Los Angeles’ Ramen Noodle bar craze

Negitama ramen from Menya Iroha
ramen iroha  For a limited time only ! (6/26 (Tue) – 9/16 (Sun))
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White Ajitama Chashu ramen
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Large portion
Chashu Buns

Los Angeles has in the past few years been transformed into a truly exceptional international dining scene. Most recently LA has been infused with several direct from Japan world-class ramen noodle bars. I’ve selected images of only the newest in town, knowing more are on the way. There is little as satisfying that is as inexpensive as a great bowl of perfectly ramen noodles. At the most popular places, people line up outside just as they do to get into the hottest new bars in LA. The blogger Rameniac hipped LA to the arrival of Japan’s best ramen noodle bars, followed by Jonathan Gold writing of the first wave of super ramen bars, first Ramen Jinya in Studio City, then the new ultimate, Tsujita LA. There are amazing finds in the South Bay, Culver City, downtown LA. But it is Sawtelle in West Los Angeles that is becoming the epicenter of the superior ramen bar experience.

Vincent Johnson

Los Angeles

Ramen Noodle Map of Los Angeles

ramen map dayo.jpg
Google Maps
Anne Fishbein

Tonkotsu ramen at Jinya Ramen

Anne Fishbein photo
A shrimp in the jjigae ramen at Hayatemaru.
Anne Fishbein photo

Hokkaido shoyu ramen at Hayatemaru.

Hayatemaru is a Japanese chain out of Hokkaido, where miso-based, Sapporo-style ramen is king.


  • Pork gyoza at Ramen Hayatemaru
    Pork gyoza at Ramen Hayatemaru

HAYATEMARU | 1644 W. Carson St., Torrance | (310) 212-0055 | Lunch and dinner daily | Beer and wine served | Lot parking

Anne Fishbein photo

Tonkotsu negi ramen, Matcha (iced green tea) at Tsujita L.A.

Anne Fishbein photo

Salmon sashimi don, interior of Tsujita L.A.


  • Char-siu tsukemen
    Char-siu tsukemen

TSUJITA L.A. | 2057 Sawtelle Blvd, W.L.A. | (310) 231-7373 | tsujita-la.com | Lunch daily, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; dinner Wed.-Mon, 5 p.m.-mid. (Last orders taken 30 minutes before closing time.) | MC, V | Beer, wine and sake | Street parking | Lunchtime noodles, $8.95-$14.95; rice bowls $3.99; dinner: small plates, $6-$18; sashimi plates, $10-$32; set-price omakase dinners, $55 and $80

Cross-cultural current runs through Little Osaka

The Sawtelle Boulevard neighborhood in West L.A. has seen sweeping changes in recent years, which makes dining and shopping all the more intriguing.

March 16, 2012|By Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times (excerpted)

Big changes have hit Little Osaka, the iconic Japanese neighborhood that runs along Sawtelle Boulevard in West L.A.

The street has for decades been a Japanese restaurant row: sushi, curry, yakitori, Franco-Japanese small plates, izakaya fare and land-of-the-rising-sun snacks.

More restaurant imports from Japan are moving in, such as Gottsui, purveyor of Osaka-style seafood-and-pork pancakes. Soon there will be not one but two pizzerias, including food-truck-goes-brick-and-mortar SliceTruck.

Sawtellers mourned when Yamaguchi, the 60-year-old sundries store at the corner of Sawtelle and Mississippi selling greeting cards and geta, rice cookers and robots, closed in 2006. Now they line up for the ramen at Tsujita in what the building’s developer dubbed the Yamaguchi Center. The chain Ramen Jinya is expanding to Sawtelle too. And in place of gr/eats will be another Japanese ramen import, Miyata Menji, says Nakamura.

Tsujita Come for lunch, because this new Tokyo-import noodle shop doesn’t serve ramen at dinner. And that’s what you’re here for. There’s the tonkotsu (pork-bone broth) ramen with springy noodles and tender, slow-roasted sliced pork. And there’s the tsukemen — fatter firm noodles that are served alongside a thick, rich, concentrated pork and bonito broth. Squirt the noodles with a little lime before dipping them into the über-broth for maximum umami.

2057 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 231-7373, http://www.tsujita-la.com.

Gottsui The best seat at this mini-mall okonomiyaki specialist is at the counter, where you can see the spatula-wielding, headband-wearing cooks at work. The savory Kansai-region soul-food pancakes are made with a flour-and-egg batter but are dominated by their mix-ins: lots of cabbage, green onions, bacon, shrimp, octopus, squid and potato. There are a dozen variations; after all, okonomimeans “whatever you like.” And if what you like is cheese with spicy cod roe and bacon, you’re golden.2119 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 478-0521, http://www.gottsui-usa.com.

New Abstract Paintings: The Cosmos suite (2012)

Cosmos. Oil on canvas  2012 by Vincent Johnson

Cosmos Red Yellow Green. Oil on canvas 2012 by Vincent Johnson

Green God. Oil on canvas 2012 by Vincent Johnson

This new painting series is part of my ongoing exploration of painting materials and techniques from the history of painting. The works combine knowledge of painting practices of both abstract and representation paintings. The works concern themselves purely with the visual power that paintings can do through the manipulation of paint. Some of the underpaintings are allowed to dry for months; some of those are built dark to light, others light to dark. None are made in a single setting. Most are worked and reworked using studio materials. Each new series takes a different approach to the painted surface from how the paint is applied, to varying the painting mediums. This suite concerns itself with the layering of paint by building up the surface and altering and reworking the wet paint with studio tools.

Two larger paintings will be completed and photographed on Sunday, July 1, 2012 and posted here.

Vincent Johnson

Los Angeles, California

Vincent Johnson received his MFA in Fine Art Painting from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California 1997 and his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was selected for the Baum: An Emerging American Photographer’s Award in 2004 and for the New Museum of Contemporary Arts Aldrich Art Award in 2007 and for the Art Matters grant in 2008, and in 2009 for the Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship, Los Angeles. In 2010 he was named a United States Artists project artist. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art Slant and many other publications. His photographic works were most recently shown in the inaugural Pulse Fair Los Angeles. His most recent paintings were shown at the Beacon Arts Center in Los Angeles.

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