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Koreatown’s Self-Service Instant Ramen Bar Is the Quirky Budget Restaurant LA Needs

They even give you eggs and other condiments to add right to the bowl

Seoul-style convenience has arrived in LA with the opening of Slurp & Sip, a cook-your-own ramyun restaurant in Koreatown. Opened on January 2, 2024 on the first floor of an office building along a busy stretch of Wilshire, the tight space offers a wall full of instant Korean ramyun like Shin Black (the higher-end, more aggressively flavored version of classic spicy Shin Ramyun) and super-spicy Buldak, plus a menu of fresh smoothies and juices to help tame any heat from the simmering noodle soups.

Liliane Lee, who runs Slurp & Sip alongside her business partner Ho Jae, has lived in Koreatown for more than 20 years. Lee tells Eater that she has seen prices rise in the neighborhood over time — she remembers soups being commonly priced between $6 and $10 but now sees up to $30 for individual servings. With the opening of Slurp & Sip, Lee hopes to offer an affordable and convenient self-serve option to the neighborhood.

At Slurp & Sip, ramyun (the Korean word for instant ramen packages) is priced between $5.99 and $6.99 and comes with optional add-ons of egg, corn, and white rice, which cost an additional $1 to $3.50. To order, first pick a ramyun package from the wall, take it up to the counter to get a bowl, and then choose toppings. The cooking process is mostly automated, with specialized machines from Korea that bring the soup, noodles, and add-ons up to temperature and cook them to the diner’s preference. A free toppings bar includes chopped scallions, cilantro, jalapeno, lime, and sliced onions.

Toppings bar with containers that have jalapenos, onions, lemon, scallions, and cilantro.
Free toppings bar.

The Shin Black (with an added egg and scallions, of course) is a great place to start among the dozens of choices. Ramyun, for many, is pure comfort, reminiscent of late nights at home and dorm room dining. Though eating instant ramyun at a restaurant is a different experience entirely, the first bite of steaming hot broth and chewy noodles is a hit of nostalgia.

Koreatown has seen a recent influx of Japanese-style ramen shops including Iki, Saikai, Silverlake Ten, and Slurpin’, but Slurp & Sip’s self-serve ramyun set-up is the first of its kind in Los Angeles. It follows in the footsteps of convenience stores in Korea, as well as restaurants like Instant Noodle Factory in New York City and Suka Suka Saya in Koreatown; the latter offers Indomie instant noodles on its menu. Lee believes that their model appeals to a wider trend of diners wanting to be involved in the cooking process of dishes, instead of just being served. She also sees the opening as part of an increased interest in Korean culture, especially among younger people interested in K-Pop music.

Whether this is the beginning of a cook-your-own ramen restaurant trend is yet to be seen, but for now, Lee and Jae are already planning for a second location.

Slurp & Sip is located at 3448 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. It’s open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

A bowl of uncooked Shin Black in the automatic ramyun machine.
Shin Black in the automatic ramyun machine.
Cooked Shin Black with chopsticks in the bowl.
A list of free toppings available.
Shin Black noodle pull outside of Slurp & Sip.
Shin Black with eggs and scallion.
Wall shelving with dozens of ramyun options.
Wall of ramyun options at Slurp & Sip.
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