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Best Ramen in LA: Chowhound Lists

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For those who don't already know, we've started a new series called Chowhound Lists, and the first list for Los Angeles focuses on ramen: http://www.chow.com/digest/123361/the...

The idea behind this is to create a guide to specific foods in specific cities, based on Chowhound posts. Ideally, these can be a resource for local hounds as well as visitors. Our thinking is that the lists do not have to be static—they can be revisited and updated when it's warranted. Think of them as a snapshot of what Chowhounds are talking about.

If people want to discuss things missing from this list, feel free to do that here!

Dave MP

Other Chowhound Lists:

London Pubs: http://www.chow.com/food-news/122041/...

NYC Ice Cream: http://www.chow.com/digest/122770/new...

Boston Lobster Rolls: http://www.chow.com/food-news/120594/...

SF Ice Cream: http://www.chow.com/digest/120891/san...

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  1. I dislike the numbering system on the list. It makes the number appear to be rankings.

    Just eliminate the numbers and list the eateries alphabetically (which is the current default) or (even better) geographically.

    7 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      How would you feel about it if it were letters instead of numbers? Would it feel less like ranking? The reason I like the numbers is so you can easily see which is which on the map, but this could be done with letters too.

      1. re: Dave MP

        Sounds better indeed.

      2. re: J.L.

        I agree. My first thought reading the list was "How did Jidaiya become number one?" It wasn't until I read Yamadaya at 7 that I realized the numbers were used for reference purposes.

        Letter system would be better.

        1. re: Porthos

          Instead of a letter system, I switched it so that the numbers are at the bottom of each place. Take a look....I think this makes it better, and is less confusing than letters would be.

          1. re: Dave MP

            Looks great! Great list and I agree that it represents the current state of ramen in LA nicely. I also applaud the notable Daikokuya and Santouka omissions.

            For future lists maybe you could also do alphabetical order like JL suggested.

            Thanks for the hard work.

            1. re: Porthos

              They are already listed alphabetically...

              1. re: Dave MP

                Guess the Robata Jinya threw me off a bit.

      3. Great list, I think it perfectly lists the top ones we currently have in LA, here's to hoping there is more to come.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Johnny L

          I can't take this list seriously since Santouka is not listed.

          1. re: trojans

            I suppose I have to say I never understood the hub bug about Santouka. Having eaten at almost every ramen on that list I do think that Santouka has fallen behind. It's not bad but it's not something extraordinary more like an In-N-Out, consistently good but often overrated and over hyped.

            1. re: Johnny L

              With so many good tonkotsu broths out there these days, it would only be the shoyu/tonkotsu and miso/tonkotsu broths that would bring me back. Having said that, I haven't been to a Santouka in almost 2 years now. At one time I was going once-twice a month.

              I think it's a great list with lesser known ones like Jidaiya and Hayatemaru on there.

              1. re: Johnny L

                You've tried Santouka's #7 bowl, yes?

                1. re: J.L.

                  Yes I've tried about everything on their menu ramen wise I think so and been to several locations. I'm not hating it at all, unlike I do with the current state of Daikokuya, but I just was never really excited my reaction was more wow this is good but I'm not going to go out of my way for it. I've made the trip to Tsujita four times now despite how inconveniently far it is from the SGV. If Santouka is convenient to me depending on where I am I definitely would go but it's not worth a drive for me.

                  1. re: Johnny L

                    Fair enough.

              2. re: trojans

                Agreed. I don't understand how chowhounders can overlook santouka, yet place the likes of jidaiya and menya iroha on the list. Good grief. :P

                1. re: namstermonster

                  No real hound has overlooked Santouka. It's just not on this list arbitrarily prepared by 1 person.

                  Maybe T can chime in on why Santouka was not included, but I don't see ANY OG ramen joints in there so maybe they just wanted to feature the new guys.

                  1. re: namstermonster

                    Good Grief indeed

              3. Santouka deserves to be on the list. Look at this very thread. The proof is in the pudding, it's one of the shops CHs are talking about.

                IMO, having Yamadaya on there and not Santouka is a joke.

                1. Tsujita (thumbs up):

                  Hands down #1 ramne in L.A. doesn't matter if you get tsukemen or traditional tonkotsu.

                  Santouka (thumbs up):

                  100% belongs on the list. It is the #2 ramen in L.A. It's a crime that Santouka was omitted from the list.

                  Koyoto (thumbs up):

                  I just tried Kotoya on Santa Monica for the 1st time....it is deserving of it's place on the list for sure....probably my 3rd favorite Ramen in LA. Their seasoned, soft boiled egg was as good as Tsujita's, imho.

                  Jinya and Yamadaya (thumbs down):

                  I have only tried the West L.A. branches of Jinya and Yamadaya....but I was disappointed with both. They were ok....but clearly flawed. The noodles at both were lacking. And the broth, noodles, chashu and toppings just don't blend together to create a dish that is greater than the sum of it's parts the way it does at the better places noted above. Yamadaya's one bright spot is the Kakuni Pork Belly

                  Still, not really sure these two belong on the list (based solely on W. LA branches).

                  Hayatemaru (undecided):

                  The new West L.A. branch of Hayatemaru was decent. The red miso broth was good...and the noodles were good. The one fatal flaw is that the charshu was terrible....thin, dry and tasteless. If they improve the quality of the pork they would truly be a noteworthy option. And I need to try their Tsukemen.

                  Chabuya and Ramen-ya (fond memories....but don't belong on the list):

                  I am still grateful to Chubuya and Raman-ya for introducing me to Ramen several years ago when there were far fewer options. But, despite the fond memories, I have to agree that they don't belong on the list. If only other restaurants offered the fried shallot topping you can find at Chubuya, though.

                  Looks like I need to give Jidaiya, Menya Hiroha, and Mottainai a try.

                  1. I think Men Oh should represent Little Tokyo.

                    1. Re: Mottainai, what happened? I haven't been since my friend reported this to me.

                      Assuming since it's included on the list, there have been recent positive visits?

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8549...

                      Mr Taster

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        This list (from the OP) was 2012, my personal mottainai downhill report would be from 2013.

                        1. re: ns1

                          Whoops. I saw the August date and missed the year.

                          Looks like these lists need to be updated....

                          Mr Taster