With a focus on handmade, Sapporo-style noodles from the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, the gem of Ramen Ryoma’s menu, according to floor manager Jordan Kaiser, is its broth.
“Our miso-style broth is really popular,” Kaiser said. “We stick to the Sapporo-style of soups as kind of a base flavor, and the owner really takes his time.”
He's not exaggerating. It takes nearly 12 hours for kitchen staff to boil the black pork bones needed to prepare the broth.
“They make it in small batches to preserve the quality and get the best taste,” he said. “It’s heavy and rich with pork taste but also slightly sweet.”
Ramen Ryoma offers two other styles of broth, Shio and Shoyu. The Shio ramen, Kaiser’s personal go-to, is a more clear, salt-based broth with a slightly lighter flavor while the Shoyu ramen is an original Japanese style of soy-based broth that looks more like a traditional brown soup.
And of course, you’ve got all the toppings. Everything from pork belly to scallions to seaweed to soft-boiled eggs can be sprinkled on top of your ramen meal.
Kaiser said that in addition to their slow-cooked broth and variety of toppings, another thing that makes Ramen Ryoma unique is their hand-made, massaged noodles that create a wavy, uneven texture.
“With the abundance of competition for ramen spots, we try to stand apart by doing that. It’s something that makes it a little more special to the community of San Diego.”
Beyond the restaurant’s ramen, the menu also includes items like Kurobuta sausage made from premium Japanese pork, octopus marinated in wasabi, mocha ice cream and monkey brains.
But unlike the kind of monkey brains served in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” Ramen Ryoma’s specialty dish is less steamed organs and more soft-shell crab, wrapped in avocado.
Something Indy might have been more keen to try, along with their selection of 20 beers on tap, sake cocktails and wine.
“For people who are out for a Sunday and want to eat some nice ramen a block away from the beach before they go bar-hopping, this is the spot,” Kaiser said. “PB is a tight-knit group that enjoys ramen, so it’s the spot for us to be.”
The restaurant is offering half-off ramen from Jan. 19-20 for their official grand opening. For more information about Ramen Ryoma and their soon-to-be fourth location in Hillcrest, visit ramenryoma.net.
Where: 825 Garnet Ave.
Hours: Lunch – noon to 2:30 p.m., dinner – 5 to 11 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays; noon to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; noon to 10 p.m. Sundays.