The Best Ramen In LA | Best Of The Best


Sydney Kramer: Joe, LA is
known for having some of the best ramen in the US. Joe: That’s what I’ve heard. Sydney: We’re gonna try it
all. We’re gonna try tonkatsu. Joe: No idea. Sydney: We’re gonna try tsukemen. Joe: Never heard of it. Sydney: We’re gonna try shio. Joe: Sure.
Sydney: Let’s do it. Joe Let’s do it. Sydney: Since Joe and I are
somewhat new to Los Angeles, we called in a ringer. Meet Mark Hoshi. He’s a former ramen chef
and runs Ramen Culture. His mission is to help people understand more about the ramen industry as a whole. Joe: We talked to Mark and combed through the usual suspects, like Eater, Yelp, and Instagram, to find the absolute best ramen in LA. Sydney: There are endless
varieties of ramen, and we wanted to showcase
the wide swath of options available in our fair city. Despite the difference
in broth and noodles, we’re looking for a few key factors, which Mark helped break down for us. Mark Hoshi: So, to make a bowl of ramen, you need five elements, five components. Number one: the noodles. Number two: the soup. Number three: the soup base. Number four: the topping. And number five: the aroma oil. Ramen has always been innovative. So, if you live in Tokyo, or if you live in the
northern part in Hokkaido or southern part in Kishu, they all have their own version of ramen. The reason why is they get different ingredients
in different regions. Ramen doesn’t have to
be this way or that way. I feel like it’s your bowl. Joe: Our first stop is Daikokuya, which has been an LA staple since 2002. Sydney: It’s known for its rich, pork-based tonkatsu ramen, and there have been lines
out the door since it opened. Mark: Daikokuya has been
around before the ramen craze. So, people who lived near Tokyo or people like me who’s Japanese, when you wanted quality ramen, it was usually Daikokuya. Customer: I love this
place. The ramen, amazing. Like, it’s one of the best
places I’ve been ever been to, for sure, like, and I
eat a lot of ramen, so. Sydney: The tonkatsu broth is
made with actual pork bones for maximum porky flavor, and it simmers all night long. Joe: Then, for the
signature Daikoku ramen, they start with shoyu, or soy base, and add the tonkatsu broth. Sydney: The bowl is
finished with char siu pork, bean sprouts, scallions,
bamboo shoots, an egg, and sesame seeds. Joe: This looks incredible. Sydney: It smells like pork fat. Joe: It smells perfect. Allow me to embarrass
myself by trying to do this the way it’s supposed to. Sydney: I like to do it, like,
put a little broth in here. And then I like to put a little
noodle, like, in my spoon. That’s, like, my favorite
way to eat ramen. I know that some people like to slurp, people like to do a lot of other things. This is what I like to do because I just feel like you get, like, soup and noodle in the same bite. Joe: OK, I’m gonna do it this way. Sydney: Oh, yeah. Joe: Wow. Sydney: It’s really fatty, really rich. Joe: That broth. Oh, that broth is amazing. Sydney: But like, low-key, I’m gonna add a little
bit more garlic into mine. Because I like it to be stinky. Joe: The noodle just with the broth. Absolutely incredible flavor, right? And then the second it hits
your lips, you’re like, yup, I can see why
everyone’s standing in line and wants this, you know? Sydney: The noodles
are perfectly al dente. They’re nice and chewy, and I like that they’re, like, a little curly, so they, like,
pick up on all the broth. Joe: I’ve been eyeing
this pork for a while. Just saw my guy slicing it back there. Look at that, look at that
perfect piece of pork. Which camera, one? Camera two? Camera? Look at that pork. Sydney: What’s the pork taste
like? I’m about to go in. You explain while I eat. Joe: This is pork perfection. It’s a bit of a fatty cut, but because it’s been simmering
so long in this broth, it melts in your mouth. Wow. Sydney: If you’re a ramen newbie, I don’t know where you’ve been, but this is a really good place to start. Oh, PS, they also marinate
this egg in pork fat, so I’m sure it’s gonna
be really delicious. Oh, man. Do you see how it’s jiggling? Joe: Yeah. Sydney: I think that means
that there’s a runny yolk in there, guys. Joe: The anticipation’s killing me. I’m just floored by this ramen. I mean, I went to Japan and
had lots of ramen there, but this one is like, oh, wow. Sydney: This is like the bog standard for ramen in Los Angeles, and it’s a lot to live up to. Sydney: Our next stop in
this ramen journey is Okiboru in Chinatown. It was listed as one of
the Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants for 2019, notably for its tsukemen-style ramen. Joe: And I’m notable for
not knowing what that is, but I’m excited to find out. Sean Park: Tsukemen is
actually dipping ramen. So, noodles are served on the side, and they are cold, and you dip it into a hot
broth and eat it that way. It was invented in 1961, actually, by a man called Kazuo Yamagishi. Mark: In Japan, basically,
we have soba noodles. And what they would do in the summer is cool down the soba, buckwheat noodles, and dip it in dashi soup base. And they would slurp it up. So, he made the ramen version of that dish and called it tsukemen. Sean: We wanted to make our own noodles ’cause we wanted to
