As a child, I refused to eat anything but 'Top Ramen,' and though my palette has (thankfully) matured, I am still a sucker for any big bowl of ramen. Tajima offers traditional Japanese ramen and bites in an elevated and beautiful environment. The dishes served up at Tajima are unique and flavorful, taking thoughtful spins on classic staples.
Tajima currently has three locations across San Diego, but my personal favorite is in East Village. This vibrant neighborhood is currently going through a bit of a renaissance, with unique storefronts opening and innovative development projects in the works. Tajima's East Village location is lined with black and gold ornate wallpaper and intimate, modern booths. The space, designed by Basile Studios, is a contemporary approach to the traditional Japanese ramen shop. Basile Studios states, "Our design for Tajima East Village is our visual interpretation of Tajima's values: tradition and authenticity in a modern context. We achieved this by fusing traditional Japanese elements with modern overtures." This concept is conveyed simply by the choice of beautiful light fixtures. Contemporary globe lights drop from the ceiling, while more traditional Japanese 'lanterns' dangle above the booths.
Each location offers a slightly different menu, but each serves up the same staple ramen dishes. My personal favorite is the vegan ramen--it is extremely flavorful and creamy (but I do add an egg to it). Tajima's original vegetable soy-based soup is paired with corn, asparagus, mixed greens, kaiware, fried tofu, shredded red peppers and spinach noodles. These unexpected additions make all of the difference. And don't worry, if you're not interested in pursuing a vegan lifestyle, Tajima offers a wide variety of ramen featuring pork or chicken. Be sure to grab an order of garlic edamame as well!