While waiting for the 235 bus on Broadway downtown last month, I noticed a new Japanese restaurant between 5th and 6th. Later I realized this was the long-awaited second location for Ramen Yamadaya. Since were in the mood for noodles yesterday but not the Kearny Mesa strip mall scene, it was time for a visit.
The majority of the dining area is set back from the street in a cozy lower level adjacent to the kitchen:
I like the layout of the big, easy to read menu:
We started off with a chicken karaage plate, and Jay had the chicken katsu (shown below), both ample servings for their respective prices:
My options at ramen places like Yamadaya are usually pretty limited because of my egg intolerance, but they offer a vegan ramen that’s remarkably different from my usual standby at Tajima (who also now have a downtown location nearby). Yamadaya’s broth has a distinct coconut flavor and you can almost see the creaminess:
Some more pictures from our visit, including the inexpensive small spicy tuna rice bowl:
Next door is Guadalajaran grilled meat restaurant Pipirins, which looks close to opening. The $4 craft beer on listed on the menu board can’t hurt either.
The most visually impressive restaurant of the three is BIGA, with gleaming counters and re-finished wood tables throughout. They opened after Christmas and serve fast-casual Neapolitan-style pizzas and sandwiches, while featuring coffee and gelato at the counter up front:
Look for more big changes two blocks to the east, where all the buildings on the north side of the street are now empty, waiting demolition for Bosa’s “The Block“, a $250 million dollar mixed-use project consisting of two towers, 21 and 41 stories each.