Best Ramen in San Diego | Menya Ultra | Kearny Mesa, San Diego, California

A Foodie Review | San Diego

» Menya Ultra «


I first heard of Menya Ultra from a friend who claimed it was the best ramen in San Diego, scratch that. The best ramen he’s EVER had.  Of course, I had to check it out!


Menya Ultra made its stateside debut in San Diego, California.  Ramen Master, Takashi Endo has been cooking the traditional Japanese soup for over 22 years!  His prestigious recipe has won 4 awards at the largest ramen event in the world, the Tokyo Ramen show from 2010-2013 and was named the number one ramen store in the Tahoku region in Japan in 2009.  Currently, Menya Ultra has 12 shops open, 9 in Japan, 2 in Taiwan and the newest in San Diego. (They are rumor to open a second location in Mira Mesa, San Diego.)


The key components of this successful and delicious establishment are homemade noodle with softly scented wheat, Tonkotsu Paitan soup and choosing the best ingredients.  The noodles are made with salt and lye water.  It doesn’t have any preservatives or artificial colors and is made fresh daily.  Their signature soup is cooked over extremely high heat which allows the deep flavors of compressed umami to come out.  Only high-quality ingredients are used in the preparation of their food.  They cook as if they were cooking for their kids.  No yucky food in this house.


*Feel free to read “A Foodie Review Guide” to learn how I review restaurants like this one

Food & Drink

When a menu only has a handful of options it is noted that the restaurant must be very confident in their specialty dishes.  Menya Ultra has three types of ramen broth and 3 appetizers. Very simple.



There are 3 appetizers:




#2 Tonkotsu Ajitama Ramen » I pretty much always get Tonkotsu broth, because it’s not spicy and I like the creamy flavor.  Menya Ultra’s is creamy, salty and has a great umami flavor.  What I love about their broth is that it is not too creamy, not too watery, not too salty, and not under seasoned.  It is perfect, just the way Goldilocks likes it.  


*Pro Tip: Get #3 (extra chashu meat) and add an egg for a $1 – The egg is amazing!




#5 Paiko Tanten Men » John tried the Paiko Tanten Men, and even though it is red and says spicy in the description it has a mild kick.  This is coming from someone who doesn’t eat spicy, period.  (I can only do about 3 hot Cheetos and I’m done.) Like the Tonkotsu, it is perfectly seasoned. 




Fried Chicken » Nice and crispy.  Good seasoning. A perfect side to ramen. I personally wouldn’t mind if they added a sauce but that’s because I’m a #sauceboss kinda gal.  



Food & Drink | 50/50



I thought their service was great for being so busy and having such a big crowd.  Once they call you, they seat you right away, give you your menus and provide a sheet with all the menu items so you can fill out exactly what you want.  They can answer any questions but with a menu so simple, you should just decide.  They check up on you, refill your beverage and give your bill when they see you are finished with your meal. 


Some people might feel that the server was rushing them; but, honestly, with a crowd outside, a customer shouldn’t feel offended.   The restaurant is just trying to serve waiting, hungry (possible hangry) customers some ramen to fill their stomach.


It’s not a place to loiter.  The area has  countless boba and dessert shops you can hang out at after your meal.  




Service | 30/30

Aesthetics & Atmosphere



You are transported into, what I imagine, a traditional ramen house. It’s a small space with traditional red Japanese lanterns.  The walls are decorated with facts about the chain and their achievements.


It can’t be helped but you are going to be rushed because of the demand for this restaurant.  They do have boards up so people can’t stare on the inside.


They really need to get a bigger place.  These Japanese restaurants always choose the narrowest spaces.  Why?!

Aesthetics & Atmosphere | 10/15


Menya is located in decent sized plaza with a Daiso.  There are portions that are one way so please make sure you are going the right way.

Parking | 5/5


Menya Ultra is a San Diego must!  Best ramen this foodie has ever tasted (still need to take a trip to Japan).  I know I’ve said it’s perfectly seasoned like a million times but when you tasted perfection, there’s no other words to describe what you’ve tasted. This is now my go to place when I want to see someone smile.  It will literally bring a smile to your face once your tongue has touched the broth. I’ve seen it 4 times and counting.  


*Pro Tip: Come at 5pm and if you are one of the first 10 names you’ll get in at the first wave when it opens at 6pm!

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Worth It

Thank you Menya Ultra

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Justine is the founder of The Iridescent Wings, a blog all about chasing an adventure near and far. She is a Southern Californian and gives local tips on LA, OC and SD, from her favorites to what's trending. You can also catch her on a flight to other parts of the United States, Europe, Asia and beyond.
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