Los Angeles has a long history of great ramen, but only in the past few years has the scene hit its stride. From rich tonkotsu (pork) to shoyu (soy sauce) and shio (salt), here now are the 15 essential ramen shops in Los Angeles.Read More
15 Essential Ramen Shops in Los Angeles
Here are the steaming bowls that make LA’s ramen scene the best in the country
This diminutive ramen shop is the best place for Japanese noodles on the Westside. With a composed, well-balanced broth that's not too rich, and sporting firm, high-quality noodles, it's a very good Tsujita competitor for Hakata-style tonkotsu. For something a little less heavy, opt for the chuka soba, a Tokyo-style bowl with a lighter broth.
When does mazemen (dry ramen) start to just resemble pasta? Maybe it doesn’t matter, especially at West LA’s Mogumogu which specializes in well-sauced, fully-loaded mazemen with toppings like chashu and poached eggs.
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This tantanmen specialist on Sawtelle comes from the prolific Tsujita group, which already has two standout noodle restaurants on the block. What’s different about Killer Noodle is its homage to the spicy, Chinese-inflected tantanmen. With sesame- and pepper-laden noodles, the ramen is served as a noodle soup or dry-style on a platter. The waits can be very long during prime hours.
Both the tonkotsu ramen and tsukemen are among the best versions available in LA. The broth and noodles are nearly perfect, with a strong seafood umami to round the soup out. The waits can be lengthy here, so plan accordingly.
This all-ramen restaurant features a signature bowl with thick noodles and a dense broth that’s chock-full of garlic and pork back fat. The tsukemen’s broth is tinged with a vinegary kick and served with flat noodles that work well for dipping and slurping. Add a spoonful of chile powder for a dose of heat.
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This Northern California transplant serves spectacular tonkotsu ramen with a deeply flavored broth and a fully customizable bowl, from the noodles to the tare and the toppings. The waits are at least 20 minutes and upwards of an hour during prime meal hours.
Kazan Beverly Hills
This Michelin-recommended ramen shop has a slightly more upscale and polished feel, with the bowls reaching and sometimes surpassing $30. For those willing to shell out a few extra bucks, the results are terrific — from the intense broth of the signature shina soba ramen (which includes wontons and chashu) to more creative combinations like the whole lamb chops swimming in spicy red soup.
This focused ramen shop in Torrance serves polished bowls with a garlicky broth. Chashu pork melts in one’s mouth, while the noodles are of the thin, wheat variety common at Hakata-style shops. The tantanmen is mild, but the crisped to a dark brown gyoza are terrific.
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Jidaiya Ramen Dining
This ramen offering from the folks behind Torihei izakaya feels very much like a neighborhood ramenya in Japan, featuring an excellent tsukemen that's full of fish funk to go along with intense porkiness. The lighter Tokyo-style ramen has a terrific burst of bonito to round out the flavors without an overly rich tonkotsu broth.
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This versatile ramen shop tucked in a sleepy Koreatown strip mall prepares everything from a classic shoyu to a Tokyo-style yuzu shio and wagyu beef ramen, which means there’s something for everyone. In addition to the extensive ramen menu, there’s a wide selection of izakaya fare, from sushi rolls to fried shishito peppers.
The hip and casual DTLA Ramen is a solid spot for tonkotsu and tsukemen, both for daytime office workers and folks catching dinner before a show at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. With plenty of seating, a robust craft beer selection, and ample vegan options, it’s a crowd pleaser for groups with different tastes. —Jean Trinh
One of LA’s most creative ramen shops comes from Top Chef winner Ilan Hall. To make the Grand Central Market stall’s signature vegan broth, Hall takes umami-rich ingredients like konbu and shiitake mushrooms and combines it with roasted sunflower seeds and white miso. The result is a rich broth that’s as good as a traditional porky one; a vegan “egg” tops every bowl.
Tokyo’s famous Afuri opened in LA after first expanding to Oregon. Sporting a yuzu-tinted seafood and chicken broth, this lighter style of ramen still packs plenty of flavor with soba-like noodles made on the premises and high-quality toppings. The cocktails and minimalist ambience makes the whole affair a pleasant experience.
HiroNori Craft Ramen
Hiro Igarashi and Nori Akasaka opened their eponymous restaurant in 2017, and now maintain seven Southern California locations that serve solid tonkotsu, shoyu, and vegan ramen with house-made noodles. In 2019, Michelin designated the shop with Bib Gourmand status. —Mona Holmes
Ramen King Keisuke
This burgeoning ramen newcomer comes to LA by way of Singapore and Tokyo. World ramen champion Keisuke Takeda serves two distinct broths — a classic tonkotsu and a decadent lobster one — with delicate noodles and slivers of tender pork chashu. Try a few orders of maki sushi to whet one’s appetite.