match it with the broth. Because, you know, after testing so many
different types of noodles, we realized that for the
broth we were making, we wanted a particular flavor. So, we wanna be able to
be able to control that. Instead of just purchasing them. It is a lot more work, but at
the end of the day, you know, I think you’ll notice the
difference between fresh noodles and something that was purchased. Customer: Their noodles are exactly how I like them, like, al dente. It has, like, that bounce, that chew. I’m here at least once a week. Like, this week, I’m here. I was here Tuesday,
and now I’m here again. Sydney: Tsukemen soup is more concentrated than other types of ramen. It can take Okiboru two full days to cook and reduce its soup. Joe: And the soup we’re eating today is made with what exactly? Sydney: We’re eating the pork-based broth with seafood today. But you can get chicken or veggie too. Joe: And what exactly is happening here? Sydney: The broth has cooled, and since it’s reduced so
much, all the fat congeals. It gets heated to order and
mixed with the ramen base. Sean: All right, I’m gonna
show you guys how to eat this. Sydney: Great, I need help. Sean: So, first, the lime is actually for the noodles. So, you’re just gonna
squeeze the juice on there. Sydney: OK. Joe: OK. Sean: The broth is rich, so the lime juice helps
balance it out a little bit. Sydney: OK, cool. Sean: And then you’re gonna
take some of these noodles. Sydney: This is gonna be a test for us. Joe: I’m the worst with the sticks, man. I’m the worse with the sticks. Sean: If you need forks, just let me know. Sydney: Oh, God. So, like, what’s the
right amount of noodles to pick up, do you think? Sean: You know, for me, I like to just do, like,
two, three bites at a time. Because if you put too much, it’s gonna cool down the broth too fast. This gets a little messy but, with tsukemen ramen, slurping is a part of it. Sydney: Really? Sean: The louder you’re slurping in Japan, the more you’re enjoying your meal. (slurping) Sydney: The people love it. All right. Ready, Joe? Joe: Yeah, let’s do this. (slurping) Sydney: Wow. Sean: What do you think? Sydney: That is flavorful. That really packs a punch. Joe: This is the first time
I’ve had a dipping ramen. And I already have noticed that with the broth being kind of, like, stuck to the noodles ’cause
it’s so much more condensed, you get way more flavor. Sean: Yes, yes, exactly. Joe: Because usually when
I eat ramen, you know, it’s almost like a bowl of soup. And, I could be doing it wrong, but I’m just, like,
doing one of these things and trying to lap it in there. The pork in the broth. Sydney: Oh, I’ve already eaten it. Joe: Oh, my goodness. (slurping) Sydney: I’m bad at slurping. Sean: It takes practice. Sydney: Does it really? I mean, clearly. Sydney: So, this was quite the different ramen experience, I think. Joe: I think so, I’ve not had this style of ramen before, and I absolutely loved it. Joe: Now it’s time to
drive to the west side and hit up Santouka Ramen. Sydney: It’s another LA favorite that’s located inside Japanese
grocery chain Mitsuwa. The signature salt ramen
comes with cha siu pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, scallions, narutomaki, and a salted plum. Mark: One thing I appreciate
about Santouka is, when I go to New York, or New Jersey, or Boston, or here in LA, they have multiple locations, but their flavor doesn’t
fluctuate, so it’s consistent. That’s what I really respect about them. Joe: So, I’m dumb. Is this
actual food or is this fake? Sydney: This is fake!
Joe: Yeah, OK. They did, we did the video
about who makes this, right? Sydney: Yes, we did. But it’s really funny that
you would think this is real. So, you have to wait until
your number is called, and they just called our number. Joe: Don’t stand up there and clog it up. Sydney: Get my ramen. Joe: I’ll hang out here. Sydney: That’s for you.
Joe: Thanks. Sydney: That’s right. That’s for you. Joe: Thank you. Stop it. You’re acting like my mom. Here’s yours, this is mine. All right, I get it. I understand. Wow. Sydney: I like that a lot. Joe: Oh, I love it, and, you know, it’s not too salty. Sydney: The really, like, nutty flavor I’m getting from the sesame is interesting and really delicious, and a nice break from, like, the really, really heavy, fatty broths, I think, that we’ve tried so far. Let’s try this pork.
Joe: Whoa. Sydney: The pork’s good? Joe: The pork is fantastic. Wow. Sydney: You know when you
get, like, an Italian sub with, like, broccolini
and stuff on a nice roll? Joe: I wouldn’t get that, but yeah, I understand what you mean. Sydney: First of all, it’s delicious. You should absolutely try that. Second of all, this is
what it reminds me of. Like, a nice, like, Italian roast pork. (slurping) The noodles are chewy, perfectly cooked, absolutely delicious. It’s a nostalgic kind of ramen, I think. It’s definitely…this
is the kind of ramen that I remember trying, like,
for the first time ever. Joe: The noodle consistency,
like, these really thin ones, almost like the instant
ramen you would get. By the way, instant ramen
is the absolute best. I love it. So, that’s not a dig on
noodles or instant ramen. Sydney: It’s not at all. Joe: What I like about this one is everything is really
