Santa Japanese Restaurant

★★★★☆

About Santa Japanese Restaurant

Food

Food
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The ramen is very very good! Although the wait is way too long for a ramen place. :P One time we waited for an hour just to get in. But we really enjoyed the food so it's a nice treat every now and then.

4
★★★★☆

The ramen is very very good! Although the wait is way too long for a ramen place. :P One time we waited for an hour just to get in. But we really enjoyed the food so it's a nice treat every now and then.

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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.

0
★☆☆☆☆

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.

Pros: none

Cons: Expensive, no taste, bad service

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Your order is taken while you wait in line for a table. Once you're seated you still have to wait another 30 minutes for your food to arrive. Don't expect the server to ever come back to your table except to present you with the bill. The pork based ramen was tasty but the shoyu ramen was terrible. It had lumps of solidified fat floating at the top of the broth which the server said was normal.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Your order is taken while you wait in line for a table. Once you're seated you still have to wait another 30 minutes for your food to arrive. Don't expect the server to ever come back to your table except to present you with the bill. The pork based ramen was tasty but the shoyu ramen was terrible. It had lumps of solidified fat floating at the top of the broth which the server said was normal.

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.

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!

2
★★★★☆

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!

Pros: BEST Ramen

Cons: may need to wait

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This place is tucked out of the way, but you can always tell where it is by looking for the crowd waiting outside. The place is small and "hole-in-the-wallish," but everyone's willing to wait up to an hour just to get a little of that delicious ramen. The broth is what makes it so great, and their pork is seasoned perfectly. We didn't get there in time for their most popular dishes (the stewed pork and chicken karaage), but we were more than satisfied with the roast pork in the pork-based broth (you have a choice of either soy, pork, or soybean based broth).

5
★★★★★

This place is tucked out of the way, but you can always tell where it is by looking for the crowd waiting outside. The place is small and "hole-in-the-wallish," but everyone's willing to wait up to an hour just to get a little of that delicious ramen. The broth is what makes it so great, and their pork is seasoned perfectly. We didn't get there in time for their most popular dishes (the stewed pork and chicken karaage), but we were more than satisfied with the roast pork in the pork-based broth (you have a choice of either soy, pork, or soybean based broth).

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.

I just went to Santa Ramen for the first time. I LOVE ramen, so I was especially excited to try out this place that I had read nothing but fantastic reviews on. I went a little after noon on a Saturday, expecting there to be long lines like everyone says. There was just one couple ahead of me, so I lucked out. It was a warm day, so that's probably why there wasn't much of a line. (There were about 5-6 parties waiting out on the sidewalk after I got seated though, so I did luck out!)
The menu was all posted on the wall, along with a little note stating that the stewed pork was sold out! I had heard a lot about this particular flavor of ramen, so I was a bit disappointed. I got the roasted pork in my favorite type of japanese ramen broth, pork broth. After the first few spoonfuls, I had forgotten about the sold out flavor. The broth was a bit salty, but overall, this has to be the best ramen I've had in a long time! I think it's better than any of the ramen houses in West LA...
$9 for a bowl is a bit pricey, but I will be coming back to try that stewed pork as well as the chicken I keep hearing about!

PROS: Street parking ok, noodles cooked well, menu options clear, delicious!
CONS: Bit pricey for ramen, place is tiny.

5
★★★★★

I just went to Santa Ramen for the first time. I LOVE ramen, so I was especially excited to try out this place that I had read nothing but fantastic reviews on. I went a little after noon on a Saturday, expecting there to be long lines like everyone says. There was just one couple ahead of me, so I lucked out. It was a warm day, so that's probably why there wasn't much of a line. (There were about 5-6 parties waiting out on the sidewalk after I got seated though, so I did luck out!)
The menu was all posted on the wall, along with a little note stating that the stewed pork was sold out! I had heard a lot about this particular flavor of ramen, so I was a bit disappointed. I got the roasted pork in my favorite type of japanese ramen broth, pork broth. After the first few spoonfuls, I had forgotten about the sold out flavor. The broth was a bit salty, but overall, this has to be the best ramen I've had in a long time! I think it's better than any of the ramen houses in West LA...
$9 for a bowl is a bit pricey, but I will be coming back to try that stewed pork as well as the chicken I keep hearing about!

PROS: Street parking ok, noodles cooked well, menu options clear, delicious!
CONS: Bit pricey for ramen, place is tiny.

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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.

0
★☆☆☆☆

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.

Cons: Worst wait and service ever

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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!

2
★★★★★

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!

Pros: great food, authenticly Japanese!

