Kotoya Ramen soft opened on Monday in West LA at Santa Monica and Armacost, and I visited last night. It is small shop in a strip mall, and has table seating for about 15 and another 8 seats at the bar in front of the open kitchen(estimating based on memory, didn't count the seats). Here's a link to their soft open menu: http://kotoya-usa.com/menu.html. Their grand opening is in two weeks, and they are currently working on attaining a liquor license and plan to serve beer, wine, and sake. In addition to what's currently online, they offered a couple of side dishes. When they fully open in two weeks, they plan on expanding the menu a bit with more sides and desserts.
I had the miso ramen with the addition of an egg and my dining companion ordered the tsukemen. We also shared a side of hayahsi-meshi, which consists of beef and onion in a curry sauce over rice. I'm certainly no ramen expert, but did enjoy everything we had. The miso ramen had a much different flavor than the miso ramen at Santouka and a good amount of spice to it. The chasu was really tender. I also loved the nori and wished there had been more. My dining companion loved her Tsuekemen. The hayashi-meshi was fine, but I'm not a big fan of beef and got tired of the flavor. My companion enjoyed it a lot, though.
The chef has limited English, but speaking to one of the waitresses we learned that he moved from Japan only four months ago, where he actually worked in real estate, to pursue his passion of opening a ramen shop. I think Kotoya is a great additon to the neighborhood, and I'm glad I can walk to it.
Please excuse the bad cell-phone pictures.
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