Ramen isn’t quite as ubiquitous as burgers or pizza in the US, but it certainly should be. The crave-worthy noodle soup is easily one of Japan’s most delicious imports, and LA is one of the best places in America to get some. Whether you're after rich, pork-fueled tonkotsu, umami-enriched tsukemen, or brothless mazemen, your ramen options in LA are virtually limitless -- and that's not even counting the range of toppings on offer, from menma (marinated bamboo shoots) to kikurage (wood ear mushrooms). To make your ramen journey a little easier, we've narrowed the field down to 28 standout shops that run the gamut from the San Fernando Valley to the South Bay, the Westside to the SGV. Wherever you end up, don't forget: Slurping is essential.
Jinya Ramen Bar
Booming chain first sparked excitement in the Valley and has since gone national
Branches now crisscross the country, and newer outposts have become increasingly stylish, but this low-key Valley restaurant was ground zero for the company’s expansion, and remains a draw today. Jinya chef-founder Takahashi Tomonori’s menu has become increasingly elaborate over the years, complete with shrimp wonton ramen and “flying vegan harvest” featuring tofu two ways, but basic tonkotsu ramen continues to impress most. Rich pork broth hosts fat-rimmed pork loin chashu, spinach, and a hard-boiled egg. As Jinya Ramen Bar’s literal poster boy says on the wall: “No Ramen No Life.”