Since L.A. is the best restaurant city in the United States, we are spoiled for choice — but the L.A. Weekly food writers still have their favorites. Here is our list of the best dishes L.A. restaurants had to offer in 2016. These aren't ranked, but it is worth noting that many of our writers wanted to claim the pastrami sandwich at Ugly Drum as one of their most beloved. Read on to see who snagged it and what else made the cut.
Lobster Ramen at Jinya
In L.A., making ramen is a competitive sport, and Jinya Ramen Bar is among the heavyweight noodlers in town. Bringing intensely flavorful styles like Tonkotsu Black and Cha Cha Cha (both heavy on the garlic love), Jinya is famous for bold bowls and a colorful culinary personality. Lobster Me Happy is the name of Jinya’s most recent ramen thrill ride and only available at the Studio City location. A stock simmered from Maine lobster meat and heads is reduced down to a concentrated sauce and blended with a ten-hour tonkotsu. Plus-size wontons, bundling meaty chunks of lobster and shrimp, along with crispy Brussels sprouts, seasoned egg, thick curly noodles and a lobster head playing peek-a-boo in the soup make up this ridiculously rich ramen eating experience. Each slurp and bite of Lobster Me Happy lights up all corners of your taste buds, whether it's from the fragrantly fried, slightly bitter Brussels sprouts or the deep brininess and lobster bisque-ness of the lobster and pork broth. Why a lobster ramen? Jinya founder Tomonori Takahashi was inspired by the lobster roll trend and wanted to work the shellfish into his ramen repertoire. Ramen purists may scoff but that only leaves more of this epic lobster ramen for the rest of us. And with Lobster Me Happy limited to just 10 bowls per day, that’s saying something. -Eddie Lin
11239 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (818) 980-3977, jinya-ramenbar.com.