We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“It was Ok IMO.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ramen Dojo

Ramen Dojo
Ranked #39 of 405 Restaurants in San Mateo
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Cheap Eats
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“It was Ok IMO.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014 via mobile

Me and my fiancé went to check what the fuss is all about as this ramen place has pretty good reviews. When we got there there was long line that made us think that it could be a good place. Long line maybe the place is small? Seating capacity is 24. There are 3 ramen flavors to choose from, additional toppings ranging from a buck or two. There were few side orders too. We ordered "garlic pork" with additional toppings of corn and qual eggs. I would say it was Ok. There was nothing special about it IMO. Or maybe it was just me. You should try it for yourself. Its almost $10 for a bowl of ramen.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Exxxtreme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    21
    13
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
121 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Better than in Japan?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

My husband and I recently visited Japan, and ate plenty of excellent ramen there, but he insists Ramen Dojo offers the best he's ever had. I too found the garlic pork exceptional, but this restaurant loses points (in my book) for the sub-par dining experience.

Ramen Dojo is a hole in the wall in every sense of the term. The restaurant capacity is just 24 people, but at least 35 were packed inside when we visited. It is EXTREMELY popular. The devout begin forming a line outside BEFORE the restaurant opens at lunch or dinner, and it's the kind of line that attracts attention from passersby (They must be distributing free food!)

Here's how it works: You worm your way to the door and add your name to a clipboard. When an employee calls your party (usually an hour after you've added your name to the list -- even if there are just two of you), she isn't ready to seat you -- she just wants to take your order so she can cycle you in and out as quickly as possible. Roughly 30 minutes after that, if you're lucky, she might seat you. Then it's a race to the finish as you attempt to scarf boiling broth into your gob so they can give your table to another couple. The chefs only make so much broth every day, and it is very possible you could wait an hour only to discover they have run out of food and are not serving anymore.

The ramen is delicious and very reasonably priced ($8.95 a bowl) but I got indigestion from eating it so fast. There are no benches for those waiting and nothing in that part of town to look at. It wouldn't be so bad if they added some outdoor benches and maybe served bottled beer to the people who are waiting. In a perfect world, the owners would be able to buy the dry cleaner's next door (or, better yet, the courtyard on the other side so as to add a bar) and expand to a reasonable size.

Tip: If you're dining in a group, I would have the driver drop off someone to sign the list while they look for parking. Then you may cut some time off your wait.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank CompassWhistle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
431 reviews
237 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
“Best Ramen I've Had”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

OK, I've never been to Ivan Ramen in New York or Tokyo but I have to say this is the most delicious ramen I've had so far. It's really delicious. The broth and pork are flavorful. Yes, the menu is small but they don't have to have a big selection. People like me obviously enjoy what limited selection they have. I'd rather go to a place with limited section and eat something good than go to a place with lots of selection but not enjoy the food so much. Yes, the line is long and if you're not an early bird like me, you will have to wait but it is worth it for me. I don't know if I want to keep going through that for a meal though but if I have the time to kill and craving for a ramen, definitely will wait to have a good ramen here. The service is fast. Price is reasonable. I will come back again.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank ToniLuvsScuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
214 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Love their garlic pork!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2014

Ok they do not serve tea. Yep you heard it right. Same owner as Santa Ramen but much much smaller with line that's at least 45 minute long if you're not there before the first seating she they opened. It's a 24 seater with a few seats a t the counter. You can get extra portion ramen. The garlic pork can be various spiciness. It's a. Great place if you want to wait.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank hrdabster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good ramen”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2013 via mobile

I have never tried ramen like this before. You order it in a big bowl and can add whatever extra toppings you want for a dollar. When you arrive put your name on the list hanging on the wall outside. There was a long wait when I went but my husband loved the food and claims it was his favorite ramen ever!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Kwerts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Ramen Dojo also viewed

 

Been to Ramen Dojo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing