Monday, August 24, 2009

Tamaya Restaurant - restaurant review

I met a friend for dinner a couple weeks ago, and she took me to a new place that she'd discovered a little while previous. She knew that I was a fan of ramen, and she said this place had a ton of ramen choices, so she really wanted me to try it. For most ramen places I've been, they do indeed have a fairly good selection of ingredients that you can add to your ramen, so I figured another good ramen place to go to is always a good thing.

Well, when we got there, she had not been exaggerating. In addition to the customary soy sauce and miso choices of soup base, they had a couple of others as well. They also had more than just the normal choices of ingredients to have in your ramen. It actually took me a while to look through the menu at all the available choices, but I loved that the menu had pictures of most everything. I know some people find picture menus to be tacky, but I'm a fan because I like having the description and the visual, especially if it's something I'm not totally familiar with.

In addition to ramen, they also had some rice dishes, side orders, and random other dishes. They also had a "make your own ramen combination", where you could combine one of the ramen dishes with one of the mini dishes. They also had a set combination special for each month, and I ended up getting the special for August.

I had been looking at the chanpon (seafood) ramen because it came with a nice selection of seafood. The August special was the chanpon ramen with a spam roll. Now, I remember having spam as a kid, but I haven't had that stuff in years. I'm not a particular fan, though I'm not as adverse to it as some people. I do remember liking it when it was cooked hot in some things, but I'd also had it in other things that I decidedly did NOT care for. I had heard of spam sushi and decided it was *not* my thing. Well, my friend had had it before, and she said it was very good, and when I expressed my concerns, she said that wasn't how it tasted, so she ended up convincing me to try it. August set menu combo special it was.

I really enjoyed the chanpon ramen. The mix of ingredients was indeed quite good, and the broth was very tasty. I actually ended up liking the spam roll ok. I did dip it in soy sauce, and it wasn't bad. It's not something that I'd be racing out to get, and I'm not sure how often I'd get it as part of a combo meal, but I wouldn't be adverse to having it again.





My friend ended up getting a combo with the gyoza ramen and inari sushi. She enjoyed her meal as well.





For dessert, we ended up sharing an order of ice cream. Normally, it's a trio of vanilla, green tea and red bean, but they were out of the red bean, so we had one scoop of vanilla and two scoops of green tea instead.


The restaurant is on a corner location but while there is signage out front, I don't think it's necessarily an attention-grabber, so the place might be easy to miss. There's a small parking lot behind the restaurant, but there's also parking on the street. It's not a very large restaurant, but I liked it. The service was good, and our waiter was very nice. They were good about coming and refilling our water glasses. The decor is very casual, and since they weren't that crowded on this particular Saturday night, we sat and chatted for a while after dinner since we didn't figure they needed our table.




Tamaya Restaurant
645 E. Main Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
626-458-8388
11:30am - 9:30pm daily


second location
17142 Colima Road, #E
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
626-581-3223
11:30am - 9:30pm daily

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