Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yakyudori Yakitori & Ramen -- passable if you're desperate

Yakyudori Yaktori & Ramen
4898 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-2888

Sometimes I join a group called the Kearny Mesa Lunch Bunch (KMLB) for lunch. The group is based in the Kearny Mesa area in San Diego and lunches include visiting new restaurants or sometimes, just old favorites which need desperately to be revisited. On one such occasion, we came here.

The restaurant is really small and the same goes for the menu. There are about 6 types of ramen you can choose from and each comes with a few toppings. Additional toppings range from 50 cents to $2 and the usual stuff such as bamboo, chashu, beansprouts, green onions etc are available.

They offer small bowls of ramen and it is confusing on the menu because it is hard to decipher how much a small bowl costs. But actually, it is $1.50 less than whatever regular bowl of ramen costs depending on the style of ramen you want.

I also got chicken karaage which was actually quite good. I tasted the takoyaki (octopus balls) which they called fried octopus fritters on the menu..... were meh. I've definitely had much better and these were kinda mass-produced tasting. They also have gyozas which I didn't try, but those who did said it was really good.

I ordered a small bowl of nagoya style ramen and a small bowl doesn't come with the soft boiled egg, while the large bowl does. It doesn't make any sense really because the egg costs $1.50 so essentially, it is cheaper to just get the regular bowl of ramen and not eat your extra ramen for the same price.

I got additional chashu, beansprouts, egg (since mine didn't come with any) and bamboo. The ramen itself came with a small spoonful of ground pork and some chives. The small bowl also comes with a minuscule amount of broth so the ramen was essentially kinda on the dry side. The regular sized ramen had a decent amount of broth.

Flavor-wise the chashu was really good, not too fatty and very tasty. The ramen was just so-so and the broth was on the weak side. I asked for the creamed garlic to add to my broth for additional flavor and it helped some.

In the end, when you add this topping and that topping, the price of your ramen can get quite expensive. My bowl of ramen ended up costing about $11 when Santouka ramen's most expensive bowl of ramen costs the same with more pork and more toppings already included. Santouka's broth is also far superior to the one here.

For a quick ramen fix this place suffices. It also looks like it is trying to turn itself into an izakaya during dinner time as there were signs stipulating that once they get their liquor license they will be serving yakitori (grilled skewers) along with the alcohol.

Yakyudori definitely has potential to become a happening place!