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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Daikokuya - Costa Mesa

2975 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Daikokuya is a little ramen shop in the food court inside the Marukai Market in Costa Mesa. Marukai is a grocery store that specializes in Asian and Hawaiian groceries. The store is kind of similar to Costco in that you need to purchase a membership to shop there. You do not need a membership though to eat in the food court. The food court also contains a Sushi Boy, a Korean restaurant, a Japanese/Italian restaurant and a Beard Papa's Cream Puffs.

The menu at the Costa Mesa location of Daikokuya is pretty limited. They only offer one kind of ramen. This is their specialty. They also offer about 3 other dishes as well as a couple of side dishes like fried rice. You can order your ramen alone for $8.50 or as a combo with one of their side dishes for $11.50. I decided to get the ramen combo with the fried rice. I asked for a glass of water. I was then informed that they only have bottled water, but offer free iced tea. The cashier then pointed to a large metal drink dispenser with a hand written sign that said "Wheet Tea." I decided I would just drink that as my beverage.....even though I didn't know what it was. J ordered a shredded pork bowl ($7.50) and decided to drink the "Wheet Tea" as well.

The ramen here is served in a bowl that is bigger than your head.....well at least most of your heads.... In addition to the fried rice, my meal came with a salad. The salad was pretty yummy. I especially liked the creamy dressing on top. It basically seemed like a Japanese version of cole slaw.

The ramen was served in a murky broth. Daikokuya claims it takes a full day of boiling pork bones at a secret undisclosed location to make this broth. The ramen is topped with a marinated hard boiled egg, seasoned bamboo, bean sprouts and green onions. I have heard a lot of great thinks about Daikokuya so maybe I built it up too much in my head. I was pretty disappointed with my ramen. The broth was a little on the bland side. They had a condiment bar so I added some pureed garlic and soy sauce to my soup. This made it taste a little better.

The fried rice was also pretty tasteless. I added a lot of soy sauce, some pureed garlic and some white pepper. It tasted better, but not great. I ended up taking the fried rice home. I doctored it up at home with salt, pepper and soy sauce and it tasted a lot better.

J ordered her shredded pork bowl without the green onions and pickled ginger that usually comes on top. The shredded pork had been simmered in a sweet teriyaki like sauce with white onions. J liked the bowl but felt that it had a little too much sauce.

Both J and I thought that the "Wheet Tea" was really weird. I thought it tasted like toasted rice tea and J thought it just tasted like a bunch of grains. I probably wouldn't drink this again.

The next time I decide to go out for ramen, I think I will skip Daikokuya. The noodles were ok, but not worth the drive to Costa Mesa or the hefty price tag.

Daikokuya Costa Mesa on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Where is a good spot for noodles near south OC /irvine? IE ramen/soba/udon?????

edjusted said...

Nice review! I agree, I wish the ramen was heavier on the flavor. I still miss Chabuya, which was another ramen house that used to be in that food court. That one was much better.