With over 30 four- to five-star ramen restaurants to choose from in the area surrounding Union Station alone, finding a place to slurp down hot, soupy noodles in L.A. can be overwhelming. To make life a little easier, we’ve narrowed down our top six ramen picks for National Ramen Noodle Day.
Just down the street from the famous Chinatown dragon gate sits Okiboru House of Tsukemen. Their handmade noodles are the perfect complement for their signature dish, tsukemen (noodles dunked into a dipping sauce). Whether you go for the classic tonkotsu ramen or the lighter yuzu chintan tsukemen with seafood, there’s no such thing as a wrong choice at Okiboru’s.
Known for offering up some of the best ramen in Los Angeles, Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen is famous for their completely customizable ramen bowls, so they’re sure to satisfy even the pickiest of palates. With locations in Rosemead, Irvine, Gardena and even one in Tokyo, Japan, why not stop in for a bite?
At the forefront of the hustle and bustle of Grand Central Market, is Ramen Hood’s 100% vegan ramen. Whether you opt for the original or spicy ramen, Ramen Hood’s broth rivals even the richest of animal-based soup bases with its complex, umami-packed punch.
Boasting a rich pork broth and handmade egg noodles with the perfect amount of chew, the ramen at the cozy Tsujita Annex is a great way to end a day in L.A. For an extra flavor boost, add a couple spoonfuls of garlic and feel free to ask for broth refills when your bowl runs low.
Ramen Tatsunoya in Pasadena is easy to spot—just look for the glowing yellow ramen bowl sign and the long line out the door. Even with only three kinds of ramen to choose from—koku (rich), jun (light) and spicy—Ramen Tatsunoya proves that ramen doesn’t need to be complicated to be delicious.
Tucked away in an assuming corner of the Mitsuwa Marketplace food court, is one of L.A.’s best kept noodle-filled secrets. When Santouka was founded in 1980 by Hitoshi Hatanaka he said “I’m going to make delicious ramen.” And that he did. Offering up classics like creamy tonkotsu and shoyu, each dish is plated like a hot, noodle masterpiece and are often topped with a cute pickled ume plum. A word of caution: they don’t take cash and bills over fifty—you need them more than they need you. We recommend the shio ramen.