Koo Ramen opened in Downtown LA’s Financial District in June, and if the space looks a bit familiar, that’s because it’s in the former Takasan Japanese Bowls, which closed last spring. Koo Ramen is more of a ramen joint, but kept a number of Takasan’s rice bowls on the menu.
Takasan owner Tucker Iida returned to Japan for personal reasons, which is when Yoshiyuki Ohshima and Shingo Higashi, who are both chefs, stepped in. Oshima specializes in sushi, and Higashi in ramen. Before departing, Iida handed over his ingredients, inventory, and recipes, which the new partners used to adapt into their own Japanese donburri, or rice bowl, menu. Those bowls include traditional katsu, chashu, and spicy tuna. There’s a limited sushi menu too.
Higashi’s ramen starts with four different kinds of broths, including a 15-hour traditional tonkatsu, pork, chicken, and vegan. Choose from pork belly, chicken and pork, or a vegan miso with wide or think noodles. And yes, as the photo up top shows, there’s a whole chicken leg in their signature ramen bowl.
The quick renovation still resembles Takasan’s minimalist interior, which fits 14 people inside and eight on the patio. Higashi is also the owner of Ramen Naruto in Azuza and Glendora, and he also runs a tapas bar, ramen restaurant, and sushi bar in Japan.
General manager Jeanette Lin tells Eater that Koo Ramen plans to open a second location in East Hollywood in September. Koo Ramen’s Downtown hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. It’s closed Sundays.
Koo Ramen. 225 W 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA