that the main difference between Ramen Dojo and its sister ramen houses is their signature spicy broth.
I chose the Spicy Pork Flavor ramen and added some napa cabbage. In all honesty, it’s been so long now that I can’t recall exactly what it tasted it like, but it was quite delicious. Like I was saying, the spiciness of the broth is quite different from most other ramen places so it’s a delightful twist of flavor that really sets this ramen apart.
I cannot recall at all what Nabi and PCessJK ordered but across the board we all agreed the ramen was delicious. Now whether the ramen warrants waiting anywhere upwards of 45 minutes, I’m not too sure. Supposedly, if you get there on the earlier side during the week for lunch or right when it opens for dinner, then you’d have better luck but forget about any time on the weekend. The wait alone makes me end up docking a ½ star from its overall rating.
805 S. B St.
San Mateo, CA 94401
PAFO Ratings for Ramen Dojo:
Ambiance 2½ stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 3½ stars