1 Ramen TatsunoyaRam Tatsunoya/Facebook
There's lines around the block for this Pasadena-based ramen house, where you'll find soup made off 100% pork bone. A must try is the tonkotsu bowl, which you can adjust to your taste by adding extra spices or a second helping of chashu pork.
16 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103
2 Tatsu RamenTatsu Ramen
It's a wonder that Tatsu isn't located in Silicon Beach, given that its ordering system has a tech touch thanks to a customized, easy-to-use iPad. At Tatsu, corn, fresh garlic and seaweed toppings are always free, the Tonkotsu broth is made fresh everyday right in front of you and it is VERY L.A.-friendly with an option to order gluten-free. What could be better?
2123 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Downtown L.A.'s Anzutei is as authentic as they come: it is the first eatery of its kind to serve the ramen Nagoya-style (Nagoya being an industrial Japanese city), which can be characterized by its ground pork, corn silk, Chinese chives, hot peppers and soy-enhanced broth. This is the real deal, and it's delicious.
4 Ramen By OmaeRamen by Omae/Facebook
If you're looking for high-end ramen, Ramen By Omae is the place. Takeshi Omae has a pedigree that won't quit: he's a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who trained under Masaharu Morimoto—he was an executive chef for Morimoto XEX in Tokyo and Morimoto's sous chef on Iron Chef America—and has also twice been awarded a Michelin star. His signature item—one you really shouldn't miss—is the burnt miso ramen. It's as interesting as it sounds: fermented bean paste is torched before tonkotsu broth, that's been cooking for nearly 40 hours, is added. It's flavor is smoky, sweet and unique.
5 Tsujita LA Artisan NoodleTsujita La Artisan Noodle/Facebook
After the success of its first restaurant on Sawtelle, Tsujita opened in a big way at Rick Caruso's Americana at Brand, serving its tonkotsu (pork broth) soup and Japanese cuisine in a glossy, stylized setting where a la carte items are also offered. Here, the ramen slowly simmers for 60 hours, giving it both a sweet and savory taste. It's a great spot to go for a taste of true ramen (it was created with the help of the owner of Tanaka-Shoten, a famous ramen shop in Adachi, Tokyo) that also has a sense of stylized Los Angeles modernity.
769 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210