Los Angeles' Top 5 Ramen Joints Slideshow

1) Daikokuya

While I’m not one to follow the crowd, I can’t help but be blown away by what is hands-down the best (and most popular) ramen in LA. Period. Daikokuya only serves one type (tonkotsu), but it’s all you need. The rich and creamy pork broth and perfectly sized and cooked noodles are perfection. No complaints — except the infernal wait for a table.

2) Men Oh Tokushima

I was almost going to call Men oh the poor man’s Daikokuya after my first bite, but then soon changed my mind. While the broth wasn’t exactly as heaven sent as big D’s, the noodles and amazing soft-boiled egg were standouts. A fine addition to the tonkotsu realm, and one of Jonathan Gold’s favorites.

3) Chabuya Tokyo Noodle Bar

You probably won’t find this place on any other Top 5 lists, but I really loved the Kara Kara pork ramen accompanied by the massive slice of tender meat and bok choy at Chabuya. The sort of fusion take on ramen and the more upscale and airy décor gave me cause to add them to my list. Many ramen purists would probably disagree.

4) Ramenya

Another spot not going to win any awards, Ramenya offers a unique ramen experience with their Tan Tan Men ramen. It’s basically like egg drop soup dumped over noodles with ground pork and it’s fantastic! So decadent and flavorful. And in case things aren’t spicy enough for you, you’ll be offered an obscene looking bottle of chili oil. But be warned: this place has zero air conditioning, so avoid it on hot days.

5) Santouka

This 20-year-old chain churns out some pretty decent fast food ramen. Located in the food court of a Japanese shopping center, I really enjoyed the super casual vibe. The Spicy Miso ramen seems to be what everyone was ordering, so I followed suit. While the noodles were a bit instant-tasting (which I still enjoyed) the heat was certainly there, and I also greatly appreciated the option to get a smaller size for when you don’t have the time to go home for a 3-hour food coma nap afterwards.