During our mini moon in Santa Barbara, we basically just posted up at the Ritz Carlton for most of the time. Resorts like the Ritz or the Fairmont are pretty much made for that purpose: you don’t need to leave the grounds. And sometimes, that’s exactly what you want.
We did sneak out one night during our trip. The Ritz is actually in Goleta, just south of Santa Barbara with a bit more of a suburb vibe. We had stopped by when we first got to Santa Barbara to pick up some Trader Joe’s truffle mousse pate to snack on in our room with all the wine we were planning to drink. If you like pate and haven’t tried their’s yet, you need to. It’s divine with a loaf of really good bread. While we made our TJ’s stop, we also spotted Nikka Ramen. We made plans to come back.
Nikka Ramen seems like a local spot, and there were still plenty of people eating there close to closing time at 9:30 PM. I opted for the Tsukemen (dipping noodle) as I almost always do. The husband went for the Tonkotsu Black “Kuro” ramen. We also shared a plate of takoyaki between us, which was totally unnecessary because their portions are very generous, but nonetheless it was very tasty.
My Tsukemen was so rich. I don’t normally eat pork but felt the chicken chasu might not have been the best pairing, so I went with pork belly. The slices of pork belly were a bit aggressive – so thick and dense. I let mine sit in the fish/pork dipping sauce to break it apart a little. What I loved were the noodles and how the bowl was loaded up with veggies. That helped to offset the generous meats.
Because we knew we’d get hungry later, we also ordered spam musubi to go, which was interestingly part of their “Others” section of the menu on the back. Those were beautifully made and very delicious to have the next morning.
Nikka is definitely an indulgent meal, but super solid if you want to tuck into a rich bowl of ramen. They also have beer, wine, sake and mochi ice cream in case you wanted to treat yourself a little more.
5701 Calle Real
Goleta, CA 93117
That’s my absolute favourite ramen place! Nothing compares. And their service is really fast, even when it’s super busy!