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Ramen at Josui Ramen in Torrance.
Ramen at Josui Ramen in Torrance
Instagram [@rochellekang]

16 Essential Ramen Shops in Los Angeles

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

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Ramen at Josui Ramen in Torrance
| Instagram [@rochellekang]

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: Jinya Ramen Bar, Menya Musashi, Kotoya, Yamadaya

Added: Iki Ramen, Josui Ramen, Koo Ramen, Ramen Hood

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kai Ramen Sherman Oaks

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15030 Ventura Blvd #23
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 789-3944
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A surprisingly great ramen shop all the way in Sherman Oaks, Kai also has outlets in SGV 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.

2. Ramen Tatsunoya

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16 N Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 432-1768
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A solid addition to the LA ramen scene, 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. To avoid a long wait, try to go in the middle of day, like 2:30 p.m., or right before dinner service.

3. Ramen Koo

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5784 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 645-7766
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With a Downtown LA location and an expansive Melrose Avenue shop, Ramen Koo is looking to take down Tatsu from its Mid-City perch. Ramen isn’t cheap here, with some bowls going up to nearly $20, but they’re stuffed with everything from layers of chashu to a whole chicken leg. A massive “king” ramen throws in scallops, shrimp, mussels, and king crab for a seafood take on the Japanese noodle bowl.

4. Tengoku Ramen Bar

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539 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 388-8988
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This Koreatown strip mall ramen shop keeps it simple with a nicely assembled tonkotsu broth that Angelenos love to no end. One fun variation here is the spicy seafood ramen, which comes loaded up with mussels, calamari, and shrimp. The chicken ramen is a lighter alternative to the 16-hour pork broth tonkotsu.

5. Okiboru House of Tsukemen

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635 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 988-7212
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This Chinatown ramen shop is doing something pretty unique in LA’s scene: making its own noodles from scratch. The results are pretty good off the get-go, with chewy, pasta-like strands that do a nice job of soaking up the rich pork-based tsukemen broth. For hot summer days, the cold somen, with tender pork chashu and kimchi, is a strong order.

Tsukumen at Chinatown’s Okiboru House of Tsukemen
Okiboru tsukemen
Matthew Kang

6. Iki Ramen

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740 S Western Ave #116
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(424) 335-7749
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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.

7. Ramen Hood

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317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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.

8. Killer Noodle

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2030 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(424) 293-0474
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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. Cash only, and closed on Wednesdays.

Killer Noodle
Killer Noodle
Matthew Kang

9. Tsujita Annex

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2050 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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. Annex serves in a crowded, loud nook of a room until 12 a.m. (the last order is taken at 11:30 p.m.), seven days a week.

Tsujita Annex
Tsujita Annex
Wonho Frank Lee

10. Tsujita LA

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2057 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 231-7373
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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. Formerly just a lunchtime affair, the original Tsujita now serves ramen day and night, a boon to noodlehounds on the Westside.

11. Ippudo Santa Monica

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1403 2nd St
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 893-0577
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New York City transplant (and Japan-based chain) Ippudo takes a classic Hakata formula of pork-based broth and slender wheat noodles all the way out to Santa Monica. Though the place took years to build, but the wait seems to have been worth it. Pork buns are a solid way to start, while the bowl to get is the Akamaru modern, a bolder, slightly spicy take on the classic broth.

Ippudo Ramen
Ippudo Ramen
Ippudo Ramen [Official Photo]

12. Santouka Ramen

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3760 S Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 391-1101
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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.

13. Venice Ramen

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515 Washington Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 448-8886
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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 housemade 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

14. Josui Ramen

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2212 Artesia Blvd Ste B
Torrance, CA 90504
(310) 505-5124

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.

15. Asa Ramen

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W 182nd St
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 769-1010

Though Asa Ramen is more of an old school joint, the pure simplicity of the noodles here makes this one of LA's classics. With a dated but charming interior and a wide menu of karaage, dumplings, and takoyaki, it's a perfect late night ramen joint in the South Bay.

