Mentatsu: Surprisingly Satisfying

688 Baker St. #7
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 979-2755

My friend Smith and I actually came here as a 4th back up haha. We originally wanted to get Mil Jugos in downtown Santa Ana, but they closed on Sundays. We then decided to go get seafood down in Newport, but then the traffic was crazy leading into Newport Beach. We then decided to just finally get Sushi Imari, which was closed like Mil Jugos haha. Finally, we decided on ramen and Mentatsu was open!! SUCCESS!!!

To be honest, I hardly expect much from any ramen shop nowadays because Shin-sen-gumi has set the bar so high. When we entered, the place is pretty small, but not as small as Shin-sen-gumi. We were promptly seated and I decided to have their Chashumen, which is their specialty since there was a big fat photo of it at the top of their menu lol. It’s basically fish cakes, a half boiled egg, and extra cha xiu. My friend ordered ramen as well, but his had fried green onions and his broth was based on miso, while mine was soy sauce based.

When I got my bowl of ramen, I decided to try the broth right away and I must say, I am very impressed at how deeply flavored their broth is. Maybe not as deep as Shin-sen-gumi, but it’s still pretty good in its own right. The cha xiu was okay. I think it was a little dry. I normally like cha xiu with a little bit of fat on them, this bowl just had lean meat. The boiled egg was…well…a boiled egg haha. The fish cakes were tender, but flavorless. Now, onto the noodles. I have to say I am a true thin noodle fan, but Mentatsu did a good job at preparing their thicker variety of noodles and it was firm and very delicious.

My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed our meals, even though Mentatsu ended up being a 4th choice. Although I would still recommend Shin-sen-gumi over Mentatsu, my friend brought up the notion of the wait vs taste ratio. If you are in a hurry and want something to eat real quick, this place will still satisfy you. If you want quality, but a long wait, go to Shin-sen-gumi. Either or, it’s your decision, but I liked Mentatsu and I’ll probably come back someday.

OH I FORGOT ONE THING!! The chicken karage was plain and uninspiring. It was really bland. The chef definitely forgot to salt the chicken or the batter. Avoid it and don’t waste your money like we did :(.


~ by thankgoditsfood on July 21, 2010.

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