I just went to Nippon Ramen in Reseda and will give it another go before I decide what I think of the place overall.
First impression was just fair. Maybe I had high expectations because of all the Japanese people I saw in there amongst the ambience of a secret tucked away place. Looks can be deceiving.
My dish tasted more like generic Japanese train station ramen-chain.
I'll even try it again, though. I'm having a bad day, so maybe it's my karma...
It took way too long to receive my meal--I waited about 20-25 minutes--long enough to check my voicemail and read the entire Trader Joe's flyer in great detail, like studying for a pop quiz...
I had Nira Moyashi Ramen (Nira garlic, green onions & bean sprouts--not a complex dish). Broth was pretty uneventful, but noodles were fresh and had good chewy texture.
Gargantuan portion sizes. I've never seen so much ramen in a Japanese place before. I could spy the dish size by looking around, but these are sumo wrestler portions filled to the brim. A bit too big for me--Ramen doesn't keep well in doggy bags.
The side of gyoza I ordered was served upside down and looked upappetizing--surprising because of the usual Japanese concern for presentation. After I flipped them over, though, they looked a little cute and handmade, like made by a caring Japanese mom (LA Times Food section article on lunch box presentation & Japanese moms today, BTW).
Next time I'll try the hiyashi (chilled) ramen instead. Cold noodle salad. It's tough to beat as a light lunch on a super hot day, and it's warming up in the Valley.
My favorite part of my lunch today was the bakery next door. Sign says "French Bakery", but many Persian products. Picked up a Pistachio/Saffron/Rose Water Mashti Malone ice cream sandwich to cool down during the drive back to work.