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A Well-Known Japanese Restaurant Group Does Skewers and Sake in Downtown LA

The Rakkan Ramen team expands into the izakaya format with fire-cooked meat, lots of bar snacks, and plenty of punchy beverages

A collection of Japanese food items on various white plates, including sushi, dumplings, and more.
Appetizers and side dishes from Rakkan Ramen.
Rakkan Ramen
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A prominent Japanese restaurant group is growing into Downtown Los Angeles this summer. Rakkan, the vegetable-focused ramen specialist out of Tokyo that first opened in Los Angeles in 2017, is opening an izakaya along Grand Avenue in the coming months, with lots of surprises inside.

The incoming Rakkan Miso Izakaya will open sometime this summer at 750 S. Grand Avenue, in the former Fundamental LA space not far from Whole Foods. Reps for the restaurant tell Eater that the plan is to craft an “upscale Japanese izakaya experience” with a focus on small plates and grilled snacks. There will be kushiyaki meat skewers, smaller hosomaki sushi rolls, and other dishes on offer in addition to several bespoke bowls of ramen for this location. What’s more, the restaurant will keep to the izakaya vibe with lots of sake, natural wine, sake-based cocktails, and on-tap Japanese beer.

Rakkan is well known across California these days, with locations in Little Tokyo (the company’s first U.S. outpost after starting as a four-seat ramen shop in Japan 12 years ago), Long Beach, and Redondo Beach. Further afield, the company has also reached Tustin in Orange County and will open in Anaheim, Folsom, and beyond in the coming months. Fans find a lot to like in the group’s array of ramen bowls made with 100 percent plant-based stock, though the restaurant does serve eggs, grilled pork, and other non-vegetarian items in its bowls.

There’s no official opening date for Rakkan Miso Izakaya just yet, though a summer arrival is likely. The restaurant joins a number of other newer tenants to land in greater Downtown as of late, from new vendors at Grand Central Market to New York City import Baar Baar, serving Indian snacks and cocktails on 9th Street. Others, like superstar chef Amar Santana and the Houston brothers, should open their own concepts in the coming months as well.


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