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Curry ramen from Menya Tigre in Sawtelle. Matthew Kang/Eater LA

16 Essential Ramen Shops in Los Angeles

The bowls that make LA’s ramen scene the best in the country

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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 to shoyu, shio, and everything in between, here now are the 16 essential ramen shops of Los Angeles.

Removed: Ramen Koo, Okiboru, Tengoku, Asa Ramen, Ippudo Santa Monica

Added: Ramen Nagi, Afuri, Orochon, Menya Tigre, Mogu Mogu

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Kai Ramen Sherman Oaks

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A surprisingly great ramen shop all the way in Sherman Oaks, Kai also has outlets in SGV, Koreatown, and West Hollywood. The tsukemen is a solid draw here, with rich dipping broth. The red ramen bowl comes with thick pork belly slices and a good dose of spice for an extra kick.

Ramen Tatsunoya

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This Japanese transplant regularly fields long lines in the heart of Pasadena. Though the tonkotsu bowl is the standard thing to order, try varying the flavors with a dose of spice and extra chashu pork.

Ramen Nagi

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This recent transplant from Northern California serves spectacular tonkotsu ramen with a deeply flavored broth and a fully customizable bowl from the noodles to the tare to the toppings. The waits here are already at least 20 minutes and upwards of an hour during prime meal hours. But it’s worth the wait.

Spicy king ramen at Ramen Nagi.
Spicy king ramen at Ramen Nagi in Century City.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Iki Ramen

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This versatile ramen shop tucked into a sleepy Koreatown strip mall prepares everything from a classic shoyu bowl to a Tokyo-style yuzu shio that you would find at a popular Japanese chain like Afuri. But the bowls don’t stop there, with everything from burnt garlic tonkotsu to a wagyu beef ramen, which means there’s really something for everyone here. In addition to the ramen menu, there’s a wide selection of izakaya fare, from sushi rolls to fried shishito.

Ramen Hood

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One of LA’s most creative ramen shops has held court at Grand Central Market for years from Top Chef winner Ilan Hall. The big thing to know is that instead of pork or chicken or any meat, the broth is sunflower seed-based, which means vegans can enjoy the pleasures of ramen. Hall takes umami-rich ingredients like konbu and shiitake mushrooms, then combining roasted sunflower seeds and white miso for a rich broth that’s virtually as good as a classic broth. There’s even a vegan “egg” for a complete experience.

Orochon Ramen

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One of the oldest running ramen shops in LA, Orochon is famous for their incredibly spicy ramen competition that gives a special designation for people who can finish it within 30 minutes. The other not-as-spicy bowls are great too for a taste of ramen that would’ve felt just right in the early 2000s.

Orochon Ramen
Orochon Ramen
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Menya Tigre

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Curry ramen isn’t really a thing, but at Menya Tigre, the innovation is palpable. Japanese-style curry goes into a rich, porky broth along with hefty noodles. Menya Tigre might not be the most popular ramen spot on Sawtelle, but it’s worth trying when tonkotsu starts to feel a little bit boring.

Curry ramen from Menya Tigre in Sawtelle.
Curry ramen from Menya Tigre in Sawtelle.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Killer Noodle

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This tantanmen ramen shop to Sawtelle comes from the prolific Tsujita group, which already has two standout noodle restaurants on the block. But what’s different about Killer Noodle is its clear homage to the spicy Chinese-inflected tantanmen, with sesame and pepper-laden noodles that come in either soups or “dry” style platters. The waits can be very long during prime house, so plan accordingly.

Killer Noodle
Killer Noodle
Matthew Kang

Tsujita Annex

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This all-ramen restaurant is right across the street from its sister, and its signature bowl uses thick noodles and a dense broth that’s chock full of garlic and pork back fat. The dip-able tsukemen, tinged with a vinegary kick, might be even better, with flat noodles that work best for slurping with gusto.

Tsujita Annex
Tsujita Annex
Wonho Frank Lee

Tsujita LA

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Both the standard ramen and tsukemen are the two best offerings in LA in either category. The broth and noodles are nearly perfect (one might argue a tad salty), while the tsukemen might even be better than the ramen, with a heavy dose of fish-oriented umami to round it out. The waits can be lengthy here as well.

