Misoya (Santa Clara, CA)

6:30:00 AM


Ramen. Let me count the ways of how much I love thee…

Shall I compare thee to my poor college counterpart?


You are in your own category. Ramen, to the Japanese are an essential part of Japanese cuisine. It’s hearty, hot, bold and full of complex umami-ness, but for us Americans, up until just the past decade, I would say we have associated Ramen with a familiar brand, Cup Noodles. And while ramen is just as an important staple to the many college students across the United States, we need to look past the instant gratification of flash fried noodles bits in a bowl or cup and look at THIS.

If that doesn’t trigger hunger pangs, I don’t know what will.

Thankfully, the Bay Area has a few handfuls of established ramen houses that enables people like us to understand just what we’re missing out in Japan.

Enter Misoya. Orenchi, no question about it, is the go-to ramen restaurant for people who live in the South Bay, but I’ve heard of Misoya from a few of my friends and coworkers and wanted to see how it stacked up to my trifecta: Orenchi, Santouka and Kotetsu. 

We visited on a late Sunday night after another karaoke session at Music Tunnel. Misoya is located in the same plaza as the Super Kyo-po market and Tous Les Jour. It was around 8 PM and the restaurant was fairly empty with the exception of a few tables. The interior was inviting, bathed in a black and red background. 

The menu was elaborate, resembling like the restaurant and it was separated according to the region of which the miso paste originated from. I ordered the Kome Miso Cha-shu Ramen Hokkaido style and one of my friends got the Shiro Miso Cha-shu Ramen Kyoto Style and my other friend got one of their specials which was the Seafood Ramen, I believe.  

Mine, as seen in the picture, came with French fries. When I saw “Fried Potato” on the listing of ingredients for the ramen, the first thing that came to my mind was not French Fries. I was thinking something more along the lines of chunky pan fried potatoes, but I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t underestimate the size; this was a big bowl of noodles. I was not able to finish everything and I was pretty hungry. 

The miso was complex and full bodied, like the menu said, but it was also, in my honest opinion—too salty. I’m a “heavy on the salt” type of girl, but even for me, I found it too overwhelming. The first few bites were good, but when I hit about half way, all I tasted in my mouth was salt and that was disappointing. I asked my friends and they had the same reaction about their bowls. I’m not sure if the chef just used a heavier hand that day or perhaps he had a cold and couldn’t adjust the flavor, but all the hype boiled down to a decent, but incredibly salty bowl of noodles. 

Overall, Orenchi, Santouka and Kotetsu still wins out, but I wouldn’t mind giving Misoya another chance.

Do you agree or disagree with my Ramen Trifecta? If so, what ramen places are your top three?

3541 Homestead Road
Santa Clara, CA 95051

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