“We’re very much the original traditional ramen in San Diego. We know what San Diegans like and don’t necessarily serve ‘American-style’ -- it’s ‘San Diego’ style [still traditional but with some twists],” says Owner/Executive Chef Isamu (Sam) Morikizono.
Osaka-born Morikizono has been a part of the Tajima family since 2001, when he took over the original location at 4681 Convoy Street. Back then, he described the clientele as “nearly all Japanese” and served solely traditional-style ramen. Since then, Morikizono has expanded into creating what he considers to be a more “international” approach to accommodate the increasingly diverse consumer base. Some of these changes include a generous selection of local craft beers as well as sake to pair with your meal and a gluten-free noodle option.
However, the ramen tends to be wholly Japanese, especially the original “Tajima” tonkotsu option, which features chives, kakuni (pork belly), a generous helping of fried garlic chips, green onion, soft boiled egg, bean sprouts, pork chashu, sesame seeds and Japanese seaweed that effortlessly melds together in glorious umami perfection.