Popular East Coast ramen expat Ken’s Ramen is opening this weekend in Virgil Village. The onetime Providence, Rhode Island-based restaurant earned national recognition after opening in 2013, but now owner Will Hu has returned to his native Los Angeles to bring the brand home.
The restaurant at 775 N. Virgil Avenue is fully built-out for indoor dining, but obviously will stick with takeout via ToastTab and delivery for now. Hu tells Eater that there will also be some limited outdoor dining when the restaurant comes to life this weekend; app delivery will follow next week.
As for the menu, Ken’s focuses on a variety of different ramen styles, from chicken-based paitan broth (offered with loads of Japanese chile oil called rayu) to soupless mazeman, miso ramen, and beyond. There are also options like pork buns, rice bowls, and side vegetables.
The new ramen restaurant takes up residence a block from Sqirl and Melody, and close to longtime neighborhood restaurants like Wah’s Golden Hen and California Grill. The area has become a hotbed of restaurant activity in recent years, with others like Voodoo Vin and the upcoming Courage Bagels also entering the neighborhood, but the timing does require some context. Online publications like This Side of Hoover have been tracking the ongoing gentrification of Virgil Village for years, and magazine The LAnd published a damning article of Sqirl earlier this summer that touched on #MoldGate, issues of representation and ownership, and Sqirl’s own prominent role in gentrification within Virgil Village and East Hollywood.
Ken’s Ramen opens to all this weekend, and will keep hours moving forward from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.