16. Jidaiya Ramen Dining

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18537 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 532-0999
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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.

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1. Kai Ramen Sherman Oaks

15030 Ventura Blvd #23, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

A surprisingly great ramen shop all the way in Sherman Oaks, Kai also has outlets in SGV 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.

15030 Ventura Blvd #23
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

2. Ramen Tatsunoya

16 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

A solid addition to the LA ramen scene, 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. To avoid a long wait, try to go in the middle of day, like 2:30 p.m., or right before dinner service.

16 N Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103

3. Ramen Koo

5784 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

With a Downtown LA location and an expansive Melrose Avenue shop, Ramen Koo is looking to take down Tatsu from its Mid-City perch. Ramen isn’t cheap here, with some bowls going up to nearly $20, but they’re stuffed with everything from layers of chashu to a whole chicken leg. A massive “king” ramen throws in scallops, shrimp, mussels, and king crab for a seafood take on the Japanese noodle bowl.

5784 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

4. Tengoku Ramen Bar

539 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90020

This Koreatown strip mall ramen shop keeps it simple with a nicely assembled tonkotsu broth that Angelenos love to no end. One fun variation here is the spicy seafood ramen, which comes loaded up with mussels, calamari, and shrimp. The chicken ramen is a lighter alternative to the 16-hour pork broth tonkotsu.

539 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020

5. Okiboru House of Tsukemen

635 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tsukumen at Chinatown’s Okiboru House of Tsukemen
Okiboru tsukemen
Matthew Kang

This Chinatown ramen shop is doing something pretty unique in LA’s scene: making its own noodles from scratch. The results are pretty good off the get-go, with chewy, pasta-like strands that do a nice job of soaking up the rich pork-based tsukemen broth. For hot summer days, the cold somen, with tender pork chashu and kimchi, is a strong order.

635 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012

6. Iki Ramen

740 S Western Ave #116, Los Angeles, CA 90005

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.

740 S Western Ave #116
Los Angeles, CA 90005

7. Ramen Hood

317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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.

317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013

8. Killer Noodle

2030 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
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. Cash only, and closed on Wednesdays.

2030 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

9. Tsujita Annex

2050 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
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. Annex serves in a crowded, loud nook of a room until 12 a.m. (the last order is taken at 11:30 p.m.), seven days a week.

2050 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

10. Tsujita LA

2057 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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. Formerly just a lunchtime affair, the original Tsujita now serves ramen day and night, a boon to noodlehounds on the Westside.

2057 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

11. Ippudo Santa Monica

1403 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Ippudo Ramen
Ippudo Ramen
Ippudo Ramen [Official Photo]

New York City transplant (and Japan-based chain) Ippudo takes a classic Hakata formula of pork-based broth and slender wheat noodles all the way out to Santa Monica. Though the place took years to build, but the wait seems to have been worth it. Pork buns are a solid way to start, while the bowl to get is the Akamaru modern, a bolder, slightly spicy take on the classic broth.

1403 2nd St
Santa Monica, CA 90401

12. Santouka Ramen

3760 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

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.

3760 S Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066

13. Venice Ramen

515 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
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 housemade 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.

515 Washington Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

14. Josui Ramen

2212 Artesia Blvd Ste B, Torrance, CA 90504

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.

2212 Artesia Blvd Ste B
Torrance, CA 90504

15. Asa Ramen

W 182nd St, Gardena, CA 90248

Though Asa Ramen is more of an old school joint, the pure simplicity of the noodles here makes this one of LA's classics. With a dated but charming interior and a wide menu of karaage, dumplings, and takoyaki, it's a perfect late night ramen joint in the South Bay.

W 182nd St
Gardena, CA 90248

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16. Jidaiya Ramen Dining

18537 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248

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.

18537 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90248

Related Maps