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Dec 27, 2008 08:13 AM

Is there better Ramen than Daikokuya?

Finally braved the wait and went last night to the one in Little Tokyo. SOOO GOOD! In love with it but wonder are there others I should be trying?

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  1. I thought Daikokuya was pretty decent, but kinda bland and filled with too many sprouts. It was a nice big bowl, but I prefer quality over quantity. I would take Santouka's shio ramen over Daikokuya any day.

    1 Reply
    1. re: esquimeaux

      I like both. I find Santouka's shio broth to be better, but Daikokuya's pork is worth the price of admission alone IMHO

    2. Hi PurpleTeeth,

      It depends on the type of Ramen you're looking for. (^_~) Do you prefer Tonkotsu (Pork Bone) style broths more, over Shio (Salt base), Shoyu (Soy Sauce base), and Miso? Or do you like blended style broths? Or do you like the more wild varieties of Ramen, like Kare (Curry) Ramen, Mabo Tofu Ramen, etc.?

      Answering those questions will help with recommendations for other places to try. (^_~)

      If you're looking for something similar to Daikokuya (Little Tokyo)'s broth / style, then you might consider Santouka, which has locations on the Westside, Torrance and Costa Mesa.

      If you're looking for other styles, let us know and we'll add more suggestions. :)

      8 Replies
      1. re: exilekiss

        Definatly the Pork Broth and that Pork they do!

        1. re: exilekiss


          I would love your recs for Tonkotsu style broths! Oh, and I hope you're having a great holiday!

          1. re: mollyomormon

            Hi PurpleTeeth & mollyomormon,

            Tonkotsu broths in L.A.... that's tough. I would say the best choices would be Tonkotsu blend broths like Santouka and Asa Ramen as mrhooks has nicely listed below. :) For a pure Tonkotsu broth, it'd probably be Shin Sen Gumi Ramen (Gardena), although none of these are as nice as the versions of Tonkotsu I've had in Tokyo.

            (On a side note, I need to go back to Asa a few more times to make sure about its consistency: I've had some mixed results (some good and some not so good, so it might've just been an off-night hopefully... more updates to come :).)

            Thanks for the holiday wishes: Hope you're enjoying the holidays as well! :)

            1. re: exilekiss

              Hey EK, you're becoming quite the ramen expert. ;) Nice job! If only Ippudo or Jangara or Tsukumo or Nantsutte could bring their tonkotsu to LA!

              PurpleTeeth, Chuuka Soba Gomen in Stanton has a really good Tonkotsu-shio ramen. It's Wakayama-style so slightly different from Daikokuya's but still pork bone based.

              Btw, went to Asa last night and it was great! Their kotteri shoyu is as close as you can get to Tokyo in LA.

              1. re: Keizo

                Hi Keizo,

                ieie. :) Thanks for your always helpful insight. :)

                That's great that your visit to Asa was as good as your previous visit; I'll have to go back soon (and try Gomen as well).

                1. re: Keizo

                  When I went to Ippudo, I had been to Daikokuya just a couple weeks earlier. I have to say that the broth at Daikokuya tasted better to me. As for quality of the noodles and chashu, it was a wash. And the donburi were much better, IMO. (I know, not ramen, but still important to the enjoyment of my meal!)

                  I'm not an expert, but I know what I like.

            2. re: exilekiss

              isn't the shio made with pork bone too? also lobster shells?

              1. re: jessejames

                Hi jessejames,

                Not necessarily. It can be made with Chicken / Chicken Bones, or combinations of that and Fish, etc. A good Shio broth (non-Pork) in L.A. to try would be Foo Foo Tei (Hacienda Heights). Murakami-san makes a really clean broth, slow-cooked / distilled down for hours, with No MSG, which is always a plus. :) And he has a great Pork Belly "Chashu" to go with it that is very good. :)

            3. Asa Ramen in Gardena. They can be a little inconsistent - sometimes the broth is too thin, sometimes the chashu is a little overcooked - but when they are on, IMHO they're the best in town. Get the kotteri shoyu ramen with katamen (firm) noodles (Asa has the best noodles around), extra chashu (better than Santouka's IMHO), hanjuku egg, and seabura (pork back fat, tiny little cubes of fat mixed into the broth). They also offer kimchee, mentaiko (spicy cod roe), and butter (!). And save your broth to order kaedama (extra noodles) - it's always more katamen than the first serving.

              Santouka is also very good, and closer to Daikokuya in style.

              1. The original comment has been removed
                1. For a very different style you need to try Orochon upstairs in the mall on Onizuka. South side, top level. They have shio, shoyu and miso stocks, but the feature is spiciness, from moderate to "gasp".

                  Daikokuya soup is OK, but I like the funk factor in the room more.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Akitist

                    These types of replies are hard for me to gauge.

                    I've eat at both Daikoku and Orochon and enjoy both.

                    If Daikoku is only ok (on a scale of 1 to 10 that makes it a 5) I'm curious to know what in the city of LA is a 10 for ramen.

                    1. re: burntwater

                      Hi burntwater,

                      Good question. :) Ultimately everyone's taste is unique to themselves and it's subjective: What one person loves about one bowl of Ramen may not be as attractive to someone else. What one person thinks is "too salty" may not be salty enough for another. And some people love a certain style of Ramen as aforementioned, like a Shio (Salt) broth vs. a Shoyu or a Tonkotsu broth, so that might influence their choice for favorites. Just some things to keep in mind. (^_~)

                      That being said, using your scale of Daikokuya being a "5" (out of 10), I've never encountered a perfect "10" Ramen in L.A. / O.C. yet. One can only hope this may happen eventually.

                      1. re: exilekiss

                        Exile, thanks for your reply.

                        I agree by putting Daikokuya at a #5 it leaves plenty of room for us LA hopefuls for a place to step up and receive a ten rating.
                        BTW my taste buds tell me it's above average for LA at least a 5.999995 (smile)

                        Here you go number one in Japan (still subjective) but I'm sure it beats anything we have here in LA. Looks like he makes each bowl from scratch.

                        1. re: burntwater

                          Thanks for the vid! Sadly, I think all 30 could still beat anything we have in LA...haha (ok that wasn't very funny). But I still have hope!