Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ramen Round Up: DTLA's Best Noodle Shops

Whether you’re craving the perfect comfort food for chilly weather or a light satisfying meal on a warm sunny day, the time is always right for ramen. While Little Tokyo is the obvious DTLA destination for authentic Japanese ramen, don’t overlook Chinatown, Grand Central Market, or other local neighborhoods, many conveniently close to Circa. Did you know there’s a Michelin rated ramen restaurant in downtown LA? And catering to the health-conscious crowd, a number of noodle shops offer vegan, gluten-free and macrobiotic options. DTLA boasts some of the best bowls in town, and we’re not just noodlin’ around. Check websites for pick up & delivery detaIls.

Ramen Hood Grand Central Market 317 S Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90013

Ramen Hood is a destination vegan ramen shop located in Downtown LA’s historic Grand Central Market. The food is one hundred percent vegan, with broth made by simmering kelp and shiitake mushrooms to extract their maximum umami. The “egg” is completely vegan, made in two parts. The “white” of the egg starts as locally made GMO-free soy milk, seasoned with salt and pepper and gelled with agar, a seaweed extract. The “yolk” is a combination of nutritional yeast, back salt and sodium alginate, which is spherified and placed it in the center of the white so that the yolk pops just like the real thing.

DTLA Ramen 952 S Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90015

DTLA Ramen offers Japanese ramen with a modern California spin. You have a choice of broth for your ramen, including pork, chicken, vegetarian, soy milk, and no broth at all, with a selection of add ons, such as ground spicy chicken, spicy miso paste, injected egg, or hard boiled egg, and chashu belly. In true DTLA spirit, the restaurant offers interesting craft beers, with an emphasis on Japanese brews. They also serve mochi ice cream in six delicious flavors.

9th St. Ramen 111 W 9th St. Los Angeles, CA 90015

This modern Japanese restaurant from Chef Luke Reyes features big hearty bowls of ramen and a rotating collection of Japanese specialties including tsukune from a robata, enoki mushroom tempura, albacore donburi, spicy lamb ramen, and charcoal-grilled chicken tori paitan ramen. The noodles are made from toasted wheat and rye flour. They also offer a selection of natural wine and sake for delivery.

Okiboru House of Tsukemen 635 N Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90012

The only Michelin rated ramen restaurant in LA, Okiboru is located in the heart of Chinatown. The founders, who trained in Japan to master the tsukemen craft, are on a mission to introduce this style of “dipping ramen” to a wider audience of eaters. With tsukemen, unlike its traditional ramen cousin, the noodles are served on the side separate from the broth, hence the name “dipping ramen.” Okiboru makes their own noodles on-site from scratch using their proprietary recipe. The broth is painstakingly brewed over a period of time, twice as long as the typical ramen broth, until the consistency is perfect for dipping. The chefs have also created a delicious vegetarian broth which is available in both tsukemen and ramen dishes.

Shojin 333 S. Alameda St. Suite 310 Los Angeles, CA 90013

Shojin presents a unique vegan, macrobiotic, gluten free Japanese dining experience, offering natural, organic cuisine for health-conscious customers. The ramen is onion and garlic free, made from cabbage, carrot, celery and olive oil. Add ons include garlic, ginger, kale, extra noodles, shitake mushrooms, and extra chile oil. The in-house delivery service is provided by Shojin’s own employees. By choosing to order directly from the restaurant, you will be helping to support their staff.

Rakkan Ramen 359 E 1st St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 

In 2011, Rakkan Ramen began as a tiny, four seated ramen bar in Tokyo. In 2017, with a passion for the world to taste their authentic Japanese Ramen, they opened their first overseas location in Los Angeles. Rakkan Ramen’s 100 percent plant-based broth is made with Dashi, a traditional Japanese soup stock full of umami, bringing out the best in each ingredient. Then they slowly simmer the carefully chosen vegetables and kombu (kelp) to extract the best flavor and lock in the umami. The marriage between the Oishii Japanese broth and silky slim noodles will help you discover the existence of another level of pleasure for your palate. Take a slurp!

Daikokuya Little Tokyo 327 E 1st St. Los Angeles, CA 90012

Featured on ABC News, LA Eater, Thrillist, LA Times, Zagat, LA Weekly, Sunset magazine, and more, Daikokuya is known for their original soup made from soy sauce and pork bones, which are simmered for a full day. The signature Daikokuya Ramen consists of noodles, boiled egg, seasoned bamboo shoots, and green onions, with tender slices of homemade pork belly chashu. Eggs are soaked in a special sauce all through the night before serving. Be sure to try their premium brand sake, handmade by Daikokuya/Bishamon Group.

Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen 132 S Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012

This classic ramen restaurant is located in the heart of Little Tokyo. Pronounced shin sen goo-me, the name was taken from the historical samurai clan who fought for a great “cause” during a civil war in Japan. Their commitment to excellence and sincerity of service to the nation became the restaurant’s model for serving excellent, traditional Japanese cuisine. Choose which size ramen bowl you want, then choose your noodles and finally, pick all the extra toppings you want to customize your ramen bowl just the way you like it. Extra toppings include wontons, spicy miso, curry, chili oil, pork cutlet, hard boiled egg, seaweed, corn and more.

Photo credits:

Photo #1: DTLA Ramen

Photo #2: Ramen Hood

Photo #3: DTLA Ramen

Photo #4: 9th St. Ramen

Photo #5: Okiboru House of Tsukemen

Photo #6: Shojin

Photo #7: Rakkan Ramen

Photo #8: Daikokuya Little Tokyo

Photo #9: Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen

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