I used to love Santouka when they first opened... sadly those days are long gone.
The decline began with the exodus of the Japanese cooks. What I had today was a truly unbelievable atrocious insipid broth, just awful. Only saving grace was the noodles were firmer that what I had been receiving in the past but truly forgettable and disappointing otherwise.
I don't understand what the Japanese franchisers are doing in LA. Setup shop with Japanese cooks and then completely turnover the kitchen staff 6 - 12 months later and the decline begins - serious case of bait and switch. Seen this recurring phenomenon now with Jinya, Yamada-ya, Santouka, Iroha, Hannosuke outlet(s). Terrible trend.