Amidst relatively little fanfare, Ramen Manichi has opened shop on 1st Street in Little Tokyo, just up the street from Daikokuya.
Cut to the chase: In its first few weeks, the ramen at Manichi is already significantly better than its neighbors Daikokuya and Shinsengumi.
Verdict: I loved it. This is NOT your usual greasy fat-bomb bowl of ramen (don't get me wrong - I love certain fat-bombs just as much as the next guy). Rather quite the contrary: The tastes here are clean and clear in purpose. And yet when mixed together, the complexities I look for in a great bowl of ramen are all there. The broth (while light in essence) is slurp-worthy. The noodles have 'Q', the chashu is excellent, and the black oil as well as the spiciness adds meaning to the gestalt.
Upon tasting their #1 special bowl for the first time, it seemed almost like the gang at Manichi was specifically teaching me a lesson: Not all ramen need be fatty in order to be delicious. As for the side dishes: The house-made gyoza are delicate and tasty. The fried rice is also well-executed.
Service was attentive. The manager also came out to ask each table how everything tasted.
No lines for this place - Yet.
Ramen Manichi is a most welcome addition to the Little Tokyo noodle scene.
321 1/4 E. 1st St.
L.A., CA 90012