I've been eating ramen here since my college days. I didn't go to school in San Diego, but I had plenty of friends who did and these were our late night, early morning, heck, all day long meals. Ramen has suddenly become really popular, but these, my friends, are my tried-and-true favorite spots. Favorite for different reasons too.
1. Izakaya Masa in Mission Hills
(居酒屋) is a common kind of bar or restaurant in Japan known to serve food that complement drinks. Think tapas, but Japanese. Izakaya Masa has some of the best ramen I've ever had. It's not flashy. It's not a huge portion. It's just right.
2. Tajima in Kearny Mesa
Tajima is bold. Some of their soups are thicker than most and definitely flavorful. For some reason, I particularly remember their noodles. I got the spicy tonkotsu ramen and the noodles were a lot thicker, almost meaty in texture. It was so delicious because the little curves and crevices in the noodles helped pick up more soup.
3. Santouka in Mitsuwa Market in Kearny Mesa
If you're wondering how eat ramen, PLEASE watch this video. There's no wrong way to eat ramen, but there is a better way.
1) Don't take too long eating ramen (the noodles will expand)
2) SLURP! Like a good wine =)
3) Crack the poached egg half way in and savor it