Harumama Buns and Noodles in Little Italy
Harumama is located in Downtown’s Little Italy neighborhood at 1901 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101. The restaurant added a creative twist to their buns, which feature different characters, such as a chicken, pig, or panda. They also serve both sushi and ramen with a fresh flare. On their website, they describe it as “Comfort food meets culinary innovation.” Harumama also serves beer, sake and wine.
The restaurant opened at the beginning of 2018 and just launched their second location, which is in Carlsbad. Harumama was started by local restaurateurs, Jenny and James Pyo. They also run Pokewan, Love Boat Sushi, and Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar.
My Thoughts on the Harumama:
I went there with my wife and a friend of ours. We ordered a mix of buns because we had been hearing so much about them. We started with the an order of Spam Bao Bao buns and our friend got some pork belly Bao Baos. The Spam Bao Bao buns are good and I would would definitely consider ordering them again. I am not a pork belly fan due to the consistency, so I didn’t try them, but my friend said they were really good.
The character buns were the main reason we went there and I must say, we weren’t disappointed. We had 4 different buns, which consisted of totoro, chicken, Haru kitty, and panda. The totoro is filled with ground BBQ beef, carrots and shiitake. Out of the options we ordered, these were my favorite. I am not a mushroom guy, but you couldn’t even tell they had any. The chicken bun was also really good and had caramelized onions and mozzarella inside.
The panda bun was probably my least favorite, but I don’t know that purple potato is necessarily my thing. They were definitely interesting and I would eat them again, but I don’t know if I would choose to order them. The Haru kitty buns had nutella in them. Needless to say, those were really good. I think you could mix anything with Nutella and it will taste amazing.
Overall, it was a great experience. The waiter was very attentive, but not overbearing. The food was really good and I feel it was reasonably priced. The atmosphere was good as well. I read some reviews online and the 2 biggest issues were the service and the wait. I must say, we didn’t have an issue with either. We went to lunch on a Saturday at 12:30 pm, which is the busiest day of the week in Little Italy due to the farmer’s market. We didn’t have a wait, though the restaurant was almost completely full.
I will definitely be back to Harumama to try out the ramen and sushi in the near future!