Katana-Ya – San Francisco, CA

430 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 771-1280
Near Union Square

Every now and then, there comes a ramen-ya that inspires me to write with excitement and enthusiasm oozing out from the neurons of my fingertips. Unfortunately, this was not one of them. I’m not sure if it was the cheesy neon lights or the stunning Brides of March, but all I got to say is: “Only in San Francisco!”


Regular Shoyu Ramen (rich): I’ve heard some people say that this ramen “is the best in the city.” And then I’ve heard them say “ramen in the city is nothing to rave about.” Somehow, I understand exactly how they feel. This Shoyu Ramen wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. I guess you can call it “regular” at best (and they do! haha). Available in “rich” or “light”, this rich version was just a shoyu ramen with extra fat. The toppings (chashu, menma, negi, seaweed) were highly overrated. The noodles were standard as well.


Regular Shoyu Ramen (light): The light version of this Regular Ramen was also nothing to rave about. Exactly the same as above, minus the extra fat, the soup was surprisingly better flavored, but still not worth the hype.


Deep Fried Chicken Ramen (Miso): Their miso ramen was more like miso-soup ramen and notably light, which made the Chicken Karaage a welcome addition. I didn’t try the chicken, but I heard it held its crisp fairly well.


Gyoza: An utter disappointment. I was expecting a little more for 6 bucks. An overbearing flavor of cabbage drowned out most other ingredients. I’d recommend skipping these next time.


Day one is done, but day two is just about to begin. It’s time to leave the city and travel south.

14 Replies to “Katana-Ya – San Francisco, CA”

  1. Just an update…I went back to try the light instead of rich shoyu. Yeah there was more flavor but I left with a really salty flavor in my mouth. The menma was super salty and a couple pieces were even cold. Halu SF was pretty good. I'm going to try it again to see if the one time is just a fluke.

  2. Wondering if any of you guys have tried Halu in SF (no relation to the San Jose Halu)?

    I'm not a ramen veteran (yet), so curious what others think. Their main focus is more on yakitori, which I always enjoy.

  3. I think your review is a little generous. I tried Katana-ya and left disappointed. I karaage with rich shoyu and the broth didn't have much flavor to it. The karaage wasn't bad. I'd say it was pretty average…but yeah…the ramen noodles were ok and the broth was really lacking. It will be Tanpopo or Bushi-tei Bistro for me.

  4. My friend told me this was the best ramen outside of Toyko. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had already tried it and felt the same way you did. I went to Tampopo down the street right after this for a second bowl. 😛

  5. oh, this was on my list to try…actually, it’s the *only* ramenya in the city i could find that looks worthwhile. but guess i can skip it. thanks for being the guinea pig!

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