Tajima Ramen House
By Stella Monde
Recently renovated to include a hip counter bar and a square shaped common sitting area, Tajima Ramen House on Convoy St provides a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy various Japanese dishes including ramen, tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet), beef teriyaki and gyoza (lightly pan-fried pork dumplings). The hip wait staff is attentive and energetic catering to the lunch and dinner crowd. Diners beware: come early for lunch as there can be a wait as this is a popular spot for professionals, college students and families.
I often like to start my meal with a small plate of gyoza. When ordering ramen ($6.96 – $7.50), you can elect to include three gyoza dumplings as a starter for an additional dollar. These ground pork and cabbage-filled dumplings are steamed and then lightly pan fried to afford a crispness on the flat side that adds texture and taste to these little packages of flavor. You can dip these little morsels in the accompanying sauce for added taste. And if you are so inclined, you can add Sriracha hot sauce to the dipping sauce to take it up a notch.
At Tajima, ramen noodle soup consists of freshly made egg noodles (you can choose thin or thick cut) in a hot broth which can be your choice of miso-based, shoyu (soy sauce) based, tonkotsu-based and curry-based. To add even more flavor, you can request that they make your selected broth spicy. The noodles are topped with chopped green onions, slices of sweet & tender BBQ roast pork and half of a boiled egg. This is nicely presented in a large Japanese ceramic soup bowl. Spoons are provided, but feel free to slurp as they do in Japan.
With the warm weather, it may not be tempting to eat a hot bowl of soup. Not to worry, Tajima offers cold noodle dishes of ramen, soba (buckwheat noodles) or udon (flour) noodles. There are also a variety of rice dish options. Of particular note is the two-entree rice plate ($8.50) where the customer can choose from a selection of entrees such as beef teriyaki, grilled pork, grilled mackerel, grilled salmon, tonkatsu or tempura. Included with the rice plate are a side of green salad with the ginger sesame vinaigrette, a side of macaroni salad and a small bowl of miso soup.
You can decide if you want to wash down your meal with a Japanese beer (Asahi, Kirin or Sapporo), your choice of sake or a domestic beer on tap. For those of a more tempered pace, there is green tea and the regular assortments of soda.
Forget about instant noodles in a cup or square-shaped package; drive over to Convoy St. in Kearny Mesa to experience fresh and delicious Japanese noodles and generous portions of Japanese entrees with rice. Bring a friend or the family or come alone, you won’t feel awkward or out of place. Tajima welcomes all and you’ll be glad you tried it.
Ramen at lunch (11:30 AM – 2 PM) is 10% off (Mondays through Thursdays).
Happy Hour specials from 3-6 PM.
Open until 3 AM Thursday through Saturday.
Big screen TVs let you catch up on ESPN or follow whatever game is on.
Tajima Ramen House
4681 Convoy St, Suite 1 (Opportunity Rd & Engineer Rd)
San Diego, CA 92111
Hours: Mon-Wed, Sun 11:30 am – 10:30 pm; Thu-Sat 11:30 am – 3 am