Vegan Ramen and Tempura Brussel Sprouts Stand Out at Tajima Ramen in San Diego


I will be the first to tell you that I have never been much of a ramen person. Even as a poor college student I would opt to survive off snacks instead of those packaged noodles.

When legit ramen bowls emerged as a trending soup in the US about 5 years ago, I had zero interest in ever really trying it. Then one day, my friends dragged me. I actually tasted proper ramen, and I was changed. I became a pretty big fan, which is why I was so excited to try Tajima Ramen down here in San Diego! I opted to visit the Hillcrest location as it is closest to home, and was pleasantly surprised by its small size but high energy. Even on a Tuesday night there was quite a crowd, though we were still seated quickly and experienced great service all night, and a highlight for me was the tunes they had playing that kept the vibe super cool.

Tajima Ramen
3739 6th Ave, Ste B, San Diego, CA 92103

We started with the Tempura Brussel Sprouts, which became a favorite of mine. These had a perfectly crispy coating and were served with ponzu sauce that was seriously delicious. Another favorite appetizer is Garlic Edamame, something that I pretty much eat any time it’s on the menu, and this iteration was perfect, I loved how the garlic coating was almost like a sauce and they came out piping hot!

For the main event, I opted to go with their Vegan Ramen, as I’ve been transitioning to a mostly plant based diet and wanted to give this a try, and added fried garlic, because duh. This ramen starts with a soy vegetable based soup with mixed vegetables, baby spinach, corn, kaiware, cherry tomatoes, deep fried tofu, and sesame seeds, is topped with black garlic oil, and served with spinach noodles. I loved the flavor of the broth, and although tofu isn’t my favorite thing, I did enjoy the addition of the crunch of the fried tofu, just eat it quickly so the breading stays crispy! I really loved the spinach noodles with this ramen, they were light and had a great taste and texture! My friend that joined me ordered the Tajima Ramen with original tonkotsu soup, 1/2 ramen egg, green onions, pork chasu, sesame seeds, and japanese seaweed, and decided on thin noodles. While I didn’t taste this one, because pork, he seemed to seriously enjoy it!

After our meal we were asked if we wanted to try anything else, and while we were both so stuffed, we asked if there was anything they would recommend and were brought Takoyaki, octopus fritters topped with brown sauce, bonito flakes and seaweed. While these were definitely something new and different, I don’t think I was a big enough octopus fan for them and I’m a little bit weird about texture, but I definitely loved trying them and would for sure recommend if octopus is your jam!

Tajima is a perfect trendy little ramen spot tucked right into the edge of Hillcrest and is definitely perfect for this chillier weather we’ve been experiencing in San Diego! While you’ll enjoy everything you eat here, definitely don’t miss the tempura Brussels sprouts!

Thank you to Alternative Strategies for setting up this tasting at Tajima Ramen


Most everyone is convinced that I only moved to San Diego for the mexican food, and I can’t say they’re wrong. There is nothing I love more than chips, guacamole and a margarita on Taco Tuesday. I grew up in Orange County as the world’s pickiest eater, my mother entirely convinced I would never eat anything except chicken nuggets. I was literally on the pilot episode of Food 911 quoted as saying “I love chicken nuggets” in olive green corduroy overalls, my proudest moment to date. I then got pretty unfortunately chunky in college, and when I started getting skinny I realized broadening my horizons was a must. In the past 5 years I have become a major foodie, and a huge fan of everything green. I have recently taken on the challenge of teaching myself to cook, and make the best brussel sprouts on earth. Aside from my love of mexican food and foray into healthy home cooking, I have the biggest sweet tooth around and love anything and everything dessert. I make it a point to eat something sweet after every meal, and usually have some sort of candy on me at all times, which I balance out with a daily yoga practice and lots of running around like a crazy person. I am itching to get out and start exploring all San Diego has to offer, and am so excited to be able to share my findings here with all of you!