Mogumogu

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When does dry ramen, or mazeman, start to just resemble pasta? Maybe it doesn’t matter, especially at West LA’s Mogu Mogu, which does have its own tonkotsu broth, but really specializes in well-sauced, fully loaded mazeman. With all the flavors and toppings like chashu and poached egg, but without a heavy-laden pork broth, it’s ramen without the bloat.

Tokyo’s famous Afuri has finally opened in LA after initially expanding the Portland, Oregon area. Sporting a yuzu-tinted seafood and chicken broth, this lighter style of ramen still has plenty of flavor packed in, with soba-like noodles made on the premises and high quality toppings. The cocktails and minimalist ambience make it a really pleasant ramen experience.

Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Santouka Ramen

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The longstanding ramen spot on the Westside, it hasn't lost too much luster despite most of the new noodles shops in the city. The miso and shio ramen are tops here, available in various sizes. The broth is unreal, incredibly porky and delicious. Noodles aren't the best, but the chewy alkaline variety are more than sufficient. Available in Torrance’s Mitsuwa as well.

Venice Ramen

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This diminutive ramen shop is probably the best place for Japanese noodles on the deep 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. Amp up the flavor with a spice bomb. For something a little less heavy, opt for the chuka soba, a Tokyo-style bowl with a lighter broth.

Venice Ramen Photo
Venice Ramen
Matthew Kang

Josui Ramen

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This focused ramen shop in Torrance has polished bowls with a garlicky broth. Chashu pork is melt-in-your-mouth while the noodles are of the thin wheat variety common at Hakata-style shops. The tantanmen is comparatively mild, but the gyoza, crisped to a dark brown, are terrific.

Ramen at Josui Ramen in Torrance.
Josui Ramen.

Jidaiya Ramen Dining

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A long trip for most in the city, this ramen offering from the folks behind Torihei izakaya has an excellent tsukemen that's pure fish funk (in the best sense of the word) to go along with the intense porkiness. The standard ramen offerings can be slightly inconsistent from bowl to bowl, but when it's good, the tonkotsu is very admirable. The lighter Tokyo-style ramen has a terrific burst of bonito to round out the flavors.

Jidaiya Ramen Dining
Jidaiya.
Tommy Y./Yelp

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Kai Ramen Sherman Oaks

A surprisingly great ramen shop all the way in Sherman Oaks, Kai also has outlets in SGV, Koreatown, and West Hollywood. The tsukemen is a solid draw here, with rich dipping broth. The red ramen bowl comes with thick pork belly slices and a good dose of spice for an extra kick.

Ramen Tatsunoya

This Japanese transplant regularly fields long lines in the heart of Pasadena. Though the tonkotsu bowl is the standard thing to order, try varying the flavors with a dose of spice and extra chashu pork.

Ramen Nagi

Spicy king ramen at Ramen Nagi.
Spicy king ramen at Ramen Nagi in Century City.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

This recent transplant from Northern California serves spectacular tonkotsu ramen with a deeply flavored broth and a fully customizable bowl from the noodles to the tare to the toppings. The waits here are already at least 20 minutes and upwards of an hour during prime meal hours. But it’s worth the wait.

Spicy king ramen at Ramen Nagi.
Spicy king ramen at Ramen Nagi in Century City.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Iki Ramen

This versatile ramen shop tucked into a sleepy Koreatown strip mall prepares everything from a classic shoyu bowl to a Tokyo-style yuzu shio that you would find at a popular Japanese chain like Afuri. But the bowls don’t stop there, with everything from burnt garlic tonkotsu to a wagyu beef ramen, which means there’s really something for everyone here. In addition to the ramen menu, there’s a wide selection of izakaya fare, from sushi rolls to fried shishito.

Ramen Hood

One of LA’s most creative ramen shops has held court at Grand Central Market for years from Top Chef winner Ilan Hall. The big thing to know is that instead of pork or chicken or any meat, the broth is sunflower seed-based, which means vegans can enjoy the pleasures of ramen. Hall takes umami-rich ingredients like konbu and shiitake mushrooms, then combining roasted sunflower seeds and white miso for a rich broth that’s virtually as good as a classic broth. There’s even a vegan “egg” for a complete experience.

Orochon Ramen

Orochon Ramen
Orochon Ramen
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

One of the oldest running ramen shops in LA, Orochon is famous for their incredibly spicy ramen competition that gives a special designation for people who can finish it within 30 minutes. The other not-as-spicy bowls are great too for a taste of ramen that would’ve felt just right in the early 2000s.

