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Japanese Chain Rakkan Ramen Takes Over Sushi Toshi In Little Tokyo

The vegetable-based ramen contender comes to Downtown’s Japanese enclave

Salt ramen from Rakkan
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

There’s a new ramen shop in Little Tokyo, and this one stands out because they don’t use heavy bone-broth bases. Opened on 1st Street near Central Avenue the second week of July, Rakkan is a Japanese-based chain with its first foray into the U.S. market.

Choose between four different vegetable-based broths, which helps it cater to vegetarians and even vegans. There are bowls flavored with either soy sauce, miso, salt, or tomato with a options for protein or toppings that runs between $9.50 and $12 dollars.

Rakkan wants to make an impression on the city’s wide noodle scene with a Hachioji-style shoyu base that features soy sauce with chopped onion. Instead of relying on meat for flavor, they go heavy on the aromatics with the addition of chopped white onions, finely diced scallions, along with good olive oil for added fat and flavor.

A reasonably-priced combination meal comes with a mini or large bowl side with either grilled pork, crispy fried chicken, or a vegan avocado tofu bowl. Appetizers include Japanese salads, edamame, pan-fried gyoza, and agedashi tofu.

If the space seems familiar, that’s because it was occupied by Toshi Sushi. Known for their inexpensive sushi and bento boxes, owner and chef Toshihiko Seki opened the place back in 2008, and closed in late June 2017. The minimalist decor allowed for a quick turnaround for Rakkan. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Rakkan Ramen
359 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA