Get Out Of Town!: Daikokuya Ramen Warms The Soul On A Rainy Day

By On January 6, 2016

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

On these windy, chilly and rainy winter days in Southern California, hearty and flavorful ramen soup is a siren call cutting through blustery weather. Burbank’s own Kopan Ramen 2 does a fantastic job of sating the cold and hungry, but what to do if one is marooned in Downtown L.A.? We recommend Daikokuya Ramen at 327 E. First Street in Little Tokyo.

Time after time, hot weather to cold weather, Daikokuya Ramen satiates and satifies. On any given day, about five hundred other people know this fact, so we recommend arriving early or being prepared to wait an hour or two. You will not regret it.

The venerable standard, Daikoku Ramen, at Little Tokyo's Daikokuya Ramen noodle shop. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The venerable standard, Daikoku Ramen, at Little Tokyo’s Daikokuya Ramen noodle shop. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Luckily, there are some great bars nearby to wait in, if that’s your thing. We like the Far Bar, at 347 E. First Street. Japanese Village across the street and sweet shop Fugetso-Do, on the same block at 315 E. First Street, are fun ways to wait out the time after you’ve put your name on the list.

Now to the ramen. Daikokuya’s menu is very accessible. Choose from three styles: Daikokuya special combo with tonkatsu broth base, Spicy Miso base or Tsukemen – cooled noodles to dip in broth on the side. Add in extras like shiitake mushrooms, more pork or egg, seaweed, sesame seed, bean sprouts and more.

One of the very best flavors on this earth is a soft-boiled egg broken open in ramen broth. Try it. The complexity of flavors and heartiness in a simple bowl of well-made ramen noodle soup is compelling.

Delicious and hot Takoyaki, fried balls of breaded octopus. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Delicious and hot Takoyaki, fried balls of breaded octopus. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Additional favorite offerings on the menu include freshly house-made gyoza or takoyaki (fried balls of breaded octopus) and tsukemono (pickled veggie salad.)

Sure, there are lots of rice-based bowls available too, including pork cutlet, chicken teriyaki, tempura, tuna sashimi and teriyaki eel, in addition to typical fried rice and chow mein. California roll, spicy tuna roll and avocado roll complement the standard fare.

Wash it all down with teas, sodas, coffee, beer and sake.

Freshly made gyoza at Daikokuya, a little crispy this time. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Freshly made gyoza at Daikokuya, a little crispy this time. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Service is fast, friendly and efficient. Bathrooms are decent. Daikokuya is a cash-only noodle shop, with an ATM on the premises. Parking is your own call unless you’ve taken the Metro.

Daikouya Ramen is our very favorite noodle shop in Los Angeles, along with everyone else in the city, and an excellent antidote to our coming season of El Niño.

 

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