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“The Best Full-Flavored Ramen Served in a Jazz-Themed Noodle Shop”
Review of Himawari

Himawari
Ranked #13 of 418 Restaurants in San Mateo
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese
Restaurant details
Reviewed January 4, 2014

If you are a fan of ramen or japanese noodles, Himawari is definitely worth a visit. Probably one of the best places to get ramen in they bay area, this cozy noodle house serves top-notch Japanese soups at reasonable prices. Although the main attraction is the ramen, the menu is supplemented with other traditional Japanese dishes - kaarage, gyoza, rice dishes; really there is something for everyone there.

The house specialty at Himawari is the Shiro Tan Tan Men, a spicy chili miso flavored soup with ground pork and its absolutely fabulous. This is a complex, rich, full-bodied broth that delights the taste buds. Be sure to add one or two of their hardboiled shoyu eggs. Himawari serves full eggs versus half eggs as many ramen houses do. These are tasty and warm with the yokes still soft and liquidy in the middle. Noodles here are on the thinner side and have a light firmness to them. I have had Tan Tan Men in several establishments across the United States this last year as well as overseas and I can honestly say that Himawari serves it the best. I cannot recommend this place enough and I cannot wait to go back!

The service can vary depending on who is working and how busy they are. The place is snug and at times a long wait, but definitely worth it. The ramen is moderately priced, but add-ons can quickly bring up the cost. The shop is lined with jazz records and classic be-bop and blues play overhead while you mow down. An average dinner for two would fall somewhere between the $30-$40 range.

Dinning Tips:
- Tuesday nights have the longest waits as another popular ramen joint is closed - expect a long line.
- Try sitting at bar and watch the cooks work their magic. The open kitchen gives you a full-view into their techniques.
- They do not serve a vegetarian ramen, but do have other options for herbivores :)

Recommended Dishes:
Starters:
Gyoza
Kaarage (Japanese style fried chicken)
Sesame Spinach

Mains:
Shiro Tan Tan Men
Kanitama Ramen - Unique! (Snow crab omelet in a soy-broth with ramen noodles)
Tonkotsu Ramen
Tofu Salad

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1  Thank Cinnastickz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 43 of 56 reviews

Reviewed September 8, 2013

Himawari ("Sunflower" in Japanese) specializes in authentic Japanese ramen and cool jazz. The restaurant is located in a section of San Mateo that sports several Japanese restaurants, all in store front locations. Each of the Japanese restaurants on the street has its own specialty. However, only Himawari had a substantial line waiting for a table on the Sunday evening when my party arrived. That meant that either everyone in the area wanted ramen or that Himawari had a great reputation. As a country, Japan is well known for individual ramen shops, each with its own secret technique for making the broth. For 23 years, I lived in Sapporo, where the whole city is famous for ramen. Therefore, I may be a bit snooty in saying that I found the Himawari broth a bit too strong and the men (noodles) a bit tough. Otherwise, Himawari is a pleasant place to dine.

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1  Thank Jeff H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013 via mobile

The best Ramen noodles! Tan tan men deluxe! very delicious...service is great! server gives you a smiling face.the restaurant is small but very nice atmospher.the price is reasonable.and its in the heart of downtown San Mateo.I will give the restaurant a overall rate is excellent! see again soon!

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Thank fvr9ers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I walk into this restaurant and instantly feel better. It has style. It plays great jazz. And the noodle soups are my newest craving. The walls are lined with the covers of some of the greatest jazz albums ever recorded. If you hold up your iPhone and push Shazam you will discover artists that you may not know. You may also realize that what that big tenor sax sounded like was indeed the great Dexter Gordon. My beloved soup is Tan Tan Men. Spicy but not too strong, I drink the broth and devour the noodles. The simple house white is extremely cold and the perfect partner for this meal. People love this place. Expect a little wait sometimes but you get to listen to the greatest jazz as you dream of your perfect bowl of ramen.

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Thank jodylueza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

There are a _lot_ of ramen places in san mateo (5?), and ramen picks up again about 10 miles to the south in Mountain View through Sunnyvale. Himawari is considered the consensus best of all the places. Broth is good, lots of selection, decent non-ramen choices. Very much of a local night out.

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Thank bbulkow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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