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Santouka Ramen
The first Northern California location.  This Japan based ramen chain is the leftmost storefront inside Mitsuwa Marketplace. 

Every Asian person has some special place in their heart for noodles.  Many of us have grown up on some type of instant noodle and I'm no exception.   I have fond memories of my dad making instant ramen noodles on weekend mornings with various Chinese vegetable toppings. Having to make two batches:  one without egg for me and another with egg for everyone else.

noodles and the broth

Tokusen Toroniku Ramen - the toppings
Tonkusen Toroniku Ramen is Santouka's signature ramen (Although, I think all the ramens here are delicious.)  This pork based ramen is served with toppings plated separately.  The special pork slice that is used for this particular ramen comes from the cheek (jowl) of the pig.  The jowl is known for being one of the more flavorful and tender parts of a pig.  The broth is magical with depths of flavor.  Some may think the broth is too salty, but thats what flavorful ramen broth should taste like (you can ask for a cup of hot water at the counter if it really bothers you).  The noodle has the perfect chewiness.  Think of the movie Tampopo - the perpetual quest for the perfect bowl of ramen.  The only negative I can possibly see is that some prefer a soft boiled egg in their ramen which Santouka doesn't offer.  I used to be one of those people who arrived at Ramen Halu 15 minutes before they opened just to eat their ramen.  Santouka's ramen is my benchmark these days for good ramen. 

Address:                                             Santouka Ramen
                                                                   inside Mitsuwa Marketplace
                                                                   675 Saratoga Ave.
                                                                   San Jose, CA

Type:                                                    ramen, Japanese

Chomp worthy:                           Tokusen Toroniku Ramen

Random facts:                     
  •  There are branch locations in Hong Kong!
  •   Cash only!

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