When we lived in Asia, one of our favorite things to do was walk to a local bakery for these awesomely shaped buns filled with custard, pork or benimo (Japanese sweet potato) and eat them while walking along the sea wall. It was hard to leave that relaxed lifestyle behind, but returning to the states when the military tells you to is just that, you do what you are told. Finding treats that remind you of that home can be difficult. But we found it in Carlsbad yesterday. We found it at Harumama.
Harumama Noodles and Buns is located on Columbia Street in San Diego, and is very well known and popular in Little Italy for its ramen, sushi, and well, noodles and buns. Thankfully, there is Harumama-Carlsbad now located in North County as well in downtown Carlsbad, on Madison Street. There is currently construction going on so street parking is difficult but it is an easy and stroller friendly walk from parking in the Village or any available street parking along State or Carlsbad Village Drive.
Opening in late 2018, their notoriety and following is growing. It is easy to walk right past it, as it looks like a hallway in between two restaurants, but don’t walk past it, walk in. There are few seats, but they are located under heaters and beautiful decorations, so even though it looks exposed, you will be warm on a cool, rainy SoCal day or enjoying the sun on a beautiful day.
On offer are vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options in addition to the steamed buns, bao bao buns and chicken or fish bowls. You go for the Instagram-worthy character steamed buns, but stay for the absolutely delicious food and sweet atmosphere.
In keeping with the theme for February, strengthening relationships, I celebrated an early Galentine’s Day with a friend. It has been almost three months since I had one-on-one time with a friend that wasn’t volunteer/work related, as I am sure many other parents can relate. Taking time with a friend not only strengthens that relationship, and spending time with a true friend will fill up your cup too. Checking out the local community trying a local restaurant is a wonderful way to celebrate any occasion.
The steam buns are seasonal, and will rotate what is on offer. Until February 14th, adorable heart designed, Nutella-stuffed buns are available for purchase. Be prepared for more seasonal options.
If you are there for lunch, there are lunch specials (see menu above) and don’t fight the urge to buy buns to go, because they are adorable and just as delicious a couple hours later.
You can check ahead of time on their website, or check out Harumama’s totally drool-worthy Instagram page. Go when there is family in town, go for a date night, go to catch up with your friends. Go. You may have to wait at busy times, but you won’t be disappointed. We will definitely be back.