coming together perfectly. Just creating this experience where you get a little bit of everything. Sydney: We saved the most
gut-busting ramen for last with Tsujita Annex. Joe: They serve Jiro-style ramen here, which can sometimes have up
to 1,600 calories per bowl. Yikes! Mark: The style is basically
known for their thick noodles and also their rich, fatty
pork broth with shoyu base. And it has bean sprouts
and cabbages as a topping. After I eat a bowl of Jiro, it’s like a bad hangover. It’s good, you’re having a good time eating. It’s amazing, but then you realize you ate too much. Customer: The acid’s right, the garlic’s right, yeah. I mean, you smell for a
little bit afterwards, but it’s worth it. Terumi Tokita: I think garlic
and fat makes the best broth, and people love it. I wouldn’t say there’s a
right way to eat ramen. Sydney: Tsujita Annex and
Jiro-style ramen as a whole is known for adding extra
pork fat to the broth. Joe: It’s so fatty, you can pick up pieces
of fat with chopsticks. Sydney: So, we have ourselves
some Jiro-style ramen. It’s got extra back fat on the top. Joe: Extra back fat, please. Sydney: Yup. It’s really, really rich. It’s not, I don’t think, advisable to eat a whole bowl by yourself. But I see some brave souls around here that are kind of going for it. Joe: There was a sign that said
each of you have to get one, so I think people were getting used to just splitting one. They’re like, nah-ah-ah-ah-ah. Sydney: It’s rich. This is the richest ramen
we’ll have on this adventure. Joe: Wow. Sydney: There is something
extra special in here aside from all the fat. I’m not quite sure what
it is, but it’s delicious. Joe: The pork, as thick as it is, melts in your mouth. It just falls apart the
second you bite into it. Sydney: All right, I’m gonna go for it. Joe: It is so juicy and soft. Right? Sydney: Oh, my God. Joe: This is sensational. Sydney: The pork itself
is incredibly flavorful, and a little sweet on the outside, too. Joe: The noodles, they go
up, like, lightning fast ’cause they’re just dripping with fat. (slurping) I was a bit, to be honest, visually, I was like,
oh, no, thick noodles? Sydney: These are awesome. Joe: But these are
actually pretty incredible. Sydney: All in all, like,
for as heavy as this is, it’s delicious. It’s rich,
it’s fatty, it’s greasy. It’s almost like the junk food of ramen. Joe: You think so? Sydney: Yeah, absolutely. And now, it’s finally time to choose the best of the best. All right, so we’ve eaten a lot of ramen. Joe: A lot of ramen. Sydney: Four kinds of ramen. Joe: Four great kinds of ramen. Sydney: And now, we’re picking the winner, the best ramen in LA. Joe: Let’s do it. I’m gonna look at my phone ’cause I don’t wanna spell it wrong. Syd, life’s about hard choices. I’m gonna have to make an
incredibly hard choice. Which of the four were the best of the best in Los Angeles? Sydney: I felt like it
was an easy choice for me. Joe: OK, I did not. Sydney: Really?
Joe: I was down… there was three that I was like, that on any day could be the best one. I had to really think about it. Sydney: All right, ready? Joe: Ready! One! Both: Two, three! Joe: Ah! Sydney: I knew you were gonna pick that. Joe: Why’d you know? Sydney: You have better
handwriting than me, I will say. Joe: Thank you, thank you. Sydney: All right, so. We’ve gotta break this down. There can only be one. Joe: There can only be one. Sydney: The reason I’m picking Okiboru is those handmade noodles, man. They were so good. Joe: Yeah. Sydney: I love that you could
add lime to the noodles. I loved that citrus element
to, like, the rich soup. Joe: I don’t even remember that. (laughs) Yeah sure, that was nice. Sydney: Yeah? And I really just, you know, I loved dipping the noodles
in the broth and, like, getting a good amount of
everything in one bite. As opposed to trying to,
like, you know, figure out how to get, like, soup and
noodle in the same bite. Joe: Points off for that
place for the exact thing, that dipping. I know that’s the style, but for me, this was, first of all, a classic ramen bowl. And also, I mean, hey, man, the whole thing was super fatty, and that makes it taste really good. The second we tasted it, I was like, oh, man, I know this probably
isn’t the best for me, but this flavor is incredible. Just something about it just
cranked it up to 11 for me. And every bite with the
broth, the meat, the noodles, everything was just
soaked in this rich fat that I just couldn’t get enough of. Sydney: We have to decide on one winner. Joe: Yeah, OK. Sydney: And the reason
that I’m going to go ahead and agree with you and pick Tsujita is because it was my second favorite. Joe: Mm-hmm. Sydney: And it is
really, really delicious. And Okiboru is tsukemen, which people could potentially
argue is not, like, a traditional ramen. Joe: Fair enough. Sydney: And Jiro-style is not as well known as it should be and absolutely delicious. So, we can go ahead and declare Tsujita the winner.
Joe: Yeah! You hear that, Tsujita? When I come in, I want a table right away, I’m not waiting. I just hooked you guys up. Sydney: All right, well, until next time. Let us know what we missed. There’s a lot of ramen in LA, and we just scratched the surface. Joe: That’s right. Sydney: So, until next time.




