Ramen is one of the best Japanese comfort food (to me), you can have it in so many different style, different broth, toppings, etc., and is especially good during the cold months. But, finding a good ramen restaurant is another story. While we were in SF, we found this place called Katana-ya where they served Ramen and other Japanese food. Since we were craving some good Japanese food, we decided to give this place a try.

The exterior didn’t look like much, and not in a great neighborhood either. The inside was not too big, it felt very cramped. It had lots of interesting huge light fixtures of many colors hanging, creating this strange, purple – red hue inside the restaurant. Looked a bit old, not super clean, but then again, it was rather dark with weird colored lights.

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We got seated quickly, and we decided on what we wanted. Easy enough. However, getting a server’s attention was not easy. After a little while, we finally caught a server and made our orders. We ordered Combination items – Ramen + Choice of Mini Don. The first one was Ramen + Tuna Don ($14.95). As you can see, the mini donburi is really small. And that strange purple lighting made the food look weird…

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The Ramen came with sliced BBQ pork, green onion, and seaweed. The Tuna Donburi had 4 slices of sashimi tuna over rice. The Ramen was ok, nothing special. The noodle was a bit overcooked, broth felt oily and a bit too salty, and pork slice was really thin. It didn’t have much of anything other than overcooked noodle in a broth. The sashimi tuna was nice, but it was difficult to eat out of that super small bowl. I am not sure it was worth the $14.95 price tag.

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The next one was Ramen + BBQ Pork Don ($12.95). Cheaper but with larger mini donburi than Tuna Don set. Since you can’t choose the ramen, it is still the same, not-so-great ramen. The BBQ Pork Don was actually nice, had nice BBQ sauce drizzled over it, and it was more filling than the Tuna Don. I think this set was much more of a great deal than the Tuna Don set. Of course, seafood (especially sashimi or sushi) usually cost more than pork, but

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The worst thing about this restaurant was the service. I am not sure if they care about their customer, they really are not attentive, helpful, or polite. We couldn’t get anyone to refill our water. We had to wait forever for someone to take our order and to bring us our check. The way they treated us was almost rude. They were more interesting in chatting with each other than attending to customers. Maybe they were rude to us because we actually were making them work??  I always thing that the bad service can ruin your experience and this was one of those times. The food was ok, but nothing special. The service was really bad, to the point we left the restaurant with bad feeling in our mind and tummy. Don’t think we will be returning to this restaurant.

Katana-ya – 430 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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