What's your fav ramen shop and why?
Mine is Hanaichimonme in Little Tokyo. Located in the 2nd Floor of what used to be the Mitsuwa Mall shopping center (now Woori), it's a small shop with authentic ramen and they come in these adorable sets! My favorite is the curry and ramen combo. You get a small chicken curry with a bowl of traditional ramen. They also have a great window display of plastic Japanese food.
Little Tokyo Restaurant
150 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773
yamadaya, because it's close to school and good enough. extra noodles for free! oh, and it's quiet.
robata jinya, my fav bowl of ramen in socal, is too far away and not really a ramen shop.
Big fan of Ramen Jinya in Studio City.
I rather like Santouka as well.
3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066
11239 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
Down in Orange County it's going to be Gomen. While I also like Shin Sen Gumi and Santouka, Gomen comes out just a little bit better IMHO. The only setback is that Gomen is only open very weird hours, and they don't even stick to those hours a lot of the time. So if you're not local, you may be very disappointed in making the trek out there to find out they closed early, or haven't opened yet. But if you get in and get to try it, mmmm delicious.
Clean, tasty broth, and various kinds too. The fried rice/ramen combo is a very good deal, and the chashu pork is just melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I always order extra chashu, it's that good.
Yamadaya, Horon, or Santouka, depending on my mood. Usually Yamadaya. I don't think any one aspect of their ramen is the best around (not even the broth - though very good, I think there's an over-reliance on lard to enrich it, plus there's a gritty, rustic quality to Horon's broth that seems more to me like what you'd get in Japan, that Yamadaya's is lacking), but they do everything pretty well to very well, the serving is generous (moreso than the other two places I mentioned), and I prefer the Hakata style of ramen. Horon does a similar style, but it's not really a ramen shop, and the wait for a table sometimes can be long, so I don't go there as often as I would like. Plus, they're a little skimpy with the toppings.
The very best are those occasions when places like Tatsunoya or Hakata Ippudo visit from Japan and set up shop in Mitsuwa for a few days.
I used to love Hanaichimonme for their yakisoba, but I haven't been there in years. I remember liking their noodles, but the broth was too light, even for that style of ramen. I love their soup spoons.