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Okinawa-Inspired Moto Ramen Opens in Culver City

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The longtime Yamadaya space has turned into a modern ramenya

Tan tan men at Moto Ramen in Culver City
Tan tan men at Moto Ramen in Culver City
Wonho Frank Lee

For nearly a decade, Ramen Yamadaya served on a prominent corner of Washington Boulevard in Culver City, with accolades from locals and Jonathan Gold alike. Now the space has turned into Moto Ramen from Sarah Kim-Jenkins and Yuki Nakamoto. Kim-Jenkins, her mother, and Nakamoto operated Irori Sushi in Marina del Rey back in the aughts before opening Ramen Yukinoya in Arcadia and Rowland Heights (only the Arcadia spot remains). Now Kim-Jenkins and Nakamoto have opened back on the Westside with an Okinawa-inspired ramen menu featuring black garlic tonkotsu, spicy miso, tan tan men, shio chicken, and even vegan ramen options.

Though the ramen isn’t a direct version of Okinawan ramen, which uses a thick wheat soba noodle, Yuki brings a bit of his native Japanese island’s sensibility to the menu. Other dishes include chicken karaage, pan-fried gyoza, agedashi tofu, and pork (or chicken) buns. To drink, a solid selection of craft beers and sakes as one might expect. Overall, it’s a versatile, easy-to-frequent neighborhood spot that fills in the hole that Yamadaya left when it closed earlier this year.

Moto Ramen opened for takeout and delivery last weekend but will open its dining room some time around the end of the month with limited capacity. Hours run Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Exterior of Moto Ramen restaurant with bright red and blue signage in Culver City
Moto Ramen Culver City
Beef, pork, and cabbage dumplings on a black plate with a green garnish.
Beef, pork, and cabbage dumplings
Vegan ramen with Japanese kelp and mushroom-based soup, fried tofu skin, and vegetables in a black bowl.
Vegan ramen with Japanese kelp and mushroom-based soup, fried tofu skin, and vegetables
Chilled hiyashi noodles with bean sprouts, cucumber, ham, chicken, ham, with sesame vinegar sauce.
Chilled hiyashi noodles with bean sprouts, cucumber, ham, chicken, ham, with sesame vinegar sauce
Array of dishes including buns, ramen noodles, fried chicken, and more on plates at Moto Ramen.
Spread at Moto Ramen

Moto Ramen

11172 Washington Boulevard, , CA 90232 (310) 815-8776 Visit Website

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