Cons: waiting time, no reservations

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Santa Ramen has earned its fabled reputation as THE ramen joint in the Bay Area. Its good, but only seats about 10 people, so expect to wait in line on the sidewalk for half an hour for more. But its worth it if you love good ramen, which is all they serve

PROS: Fantasic ramen with superb broth - the best I've had outside Japan.
CONS: tiny, long wait, ramen is all they serve

5
★★★★★

Santa Ramen has earned its fabled reputation as THE ramen joint in the Bay Area. Its good, but only seats about 10 people, so expect to wait in line on the sidewalk for half an hour for more. But its worth it if you love good ramen, which is all they serve

PROS: Fantasic ramen with superb broth - the best I've had outside Japan.
CONS: tiny, long wait, ramen is all they serve

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It's very famous Japanese Ramen store with ramen only, no Gyoza, no rice. The best seller is pork stew ramen noodles ($7-9/bowl). Since it's a very tiny store, so usually packed during lunch or dinner hour. Service is a little bit slow. But the soup is great though a little bit salty.

PROS: Good noodles
CONS: slow

4
★★★★☆

It's very famous Japanese Ramen store with ramen only, no Gyoza, no rice. The best seller is pork stew ramen noodles ($7-9/bowl). Since it's a very tiny store, so usually packed during lunch or dinner hour. Service is a little bit slow. But the soup is great though a little bit salty.

PROS: Good noodles
CONS: slow

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.

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.

1
★★★☆☆

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.

Cons: slow service

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This is the ultimate ramen heaven! If you have not tried their famous tonkatsu ramen, you ought to drive there and order one right now. Ingore the miso and shiyouu flavor ramen, you can't go wrong with any selection within the tonkatsu flavor ramen.

highly reccomend their chicken karage (fried chicken) and grilled squid, which is ONLY available during dinner.

PROS: delicious food
CONS: long wait, especially during winter season

5
★★★★★

This is the ultimate ramen heaven! If you have not tried their famous tonkatsu ramen, you ought to drive there and order one right now. Ingore the miso and shiyouu flavor ramen, you can't go wrong with any selection within the tonkatsu flavor ramen.

highly reccomend their chicken karage (fried chicken) and grilled squid, which is ONLY available during dinner.

PROS: delicious food
CONS: long wait, especially during winter season

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.

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.

2
★★★★★

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.

Pros: homemade noodles, rich broth, small and cozy

Cons: can be long wait, best broth sells out

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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.

0
★☆☆☆☆

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.

Cons: Slow service, S...L...O...W...

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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.

2
★★★★★

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.

Pros: Taste

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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.

1
★★★☆☆

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.

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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!

1
★★☆☆☆

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!

Pros: Affordable, Plenty of parking

Cons: , Below average food

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Santa is one of the few SF restaurants I truly miss.
This by far is the best ramen place in SF. It's small, it's out of the way, but you must eat their ramen and chicken karaage. I especially enjoy their miso ramen!!!!!
Even the best LA ramen places can't compare to this gem.

2
★★★★☆

Santa is one of the few SF restaurants I truly miss.
This by far is the best ramen place in SF. It's small, it's out of the way, but you must eat their ramen and chicken karaage. I especially enjoy their miso ramen!!!!!
Even the best LA ramen places can't compare to this gem.

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Excellent ramen. The soup makes the difference here. It has good body to it that you feel like biting into the soup. No gyoza is offered here which is a major turnoff to some ramen eaters. It's a tiny place and you'll see people waiting outside.

2
★★★★☆

Excellent ramen. The soup makes the difference here. It has good body to it that you feel like biting into the soup. No gyoza is offered here which is a major turnoff to some ramen eaters. It's a tiny place and you'll see people waiting outside.

Pros: damn good ramen, service

Cons: tiny , crowded, no gyoza

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Santa is the best Ramen restaurant in the Bay Area that I have been to. Get there early though, there is always a line and it takes awhile to get your food. Its a very small restaurant, and the people are friendly. There are always alot of Japanese people eating there, so that is usually a good sign. The wait is long, if you don't beat the lunch rush. That is really the only major downside, but it is worth it to me. Its alot better than the places in Japantown in San Francisco.

2
★★★★★

Santa is the best Ramen restaurant in the Bay Area that I have been to. Get there early though, there is always a line and it takes awhile to get your food. Its a very small restaurant, and the people are friendly. There are always alot of Japanese people eating there, so that is usually a good sign. The wait is long, if you don't beat the lunch rush. That is really the only major downside, but it is worth it to me. Its alot better than the places in Japantown in San Francisco.

Pros: Great Food!!

Cons: Wait

 

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