This is an awesome place. A hole in the wall and fairly unassuming. We went there for my birthday and were prepared to spend a whole lot more than we did. I had heard that it was fairly expensive. That is far from the truth, we only spent around $60 and I was ordering as much as I could, though Maureen was eating lightly. She still tried most everything that I ordered.
We ordered Gobo Salad, braised Nagasaki Pork, Roasted Duck with Green Onions, Asparagus Wrapped with Pork, Chicken Gizzards, Agedashi Dofu, Hamachi Cheeks, Pudding with Black Honey.
The ONLY thing in this list that was not absolutely terrific was the gizzards. They were nice but not particularly special. The pork and duck dishes were to die for, as was the Hamachi Cheeks.
They were having a special on two different Saki’s, one was bone dry and the other had a hint of sweetness, I opted for the bone dry one. Didn’t get a name but it was a nice Saki.
We sat next to a very nice fellow who had eaten at the restaurant a large number of times. He bought a bottle of wine for the lady who works there, perhaps a shift manager, not sure? But he went over and whispered into her ear and she sent us a glass of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon that was quite lovely, full of cigar box complexities that went very nicely with the foods we had.
Overall, this is a great place and high on our list of Japanese restaurants. We are looking forward to returning.
Good news for these folks. Long been one of my favorites but nice to see them garner attention from those who know more than I do.
I read about his through the San Diego Union at:
San Diego Union Article on Bird Rock Coffee Roasters
The folks giving out the award are Roast Magazine at:
How delicious is this place?!
100% vegetarian cuisine, not that I really know their ingredient list or anything, being an avowed carnivore myself. That is just what everyone claims about the place. Doesn’t matter to me one bit, all that matters is that everything I put in my mouth tasted great.
We had a small meal that was, none the less, very filling. It consisted of 3 orders and drinks.
Chole Samosa, consisting of 2 vegetable filled puff styled pasties in a mix of spiced chick peas. There was a little sweet and little heat in this. One black roasted Thai like chili and what I suspect was a tamarind sauce that lay waiting in the bottom of the bowl.
Masala Dosa, consisting of a large bread like crepe that was rolled and stuffed with lightly curried potatoes. This was served with a vegetable based spiced soup and some mint and coconut chutney.
Dahi Sev Puri, was purchased at the suggestion of the wait staff. This is a small deep fried whole wheat puff pasty shell stuffed with chick peas, potatoes and a green piquant sauce that I suspected was cilantro based. They were topped off with yogurt. Incredible!!
To drink, Maureen had a Mango Lassi and I had a Falooda. The Falooda consisted of rose infused milk with vanilla ice cream and some passion fruit.
I’’ve been on a hunt for great Pho’s and heard about this Ramen spot. I know it is not Pho but I figured it would be worth a try. Amazing soup!! They have the richest broth base of any soup place I have been to. I would like to know more about how they prepare it. It seems to be pork based and must be cooked over a fairly long period of time. ??
There are other Japanese soup and noodle houses around town, some of them are quite good, but Santouka is in a class all it’s own. If you haven’t been there, GO!
I am hooked on their salt ramen. Which is just sliced pork in their fairly plain, unspiced, soup base. Recently I learned about the shio ramen. That is a special cut of the pork from the cheeks. Super tender, melt in your mouth, pork that approaches butter in richness. It is also considered a salt ramen.
I’ve heard others rave about their spicy ramen but I just can’t bring myself to try it because their broth is just so beautifully balanced and the pork is so tender that it seems to me that spiciness could only detract. I love spicy but am thinking perhaps, not in this case.
Also, everything comes in three sizes. The medium is really big and I could hardly imagine ever ordering the large, unless you were going to share.
This is located within Mitsuwa Market, a really great shop on it’s own. Just southwest of the Balboa and Highway 163.