Spago is a Los Angeles institution that is the kind…
We’ve been to a lot of ramen shops in LA because we’re ramen fans, but we haven’t even scratched the surface of the ramen world given that there are so many good ramen shops in the LA area. When LA Weekly published their list of the Top 10 Ramen Places in LA, we immediately felt better about our ramen choices because our current favorite ramen shop is #7 on the list. Ramen Yamadaya is a So Cal chain of ramen shops that started one one small shop in Torrance. The original shop was on the list, but we typically go to one that involves less of a drive for us to get our ramen fix and stick to the Sherman Oaks location.
Yamadaya’s specialty is a traditional 20 hour tonkotsu pork broth that is fatty (in a good way) and loaded with a tremendous amount of flavor. We love that you can really taste the pork – not chicken stock or soy, which typically just aren’t that memorable – in every bite. The ramen is served with ultra-tender slices of chasu pork, a perfectly cooked hardboiled egg, bamboo shoots and a variety of other garnishes that you can pick and choose from to suit your tastes. Rob usually gets the traditional Tonkatsu Ramen (above) or the ramen that is served with oily black garlic on top, while I stick to either the classic or spicy (below).
It is rich and incredibly satisfying. We love the flavor of the broth and the texture of the noodles, which are thin and firm enough to hold up to sitting in a hot bowl full of ramen while we savory each bite. We can’t resist getting their Karaage Chicken as a side dish, either. It’s flavorful and ultra crispy on the outside and remarkably juicy inside. After burning our mouths more than a few times, however, we finally learned to let the chicken cool down for a few minutes before digging in. They also have shaved ice which isn’t too special when compared to the ramen, but it is cheap, refreshing and a great way to cool down after enjoying a hot bowl of ramen (especially during the summer, when you don’t really need the hot soup to warm you up!).
3118 W 182nd St, Torrance, CA 90504
15030 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403