San Mateo: Ramen Izakaya Kagura

It was a cold.. cold… I can’t emphasize how cold it really was… night in October when myself and 2 GFs ventured to Ramen Izakaya Kagura on a Tuesday night. Yea, we’re hipsters like that. When you have that craving for 15 hour soups, soft-boiled eggs and lots of noodles, you have to answer it. It’s more than a craving, it’s a feeling, a need, a matter of life and death and frankly, you don’t want to lose that loving feeling. Nothing is worse than filling your belly with something, anything when all you really want is ramen. Your stomach will hate you. Capisce?

Hakata Style Tonkotsu Ramen + Extra Noodles: $9.50


The spot is new a sister restaurant to SF’s Waraku Ramen Izakaya and on the edge of DT San Mateo. There’s only street parking, but because they’re open later that other ramen spots on the area, the parking is incredibly easy after 9pm (when we were there). I really wanted to pig out on their selection of Kushiage (deep-fried yummies) but had to stop myself as I realized it was about 10 pm on a Tuesday and I still neededĀ to drive home that night. I so hate driving on a full stomach. Instead I limited myself to a bowl of ramen and a shared chicken karaage with the girls. You’d thinking ordering just one bowl of ramen is easy? It’s not, first off, you needed to decide what you’re in the mood for, rich porky goodness, light shoyu or salty chicken based broth. Then the noodles, are you into the dry and dipping style or their specialty hakata style noodles or just a regular bouncy ramen noodles?

Seriously, I really wish I could’ve done my own combo of the clams ramen, but dipping style with hakata noodles! No such luck so I settled on a bowl of thier speciality, Hakata Style Tonkotsu Ramen. It was rich, flavorful and the noodles were beautifully thin but chewy. I was sad that they didn’t have corn as a topping, but that was quickly dashed out of my mind as I started to slurp down the soup. It was amazing, then something weird happened. I crunch down on something. Something fatty, crisp and porky good. OMG THEY ADD FRIED PORK SKINS TO THEIR RAMEN!!!! Why isn’t everyone doing this!??? The chashu unfortunately was forgettable but that egg was pretty spectacular. I was craving hardcore the next night and contemplated a run down to SM just for a bowl. But it was cold.

Chicken Karaage: $5

Beautifully straight noodles

That spectacular egg, do yourself a favor and get 2!

All done!

Ramen Izakaya Kagura
279 Baldwin Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 685-8800

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