Ramen Yamadaya (Clairemont) revisit
I was really itching to try a new japanese restaurant in Hillcrest but there was a 40 minute wait for a Saturday lunch. Hungry Dennis wanted food right away so we decided to revisit Ramen Yamadaya. I wasn't too happy with the cell phone pictures from our other review so this time we came prepared. Also, we got to sit in the large patio area that we heard about last time. The wood tables and open area seemed to be a nice place to dine out with a larger group.
Dennis ordered the Kakuni Ramen this time with the spicy broth at the lowest level (1 of 3). I snuck a taste and surprisingly it wasn't that spicy to me! I'm glad too because the rest of that dish was slurptastic! The noodles are well cooked and there were two big chunks of soft and fatty pork belly. Like we said before, the ramen here is very good.
Since I enjoyed my last experience with Agadashi Tofu at Nozomi, we decided to try it out here. This one also had a light and fluffy outer crust in bigger pieces, although only two total. The dark saltier base was beginning to soak in so I quickly removed my portion to keep it from overpowering the mild tofu. Inside, it was soft and melty so I'm happy overall with this appetizer.
This was the mapo tofu portion of the Mapo Tofu Bento Box. The sauce was mildly spiced and slightly more runnier than I prefer but it was decent. The tofu soaked up the flavor well and there was plenty of rice (though more mapo tofu would have been even better). I think I discovered mapo tofu from a microwave tofu recipe book. Since then, I modified it by cooking the meat on the stove for better taste/texture and have been sampling versions at chinese restaurants.
Here were the sides that came with the bento box. I did expect it to come out on the same plate as the mapo tofu portion, but now we had to take two pictures instead of one! Oh well. The potato salad was a mannonaise based one that seemed simple and creamy and worked fine for me. The shredded salad had a very light coating of dressing which kept it fresh and manageable. Together, the appetizer and dishes were enough to fill us both, until we hit a yogurt store nearby for dessert!
Due to the proximity and taste, we'll definitely be back, especially for ramen. Also, according to their website, there is a new location opening in downtown San Diego in February 2014! Sounds like a great lunch for people who work around there!
4706 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego CA 92117