After a lengthy delay, Japan’s prominent chain Ramen Nagi is finally ready for its Los Angeles closeup. The newcomer debuts Tuesday, November 9 at the Westfield Century City as the company’s third — and perhaps most highly trafficked, at least during the holiday shopping season — California location. Ramen Nagi draws consistently long lines at its Palo Alto and Santa Clara locations, where the shops are considered to be on par with the Bay Area’s best ramen.
Ramen Nagi first announced its LA arrival in February 2020 with plans to open that summer. Now that it’s here, expect the brand to try to stake a claim (just as it did in SF) as one of the city’s best places to enjoy ramen, thanks in part to its warm, centrally located new space next to Zinque in the robust Westside indoor-outdoor mall. While customizable ramen bowls are possible, Ramen Nagi is primarily known for its staple 24-hour simmered tonkotsu broth as well as its pescatarian-friendly niboshi broth with sardines and soy sauce. On the customization side, staff members are prepared to accommodate pretty much any preference, like lighter broth, al dente noodles, chashu pork, or vegetables, as well as spice level and noodle thickness. Starters include gyoza, salty edamame, or the chashu rice with pork barbecue.
Chef Satoshi Ikuta founded Ramen Nagi in 2004 and expanded the chain to 40 locations worldwide. The Westfield Century City space is 1,600 square feet, easily accommodating 55 guests in a sleek new space surrounded by black cedarwood; no outdoor seating is available. Starting Tuesday, Ramen Nagi is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., then dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.