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Afuri yuzu shio ramen from restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles, California
Afuri Ramen.
Afuri Ramen

15 Essential Ramen Shops in Los Angeles

Here are the steaming bowls that make LA’s ramen scene the best in the country

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Afuri Ramen.
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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 (pork) to shoyu (soy sauce) and shio (salt), here now are the 15 essential ramen shops in Los Angeles.

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Venice Ramen

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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.

Venice Ramen Photo
Venice Ramen
Matthew Kang

Mogumogu

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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.

Killer Noodle

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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” on a platter. The waits can be very long during prime dining hours.

Killer Noodle
Killer Noodle
Matthew Kang

Tsujita LA

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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.

Tsujita Annex

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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.

Tsujita Annex
Tsujita Annex
Wonho Frank Lee

Ramen Nagi

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This Northern California transplant serves spectacular tonkotsu ramen with a deeply flavored broth and a fully customizable bowl where diners can choose from different noodles, tare, and toppings. The waits are at least 20 minutes and upwards of an hour during prime meal hours.

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

Kazan Beverly Hills

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This Michelin-recommended ramen shop has a slightly more upscale and polished feel than competing shops, with some bowls reaching and surpassing $30. The results are terrific for those willing to shell out a few extra bucks, especially the signature shina soba ramen with an intense broth, wontons, and chashu. For a more creative combination, try the whole lamb chops swimming in spicy red soup.

A white bowl of soba noodles with greens and meat.
Ramen from Kazan Beverly Hills.
Kazan

Tonchin LA

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Originally from Tokyo, Tonchin LA takes over a prime Melrose Avenue location with sleek vibes, a cocktail bar, and upscale ramen bowls. Everyone orders the smoked dashi with whole clams or the tonkatsu broth. The shop’s thick, wavy noodles are made on the premises.

Josui Ramen

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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, while the gyoza are terrific.

Tan tan men from Josui in Torrance.
Tan tan men from Josui in Torrance.
Matthew Kang

Jidaiya Ramen Dining

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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.

Jidaiya Ramen Dining
Jidaiya.
Tommy Y./Yelp

Iki Ramen

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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. In addition to the extensive ramen menu, there’s a wide selection of izakaya fare including sushi rolls, fried shishito peppers, and more.

Ramen TAO Gardena

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This Orange County ramen shop recently expanded to Gardena, with a stall inside the Tokyo Central Market serving tsukemen and ramen. While the disposable bowls are an unfortunate aspect of this casual outlet, the specialty of miso-based broth — either tamer white miso or more aggressive red miso — brings a rounded sweetness and deep umami flavor.

Ramen from Ramen Tao in Gardena.
Ramen from Ramen Tao in Gardena.
Matthew Kang

Ramen Hood

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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.

Tsukemen Aizen

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This tsukemen specialist took over sister restaurant Aizen Udon, which moved to the Little Tokyo Marketplace a few blocks over. Tsukemen Aizen’s deluxe offering serves thinly shaved pork in a flower-like formation, along with a mound of thick noodles, spinach, lotus root, and boiled eggs. The star — a side bowl of fishy, umami-riddled dipping broth — coats every dipped noodle with an explosion of salty, fatty flavor. It’s pretty awesome to behold.

Tsukemen deluxe from Tsukemen Aizen.
Tsukemen deluxe from Tsukemen Aizen.
Matthew Kang

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.

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

Venice Ramen

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.

Venice Ramen Photo
Venice Ramen
Matthew Kang

Mogumogu

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.

Killer Noodle

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” on a platter. The waits can be very long during prime dining hours.

Killer Noodle
Killer Noodle
Matthew Kang

Tsujita LA

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.

Tsujita Annex

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.

Tsujita Annex
Tsujita Annex
Wonho Frank Lee

Ramen Nagi

This Northern California transplant serves spectacular tonkotsu ramen with a deeply flavored broth and a fully customizable bowl where diners can choose from different noodles, tare, and toppings. The waits are at least 20 minutes and upwards of an hour during prime meal hours.

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

Kazan Beverly Hills

This Michelin-recommended ramen shop has a slightly more upscale and polished feel than competing shops, with some bowls reaching and surpassing $30. The results are terrific for those willing to shell out a few extra bucks, especially the signature shina soba ramen with an intense broth, wontons, and chashu. For a more creative combination, try the whole lamb chops swimming in spicy red soup.

A white bowl of soba noodles with greens and meat.
Ramen from Kazan Beverly Hills.
Kazan

Tonchin LA

Originally from Tokyo, Tonchin LA takes over a prime Melrose Avenue location with sleek vibes, a cocktail bar, and upscale ramen bowls. Everyone orders the smoked dashi with whole clams or the tonkatsu broth. The shop’s thick, wavy noodles are made on the premises.

Josui Ramen

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, while the gyoza are terrific.

Tan tan men from Josui in Torrance.
Tan tan men from Josui in Torrance.
Matthew Kang

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.

Jidaiya Ramen Dining
Jidaiya.
Tommy Y./Yelp

Iki Ramen

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. In addition to the extensive ramen menu, there’s a wide selection of izakaya fare including sushi rolls, fried shishito peppers, and more.

Ramen TAO Gardena

This Orange County ramen shop recently expanded to Gardena, with a stall inside the Tokyo Central Market serving tsukemen and ramen. While the disposable bowls are an unfortunate aspect of this casual outlet, the specialty of miso-based broth — either tamer white miso or more aggressive red miso — brings a rounded sweetness and deep umami flavor.

Ramen from Ramen Tao in Gardena.
Ramen from Ramen Tao in Gardena.
Matthew Kang

Ramen Hood

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.

Tsukemen Aizen

This tsukemen specialist took over sister restaurant Aizen Udon, which moved to the Little Tokyo Marketplace a few blocks over. Tsukemen Aizen’s deluxe offering serves thinly shaved pork in a flower-like formation, along with a mound of thick noodles, spinach, lotus root, and boiled eggs. The star — a side bowl of fishy, umami-riddled dipping broth — coats every dipped noodle with an explosion of salty, fatty flavor. It’s pretty awesome to behold.

Tsukemen deluxe from Tsukemen Aizen.
Tsukemen deluxe from Tsukemen Aizen.
Matthew Kang

Afuri

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.

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

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