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Get your buns over here

Story by Kiera Collaruso

San Diego’s Harumama puts a quirky, SoCal twist on your average ramen stop. Since opening up in Little Italy, the ramen and noodle restaurant quickly branched off into Carlsbad Village in Dec 2018 and has been putting smiles on faces and their signature character steam buns ever since.

Steam buns are hot, bread-like dumplings that can be filled with everything from pork to Nutella. Harumama takes it up a notch and adds something unique to cuisine by topping their steam buns with tiny character faces from Disney characters to pandas.

Besides the steam buns, the rest of the menu feels like San Diego: filled with fresh vegetables, seafood, and labeled options for those with dietary restrictions. It’s the names of some of these menu choices that will remind you you’re eating at a place with a quirkier spirit.

“Screaming Salmon,” anyone?

The aesthetic of the restaurant blends seamlessly into the style of Carlsbad Village. It’s tucked into a quiet street between two other restaurants with a similarly understated, bright look to their exteriors.

A few blocks from the shore, the location on Madison St. is a quick walk for tourists and locals to fuel up after soaking in some sun. The walk from Carlsbad Village Drive is quiet and peppered by a collection of seashell-covered boutiques, smoothie stops, and colorful consignment shops.

Customers stroll in in casual, San Diego winter attire. Prices are typical for the area. You can chow down on a “Flying Pig” or a “Superhero Poke Bowl” for around $10 to $13. In true hipster-fashion, customers appear perfectly comfortable paying a bit more for their poke to be Instagram-worthy and their dumplings to be decorated with adorable little pig faces. Frankly, it’s hard to blame them.

Harumama’s Carlsbad location can be found at 2958 Madison St. Carlsbad, CA 92008. Hours are listed as Mon-Thu 11a-9:30p, Fri-Sat 11a-10p, Sun 11a-9p.

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