Tadamasa // East Bay
The San Francisco east bay gets no love, especially from all the folks that live up in San Francisco. But for people who grew up in the east bay(Both of the editors here are from Fremont), we know that there are plenty of choices when it comes to food all up and down the 880.
With that being said, Tadamasa is a legitimate ramen place in the East Bay. Throw all of your preconceived notion away, because Tadamasa is the definition of a hidden gem/under-the-radar restaurant that people continually write off. The restaurant is located in a nondescript shopping plaza, located next to the 99 Ranch plaza and Logan High School. It has one of those storefronts where it just looks like there is no way that is can possible be any good. But damn, you are wrong. Very wrong.
To my knowledge, Tadamasa is the only SF Bay Area ramen shop has a kara coconut miso ramen(shrimp, mung bean, cilantro and imitation crab). Spicy, coconut-ty and savory, it has the right mix of every single taste sensation that our bodies can handle. In fact, the sweetness of the coconut and the spiciness of the broth really reminded me of Malaysia/Singapore and the delicious Laksa that I had there.
We also tried a more traditional tonkotsu ramen. The spicy tonkatsu broth is simply excellent and I can’t recommend it enough for anyone who likes a bit of flame on their taste buds. The noodles are nicely textured and provide a satisfying bounce to every bite. Additionally, the chasu pork is fantastic since you are able to taste the natural flavor of the pork in every single bite.
More importantly, because of the fact that the store is so nondescript, it is very unlikely you’ll encounter any lines at all. I’ll leave you with this.
Go easy on the spicy tonkotsu broth, it hits hard and mean. If you have the stomach, get the garlic edamame because they taste just like Gordon Biersch garlic fries.