Sunday, June 21, 2015

Restaurant Review: Tadamasa (Ramen)

Tadamasa - lunch on May 31, 2015
My cousin Ellen told us about Tadamasa, a Japanese ramen place she and her fiancé had gone to that she recommended. For me and my parents, it gave us a new place to try and answered another “where do you want to go for lunch?” question after Sunday church service.
Tadamasa is in a mini strip mall that looks a bit rundown and, from the outside, you have no idea what the inside looks like since the front glass windows are pretty much covered in blinds. Inside, it’s rather small. I counted two 6-toppers, two 4-toppers and two 2-toppers. The tables could be configured in 2, 4 and 6 though, depending on the patrons’ needs but that seemed to be the optimal configuration in the space they had. The back half of the restaurant was comprised of a kitchen area and a “bar” area where people could also sit and eat in case there weren’t any tables. I don't know that I would recommend coming here with a large party. 6 would be the max and I'd recommend coming early.
Shrimp Miso Ramen
They opened at 10:30 am and we got there shortly after 11 so we were fortunate enough to snag the last 4-topper. The tables and most of the seats at the bar were all full before we were halfway through our meal. The menu offered several types of ramen as well as a few non-ramen dishes, mainly donburi and the quintessential chicken teriyaki dish. Which is what I, the non-adventurous eater, would normally get at a Japanese restaurant (yes, I’m that person). This time around, I took a walk on the wild side and got the Oyaka Donburi instead which is basically chicken, soft scrambled egg and onions atop a bowl of rice.
Gyudon Donburi
I love donburi dishes when it’s mostly just rice and protein. And I love rice in Japanese restaurants because 9 times out of 10, they have the best rice. Tadamasa was no exception as their rice was amazing. The only drawback to my dish was the plethora of onions. I mean, there were a lot of onions, too much for me to successfully pick out which is my usual strategy. I don’t mind the taste of onions but can’t stand the texture, cooked or raw. I ended up pushing aside half the dish because it was literally all onions. The half I did eat was delicious though.
Miso Soup that came with the Donburi dishes
Prices are pretty reasonable, especially for a Japanese restaurant as they normally tend to run higher than your average Asian eatery. But the dishes here were mainly in the $10-$14 range. That’s partially explained by the fairly modest portion sizes that came out. I wouldn’t call them super small but instead are akin to what a normal portion size of a homecooked meal would be rather than restaurant-size portions. When I travel in Europe, one thing I always appreciate it is they don’t serve you a ton of food and the portion sizes are reasonable. Same thing at Tadamasa. Large enough portion that eating the whole thing leaves you feeling satisfied rather than “full” but not so small that you’re still hungry at the end of the meal. Service was also fairly quick and although there seemed to be only 1 server working the small room, we were able to get anything we needed in a timely manner. Next time I want to try the ramen. Or their chicken teriyaki.
Oyako Donburi

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