The biggest source of joy during these crisp winter nights in LA (yes, tis true!), is the promise of a steaming hot bowl of ramen. LA is a mecca for all things noodle—and ramen is one of its shining stars. Start with LA’s very own ramen classic, Daikokuya. It’s arguably the granddaddy of ramen houses—centrally located in Little Tokyo, the wait can be killer but it’s almost always worth it as you eat your weight in a fat slice of chasu (braised pork), mounds of green onions, and perfectly done noodles. A few blocks away is another Little Tokyo favorite, Orochon. Here you can choose different soup bases and levels of spiciness. A drive to the far east, as in Gardena, takes you to Asa Ramen. There, amongst the discerning mostly-Asian clientele, you can get two different types of broth, assari (shoyu) and kotteri (tonkotsu & shoyu blend) as the base of your ramen. And to all the West siders out there, rejoice for a ramen place has opened up in Hollywood! Slick décor aside, Ikemen serves up authentic Japanese fare—its specialty being Tsukemen, or “dipping ramen” where you dip your noodles into a bowl of broth that is served separately.
(Image from Ikemen)