Asa Ramen, Straight Outta Japan

Asa Ramen just opened in Gardena, and rameniac says he hasn’t been this excited since Santouka came to town.

This isn’t the “old guy with a cauldron” brand of ramen shop—it’s a rustic-modern place of the style that’s all the rage in Japan.

The ramen is superbly well crafted, with “a proprietary hakata-style noodle that is light years away from anything the other ramen shops have in town.” It’s not quite orgasmic yet, but the place hasn’t been open a month, and it’s second only to Santouka (gachimai thinks it’s even better).

Portions are on the small size and pricey, even by Japanese standards. Two bowls with a few toppings plus takoyaki and a beer run more than $30.

The restaurant itself is also very small, with just three tables and an eight-seat counter. There’s no sign out front; the shop is boarded up by day, and a large wooden board gets flipped out at night to indicate it’s open (hours are 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.).

Asa Ramen [South Bay]
18202 S. Western Avenue, Gardena
310-769-1010

Santouka [South Bay]
21515 S. Western Avenue, Torrance
310-212-1101

Santouka [Orange County]
665 Paularino Avenue, Costa Mesa
714-434-1101

Santouka [Westside–Inland]
In Mitsuwa Marketplace
3760 S. Centinela Avenue, West Los Angeles
310-398-2113

Board Link: ASA RAMEN–brand new hidden gem (review)

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