Tatsu Ramen has the best ramen in Los Angeles (IMHO). From the perfectly textured noodles and the deeply flavored broths, to the freshly grated garlic and ground sesame seeds, this place is amazing.My brother recently moved back to LA after not living here since he left for college in 1987.
We’re very close — always have been.
We shared a room when we were kids, until we were about 9 and 10. He’d tell me the best bedtime stories — usually about his friend Antoine, who was the 3rd grade class clown.
The stories of Antoine’s shenanigans would never disappoint, and my favorite was the one where he fell in the toilet and was therefore delayed coming back to class. I don’t know if the stories were totally true, or if they were embellished for my entertainment.
It didn’t matter because I loved hearing my brother tell them. You see, much like my youngest son, I didn’t really like bedtime. I was always a little scared and hearing my brother talk, whether it was the funny stories or just mumblings — it was always a comfort to me.
And as soon as I’d think he was drifting off to sleep, I’d do my best to keep him awake until I was too tired to keep my own eyes open.
My brother has been mentioning wanting to try this “really cool looking noodle place” near his house, so when we were out together last week, he pointed it out and before I knew it we were eating the best ramen in Los Angeles.
Let’s start with the awesome mural. The owner of Tatsu Ramen restaurant, Ryu Isobe was born in the Year of the Dragon, hence the awesome art, and it’s clearly no coincidence that “tatsu” means dragon in Japanese. The first things you’ll see when you enter the casual and hip restaurant, are several iPads along a clean white wall. Just click away on the images that suit you — and if there’s something you don’t want in your ramen, there’s a place to click for that, too. It’s quick, easy, and kinda fun.
There’s a very cool room inside the room– or box, if you will. It’s just across from the ipads.The walls of this “box” are glass and there’s one person inside working with ramen dough. She’s making the dough, shaping it, putting it through rollers and cutting it.
It was fantastic to watch her work. Two types of ramen noodles are being made — one with egg and one without.
Once made, the beautiful bundles of ramen noodles are all put into large plastic tubs, and then I believe they’re whisked away to the kitchen where they’ll be at the ready for the next orders.
There’s more culinary magic happening in the kitchen.
It’s the best ramen in Los Angeles, I tell you And I’ve had a lot of ramen!I ordered the signature Soul Ramen, which includes black garlic oil, sweet umami sauce and ground beef. My brother, a vegetarian, ordered the Hippie Ramen, flavored with sweet onion, soy sauce and ginger.
As we were finding our seats, we passed by a woman at a table squeezing fresh garlic into her ramen with a garlic press. I assumed she worked at the restaurant since she was using the kitchen tools, but I was so wrong.
Every table has a few clean garlic presses and a container of freshly peeled garlic. Brilliant! And yes, two whole cloves made their way into my ramen.
This is the Soul Ramen, with added slices of tofu . . . The fresh garlic isn’t the only tasty condiment at Tatsu Ramen. There are also containers of dry seaweed and a sesame seed grinders. Ever had freshly ground sesame seeds over your ramen? You must try it. And much to my delight, at the bottom of the soup bowl there was some great anime art.
Fortunately for my family, Tatsu Ramen offers gluten-free Noodles and broth options. My older son has Celiac Disease, and is so happy he can eat there too.
Tatsu Ramen has two Los Angeles locations, and one in NYC:
- 2123 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025 – (310) 684-2889
- 7111 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 – (323) 747-1388
- 167 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003 – (929) 284-7088
An excellent video about Tatsu Ramen with an interview with Ryu Isobe . . .
This is not a sponsored post. I wrote about Tatsu Ramen because I think it has the best ramen in Los Angeles.
And a few Asian noodle recipes of my own for you to try: