Hollywood Is Hopping, Japanese-Style

jesstifer used to regularly make the trek "out of the culinary wasteland that is central Hollywood" to downtown just to get some good Japanese food. But all of a sudden: Wham! A real ramen place lands right in Hollywood!

Ikemen is in a tiny parking-lot-challenged strip mall, says jesstifer. That place that used to be Casa Blanca "is now home to a tiny, ultra-hip noodle counter serving black-belt ramen from a genuine celebrity Ramen Master," says jesstifer. It's an astonishingly unlikely place for great ramen—a few blocks from Hooters and the Hard Rock, full of ultra-Japanese-cool. "And the ramen might be the best I've had in L.A.," says jesstifer.

Dip ramen consists of "thick, gloriously chewy noodles served cold, soba-style," says jesstifer. It comes with a bowl of richly seasoned hot broth that you dip the noodles into before each bite. There are four styles of broth, from the garlicky Zebra to the Ikemen, full of fish powder.

The "genuine ramen" is the classic ramen soup, and it's the real deal, says jesstifer. The broth is subtle and flavorful, and "the noodles are divine, and no wonder; the place is owned by Sean Nakamura, who is currently in New York ... teaching other chefs his mad noodling skillz."

Ikemen [Hollywood]
1655 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles
323-800-7669

Discuss: Good New Asian Joints in Hollywood - Ikemen and Soy Sauce Roll & Bowl

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