VEGGIE RAMEN? Does a great one exist?
I know that Ramen Jinya makes a veggie (including no fish/bonito) based ramen. But is there anywhere else noteworthy that makes a purely vegetarian soup (that is worth eating)?
I had high hopes for the spectacular roasted miso ramen at Mottainai in Gardena, but when I called them my conversation went something like this:
"Hello, is this Mottainai Ramen?"
"Yes, yes. Mottainai."
"My friend is vegetarian. Do you make your miso ramen without meat or fish?"
"If you want vegetarian, please order with no chashu pork."
"But does the soup contain fish or pork bone?"
"Only order without chashu, vegetarian."
"But is the soup made with any fish or pork?"
"Ah. Hm, if you want to order this, then please try go somewhere else."
Although I've never ordered the vegetarian ramen at Ikemen, it is on the menu: Miso Paste + Green Onions + Thin Noodles. There are various veg toppings that can be added for addl cost(s) like: Extra Green Onions $1, Artisan Pesto $1; Zebra Garlic Seasoning $1; Cherry Tomatoes $3; Sauted Mushrooms $3; and Osen Tamago $1.
I don't think there's a great one in LA.
Shojin has one which is decent. Some of the broths can be a bit salty. They have a few different preset combinations, and you can add extras to most. I'm not crazy about a lot of their other food, but the ramen is pretty good. The spicy one has a nice kick, the vegetarian cha shao "pork" is pretty good, and while not traditional, I enjoy the kale they serve in it. Since it's a vegan restaurant, there's no boiled egg along with it.
Naga Naga (or whatever it's called) has a vegetarian ramen, but it's nothing exciting. For those who avoid eggs, the noodles have egg in them (normally the yellow in ramen is from alkaline water, not from egg, but these days, some ramen noodles do contain egg). I'm not 100% sure if all the accoutrements are vegetarian, so it's worth checking on those also.
Even finding a purely pescetarian ramen would probably be pretty hard at any traditional place.