Comments
  1. Can someone just enlighten him and make his life easier by telling him to hold his chopsticks higher instead of at the tips like a kid?

  2. Hi, I learning English, is there anyone who can explain what "call in a ringer" (0:43 ) means? I would really appreciate it.

  3. That moment when i go to a ramen shop in australia and i slurped too loud all the neighboring customers turn their eyes on me

  4. the guy sounds like hes so proud that he doesnt know anything about ramen. could he at least sound like hes trying to learn and not be so ignorant

  5. it's spelled Kyushu, not Kishu, and the map of Japan shown in the beginning points to the wrong region – I find it a bit sad that a Food Insider employee couldn't do a simple google search when editing this video 🙁

  6. (Customers speaks foreign)
    US lady: "excuse me, can u speak in english!? This is america!"
    Waiter:"lady…..this is a ramen restaurant, and they are from japan"

  7. Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen and Orochon Ramen in Los Angeles in Little Tokyo should be the next stop cause their Ramen is just so damn good! 😄

  8. Buzz you're eating it wrong. Good ramen, the ramen would pick up it's own soup. The first thing you want to do is taste the soup. Then take a chopstick full of ramen just pick up enough you can slurp then slurp and enjoy.

  9. We need an LA vs NY ramen battl. And I think NY will win with Nakamura torigara or tontori ramen. Throw in Ichiran, Totto ramen,Mu ramen and Ippudo. NY has the best ramen and ramen shops

  10. I ate the same exact ramen at the first location and it was very good. I wish they would serve their chasu warm instead of cold.

  11. I would've chosen Santouka Ramen just cause it had such a simplicity yet goodness about it☺, and the bowls it came in really made it feel home like made to me. Only thing I would change is maybe the noodles, making them a little thicker. Now I wanna try some 😭❤

  12. Santouka?? I'm surprised they made the list.
    Santouka was the first ever ramen I tried in L.A. it used to be a staple for me until I found out they make their broth with MSG.
    Im not surprised Tsujita was the top pick.

    Should have tried SilverLake Ramen though that's one of my favorites so far!!

  13. I am from LA, and they really did try the best ramen places in LA. They definitely chose the 2 that I would have chosen as well. Okiburu and Tsujita are really the best in LA. They (including Tsujita LA, Tsujita Annex's sister store) are the only places that can rival the ramen in Japan (I've tried many in Japan).

  14. They messed up. They should have ordered the fattier tonkotsu ramen at Daikokuya and they should have went to Tsujita across the street from Annex for the best tsukemen.

  15. So we’re supposed to trust the opinion of a white dude who admittedly can’t use chopsticks and loves instant ramen? 🤣

  16. Check out Ramen Yukinoya when you are in the San Gabriel Valley area. The ability to add crushed marinaded garlic from your table brings the soup to a different level.

  17. This video is a void and a total disgrace to the LA ramen community. Anyways, Silverlake Ramen is still the best!

  18. If this girl just didn't dirty herself with tattoos, she would shoot way up the pretty girl level.

  19. IMO the Glendale Chicken Ramen they serve at Tsujita in the Americana Mall is something to behold. It is absolutely the best ramen I have ever had.

  20. I try not to be rude but as a way of constructive criticism… you guys always pick the blandest people to try the tastiest foods in the country. High potential in the series but please for the love of all foodies, pick more interesting hosts. Or please dont pick someone who doesn't know anything about worldly cuisines.

  21. That guy and girl, their chemistry is honestly not that amazing. I loved the burger video the ice cream video, but this ramen video was disappointing.

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