Orochon Ramen
Orochon Ramen
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Menya Tigre

Curry ramen from Menya Tigre in Sawtelle.
Curry ramen from Menya Tigre in Sawtelle.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Curry ramen isn’t really a thing, but at Menya Tigre, the innovation is palpable. Japanese-style curry goes into a rich, porky broth along with hefty noodles. Menya Tigre might not be the most popular ramen spot on Sawtelle, but it’s worth trying when tonkotsu starts to feel a little bit boring.

Curry ramen from Menya Tigre in Sawtelle.
Curry ramen from Menya Tigre in Sawtelle.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Killer Noodle

Killer Noodle
Killer Noodle
Matthew Kang

This tantanmen ramen shop to Sawtelle comes from the prolific Tsujita group, which already has two standout noodle restaurants on the block. But what’s different about Killer Noodle is its clear homage to the spicy Chinese-inflected tantanmen, with sesame and pepper-laden noodles that come in either soups or “dry” style platters. The waits can be very long during prime house, so plan accordingly.

Killer Noodle
Killer Noodle
Matthew Kang

Tsujita Annex

Tsujita Annex
Tsujita Annex
Wonho Frank Lee

This all-ramen restaurant is right across the street from its sister, and its signature bowl uses thick noodles and a dense broth that’s chock full of garlic and pork back fat. The dip-able tsukemen, tinged with a vinegary kick, might be even better, with flat noodles that work best for slurping with gusto.

Tsujita Annex
Tsujita Annex
Wonho Frank Lee

Tsujita LA

Both the standard ramen and tsukemen are the two best offerings in LA in either category. The broth and noodles are nearly perfect (one might argue a tad salty), while the tsukemen might even be better than the ramen, with a heavy dose of fish-oriented umami to round it out. The waits can be lengthy here as well.

Mogumogu

When does dry ramen, or mazeman, start to just resemble pasta? Maybe it doesn’t matter, especially at West LA’s Mogu Mogu, which does have its own tonkotsu broth, but really specializes in well-sauced, fully loaded mazeman. With all the flavors and toppings like chashu and poached egg, but without a heavy-laden pork broth, it’s ramen without the bloat.

Afuri

Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Tokyo’s famous Afuri has finally opened in LA after initially expanding the Portland, Oregon area. Sporting a yuzu-tinted seafood and chicken broth, this lighter style of ramen still has plenty of flavor packed in, with soba-like noodles made on the premises and high quality toppings. The cocktails and minimalist ambience make it a really pleasant ramen experience.

Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Santouka Ramen

The longstanding ramen spot on the Westside, it hasn't lost too much luster despite most of the new noodles shops in the city. The miso and shio ramen are tops here, available in various sizes. The broth is unreal, incredibly porky and delicious. Noodles aren't the best, but the chewy alkaline variety are more than sufficient. Available in Torrance’s Mitsuwa as well.

Venice Ramen

Venice Ramen Photo
Venice Ramen
Matthew Kang

This diminutive ramen shop is probably the best place for Japanese noodles on the deep 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. Amp up the flavor with a spice bomb. For something a little less heavy, opt for the chuka soba, a Tokyo-style bowl with a lighter broth.

Venice Ramen Photo
Venice Ramen
Matthew Kang

Josui Ramen

Ramen at Josui Ramen in Torrance.
Josui Ramen.

This focused ramen shop in Torrance has polished bowls with a garlicky broth. Chashu pork is melt-in-your-mouth while the noodles are of the thin wheat variety common at Hakata-style shops. The tantanmen is comparatively mild, but the gyoza, crisped to a dark brown, are terrific.

Ramen at Josui Ramen in Torrance.
Josui Ramen.

Related Maps

Jidaiya Ramen Dining

Jidaiya Ramen Dining
Jidaiya.
Tommy Y./Yelp

A long trip for most in the city, this ramen offering from the folks behind Torihei izakaya has an excellent tsukemen that's pure fish funk (in the best sense of the word) to go along with the intense porkiness. The standard ramen offerings can be slightly inconsistent from bowl to bowl, but when it's good, the tonkotsu is very admirable. The lighter Tokyo-style ramen has a terrific burst of bonito to round out the flavors.

Jidaiya Ramen Dining
Jidaiya.
Tommy Y./Yelp

Related Maps