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Ramen Manichi Brings More Tonkotsu Ramen and Gyoza to Little Tokyo

The Japanese shop opens its first West Coast operation downtown.

Little Tokyo’s unofficial Ramen Row is getting a bit more crowded, thanks to two-week old slurp shop Ramen Manichi. The LA Times dished on the details of the new spot yesterday, which is a West Coast offshoot of a popular Japanese ramen house.

Ramen Manichi operates out of a former video store just two doors down from the yellow awning of mainstay Daikokuya. The rehabbed room is cozy but certainly not bursting with space — just over a dozen two-tops line the opposing walls, while a small ramen bar around the open kitchen in the back provides ten or so more seats. According to the Times, the Art Deco floor tile remains from the storefront’s first iteration as a shoe store.

The ever-popular, always-porky tonkotsu ramen is the name of the game at Manichi; they even detail the layout of each bowl with a photographic ingredient breakdown hung on the glass out front. Of course, there are also miso, vegetable and shrimp ramen on offer as well, alongside the usual variances like black ramen (topped with black garlic oil). The bottom 1/3 of the menu is reserved for the extras: fried rice, chashu bowls, curried fried chicken bowls and the like.

Don’t sleep on the gyoza either, which (according to their signage at least) is rated as among the nation’s best back in Japan. Well, the sign says that ‘viewers of a popular Japanese TV show’ love it, so there’s that.

Per the Times, Ramen Manichi is the work of Jason Easton, a native Angeleno and first generation Japanese-Chinese American from Los Feliz. A contractor by day, Easton decided to dive into downtown’s ramen culture with the promise of quick-service bowls for the lunch crowd. The plan, it seems, is to catch and release diners in 30 minutes or less, allowing them time to walk back to the office before clocking in again.

For now, Ramen Manichi is in soft-open mode, but will be debuting officially in mid-February. Apparently there’s already talk of a second operation, too, in (where else?) Torrance.

Ramen Manichi
321 E. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA
cash only

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