Jan 15

Raijin Ramen House

1901 S St

Sacramento, CA 95811

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

I apologize to all of my readers for not keeping up with my blog in the past few weeks. A lot has been going on with the holidays and new year. With that said, Happy New Year!

One of the best ways to warm up during a cold rainy day is to go out for ramen. Having not tried the ramen houses in midtown, we ventured out to Ryujin Ramen House. Unfortunately, due to bad parking, and a wait time, we decided to walk across the street to Raijin Ramen House instead. We still plan to try Ryujin in the future, just not today. As we entered Raijin Ramen House, multiple staff greeted us, and a server seated us at one of the many available tables. We were both provided with menus and an addendum to the menu consisting of two additional ramen dishes. There is quite a large variety of ramen and ramen toppings available on the menu. After a couple of minutes of skimming the menu, we were ready to order.

Today, we decided to order the miso tonkotsu ramen and the kara miso tonkotsu ramen. I decided to order my miso tonkotsu ramen with corn instead of seaweed, and they were able to accommodate and not change extra for the topping change. The broth was extremely bold, and you can really taste the pork base. After drinking the brother for a bit, I did find it to be a bit salty. There was plenty of corn, which went well with the broth. The meat was extremely tender, but could be better seasoned. I like the bits of minced pork that were also present in the bowl. The soft yolk egg was tasty and went well with the meal. The kara miso tonkotsu ramen was very similar in the bold pork base flavor and saltiness, but had hints of heat. Other than the heat, the two ramen dishes were pretty similar.

Overall, Raijin serves up tasty ramen at reasonable prices. Service was excellent and there is value in the amount of food received. Next time, I would like to try out other ramen with a different base to see if Raijin does better. If you like ramen, then Raijin is a great option.

Dec 07

Umai Savory Hot Dogs

3620 N Freeway Blvd #310

Sacramento, CA 95834

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 

Located in multiple locations in the Sacramento area and growing, Umai Savory Hot Dogs serves up creative hot dog concoctions in innovative ways. With so many different types to choose from, we decided to give them a try, especially since there was a $12 for $20 Groupon available.

To put it bluntly, we had a horrible experience. The worst. We placed our order at 6:45 pm on 12/2/16. We waited 30 minutes since the orders seemed to be coming out slow, and we still didn’t receive any food. People who arrived after us already received food. We ended up being the only people there without food. When I asked what happened, they said the check didn’t print in the kitchen, which is unacceptable since servers continuously came out to bring people food. The servers seem to have memorized who ordered what because they seldom call out numbers, so they should have recognized that we received no food. We were already hungry and were not willing to wait. We received a refund of the credit card difference, but we also wanted a refund of the Groupon purchase because we did not intend to return. Unfortunately, the staff there, nor the manager whom I called could get me that refund. I ended up requesting the refund directly from Groupon, which went through just fine.

Overall, I do not recommend this restaurant. Service was slow overall, and this fiasco costed them a customer. Some other customers who did receive food were missing parts of their order and waited just as long as we did. Great job Umai for being my first 0 star review!

Nov 30

Gen Korean BBQ House – Milpitas, CA

500 Barber Ln

Milpitas, CA 95035

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Gen finally opens a second location in Milpitas after a very successful opening in San Jose. Long wait times and horrible parking plagued the San Jose location, so this location will hopefully alleviate the pressure for Gen visitors. Unfortunately, the parking situation in the Milpitas parking lot is just as bad since there are so many restaurants and shops sharing the same lot. After finally finding a parking space, the wait continues as we put my name down on the 1.75 to 2.25 hour wait list. And so we waited, and waited, watching group after group get seated. We were finally seated after 2.25 hours at the bar since that was available first. A server soon came by to take our drink order and bring over the salad. The server seemed a bit frazzled, running back and forth taking care of the bar customers.

Like the San Jose location, Gen has two different service options depending on the day of the week and time of day. There are 37 different items to choose from during dinner and weekends at $24.99 per person. The side dishes were pretty underwhelming and the salad was quite bitter. Today, we decided to order the premium brisket, premium steak, beef bulgogi, pork belly, Hawaiian steak, miso pork belly, Cajun shrimp, and japchae. After getting all settled in, the server did do a good job in checking in and taking our refill orders. The brisket tasted fresh and delicious, going well with the provided dipping sauces. The brisket tasted so good that we ordered it three more times during the meal with each time tasting just as delicious and tender. The premium steak was quite sizable and took a bit longer to cook. After cooking both sides for a few minutes, I used the scissors to slice it into strips. The steak was a bit fatty on one side, but it was tender and juicy. The beef bulgogi was seasoned well with bulgogi sauce, but the meat was hard to separate on the grill. The pork belly was thin enough to cook through on both sides in a reasonable amount of time. I also sliced the pork belly with the scissors to make each piece bite-sized. The meat was juicy and tasted even better when dipped into the sauces. The Hawaiian steak had some pineapple flavors, but tasted more like bulgogi again. The miso pork belly was the most disappointing because it was very thick, so it was hard to cook though. The seasoning was also extremely salty to the point of being inedible. The Cajun shrimp was tasty, but peeling the shells was quite time-consuming. The japchae tasted mostly like soy sauce and did not have any flavor nor enough sesame oil.

Overall, Gen Korean BBQ House does serve up a wide array of dishes at a very reasonable price. The parking situation and long wait times are extremely discouraging, just like at the San Jose location. The restaurant’s blaring music and club-like lightning may deter some as it is hard to have a conversation with how loud the restaurant was while cooking. Service started out slow but got drastically better as the meal went by. By the end of the meal, we ordered meat four times, with a maximum of four items per order. If you want excellent Korean BBQ in the San Jose area, I would definitely recommend Gen. If you want to avoid some of the wait time, just go as early as possible. Since there are two locations now, you may also want to call both locations to see what their wait times are and go to the one with the shorter time. If you want to eat during dinner on a weekend or holiday, prepare to suffer.

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