Today I’m starting a new little subdivision of Local Foodie called Downtown Diamonds. This is my husband’s brainchild. He had the idea of having us head to the downtown area of a local city/town where we’d pick out a restaurant based on what looks good. No cheating and looking up restaurants ahead of time! Then we’d rate the restaurant based on food, service and family friendliness. Are you ready?
First up – Ramen Seas in downtown Sunnyvale.
I know. Here we go again with the ramen. We have a problem. Hi, my name is Joy, and I have a ramen addiction. Oh, you do, too? Well then, let’s be friends.
Last year when we hit up Ramen Yokocho we made sure to grab bowls from far away shops based in Japan (or in the case of the Ramen Burger, NY). One of the spots we skipped on purpose because it was local was Ramen Seas. I didn’t realize it was going to take us so long to try this place out.
We wandered down Murphy in downtown Sunnyvale trying to find a spot that sounded good and didn’t have a ridiculously long wait (cough*DishDash*cough), and Aldwin mentioned that if all else failed, he saw “some ramen shop” across the way. Well, “some ramen shop” turned out to be a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try since last summer.
First, this place has some crazy lighting. We were right by the window, so the neon lights were all over our food. I promise their ramen isn’t really purple and green. It is (surprise!) full of the sea.
Wait, before we get to the ramen, I want to talk about that takoyaki appetizer. I may not have had a lot of takoyaki in my life (Katamari kind of scared me off them for a while), but I thought these were really good. Soft, chewy insides and bits of perfectly cooked octopus. I’m now on a mission to eat takoyaki everywhere so that I have a better basis of comparison.
Aldwin had the deluxe ramen, which is basically the ramen broth of your choice (he went with tonkotsu) plus all the toppings and add-ons they have available. Ramen with everything. I heard no complaints.
I had the clam ramen, which I really enjoyed. The broth was distinctly tonkotsu with a hint of seafood, and the clams tasted fresh. The noodles were softer than what I’m used to. They also seemed a little thinner. Personally, I prefer more bite to my noodles.
Both the Mini Foodie and the Tiny Foodie went to town on our bowls of soup, and neither wanted to touch the takoyaki or karaage that we ordered. Actually, the karaage sat largely untouched for the most part. It was okay. Pretty standard.
Food overall? I’d give it 3.5 out of 5
And the service? Super friendly. These guys were rushing around like crazy, but they were always helpful and friendly when you needed something. Attentive they were not, but it wasn’t hard to grab someone’s attention when you needed it. I’d give them 3.5 out of 5.
Now, family friendliness. Eating out is just generally rougher when your have babies. There’s just so much stuff involved – high chairs, strollers or car seats, diaper bags. When you bring tiny kids into a restaurant, the staff need to find a spot with not just enough table space for your family but space for all your stuff. As is common with ramen shops, Ramen Seas is tiny. They only had one high chair and zero space for a stroller. We parked the stroller outside off to the side of their door. Luckily, their entrance is recessed a bit, so the stroller wasn’t in anyone’s way. They also gave us a corner table so that we had space to plop down the diaper bag and all the coats without them being in the way. So, they did their best with what they had, but what they had wasn’t all that much. If another family with small children came in after we did, they’d be out of luck. 2.5 out of 5.
Family Friendliness 2.5
Any downtown diamonds in your area? If you’re local to me, where would you like us to go next?
Other local, casual eats: