If there’s one thing I’m sad about from discovering Tajima, it’s that I lived in San Diego for 4 years and never knew about it until now. Tajima is a tiny tiny little restaurant, tucked way in the back of a small plaza off San Diego’s Asian Avenue, Convoy St.
Tajima has a fairly extensive menu, with a couple of pages worth of appetizers, ramen selections, Japanese pancakes (okonomiyaki), specials of the day, hamburg platters, and varieties of udon and soba noodle soups. I felt like the menu was full of very authentic Japanese foods that you really don’t see at most Japanese restaurants. There were so many things I was dying to try there, but the Japanese pancakes sounded the most intriguing. You know something is different about the restaurant when their special of the day was the Beef Teriyaki.
Since I was only able to go once, I’ll have to try all the other menus some other time, but we ordered the beef tataki, tuna tataki, mix Japanese pancake (a savory eggy omelette with pork, beef, and seafood), and a chasu ramen. The beef tataki was sooooo yummy… i’ve actually never had it before because I never really thought i’d be a fan of beef sashimi, but it was so good! The very rare, thin slices of beef were so tender, and were absolutely soaked through with the ponzu sauce. it was topped with a little bit of daikon, which also was soaked through with ponzu. wow, it was sooo good… we ended up ordering 2! I was also a big fan of the ramen – of all the japanese ramen houses i’ve been to, I think this is my favorite. The broth was exactly the way i like it, a little sweet, not too salty, and not too weirdly seasoned… just nice and simple.
There are a couple of things that I think are really nice about this place. One is that they’re open really late – i think until about 2 or 3 am! The other is that the ramen bowls come in different sizes. If you get the small bowl, it’s $2 cheaper than the quoted price, so i think it’s something like $5. Perfect for me, b/c I rarely finish a bowl of ramen on my own!
There are two complaints I have about this place though. One, though the waitresses are really really nice, servicve was pretty slow. The other, is that parking really sucks at this place — there aren’t a lot of spaces and they are very close together and not very clearly marked. It’s a parking lot that invites accidents.
Overall, I pretty much love this place — would go like once a week if i lived closer!