ok, I've been looking for good Ramen in LA for years now... who knew? Rickmond knew but I didn't know he knew until a few months ago. The locations aren't very good for me having to trek out to Torrance food court in the Mitsuwa shopping center... good ramen in a food court? *sigh*, Please... this is what I thought... until Sunday. OMG, best Ramen in LA... nay, dare I say it, in the States. Period. End of story.
1) Soup. Shio-tonkotsu. Hella good (I'm from Nor Cal). Very rich and the depth of flavor can only be compared to that of a real Japanese bowl of Ramen.
2) Noodles. Good. Not quite as chewy as you might like but for all the lack of Alkaline water that they have to work with in the states, it's pretty darn good.
3) Meat. Wow, melt in your mout Toro-tuna style good. 7 ir 8 slices of what can only be described as sliced up izakaya style Buta-Kakuni. So good.
I mean, are you kidding me? I never knew this place was this good in the 12 years I've lived in LA? I never tried this place out of the 50+ visits I've had to this food court simply bc I had a preconcieved stereotype that food court Ramen was hell on earth? It makes me want to cry thinking that I could've been eating this Ramen all this time and I went to Miyabi-tei instead.
Anyway, if you didn't know... you gots to go. The portions are a bit on the smaller side but given the richness of this particular style, it's more than adequate. Plus you can drive down the street to Pacific Square and have a Beard Papa cream puff!
I'm one happy jappy right now. Now, if I could only find a good shoyo and miso ramen place my quest would be complete.
Anyway, thanks Rickmond. Without you, I never would have tried this place.
Santouka rocks! They are a chain.
I've only been to the Costa Mesa Mitsuwa location. I believe there are Santouka in New Jersey and Chicago Mitsuwas as well which is good to know when you are searching for a good bowl in those parts of the country.
The pork rocks and the soup is awesome. I like the Toroniku (sp?) where you get extra pork on the side.
So after reading this great post earlier today, I mentioned to Mr. Creosote that while he'd taken me to Hakata, I'd never had the pleasure of Santouka, where he enjoys lunching with his buddy. Today seemed like a perfect day for ramen so down the wet 405 we went.
I"d agree with Yokozuna about the noodles. They had some pleasant springiness, but they could have been chewier. I really like Hakata's firm-yet-soft chewiness, but these were fine.
The shio broth was very nice. Sweet-salty with good body and medium rich.
Mr. Creosote ordered the spicy miso ramen so I could taste it against the shio. It was pretty decent due to the strong broth foundation, tasting vaguely Korean-lite where the salty bean paste hit the mild red spicy notes.
Finished with some wagashi from a couple stands in the food court: the very polished Minamoto had pretty gift packaging and artistry (and cost more $). Special occasion stuff, plus good daifuku. Mikawaya's homey fillings were a little dry and chalky.
Thanks for finally getting me down there guys!
21515 Western Ave, Torrance
lol thanks yoko! glad you made it out there finally.
by the way, i finally hit that one soon tofu place you recommended (behind hodori on olympic)... still can't remember the name. and i gotta say yes it's definitely better than BCD and all the other ones i've tried! something about the ingredients seemthat much fresher or something... i dunno. and their kimchi is quite excellent too. props likewise!