Continuing my journey throughout Los Angeles I quickly noticed that I yet to sample a ramen house despite the fact that they a dime a dozen on the west side. It has been almost a year since I have moved here and I had not been able to coral any friends to go. I was finally able to check this off my list last month when I had some family visit town.
As we galavanted around town my sister had requested getting ramen because there are only a handful in DC. I decided on Kotoya which is right off of Santa Monica Boulevard by the 405. Kotoya opened its doors in 2011 by Shinsuke Horinouch who came from Asagaya which is a suburb of Tokyo.
Since opening its doors two years ago Kotoya has quickly become one of the most popular ramen houses on the west side. Not knowing how long a line would be I decided on taking them on a Sunday night to be safe. Luckily my tactic worked and we were able to get a table upon our arrival.
My sister and I decided on the red ramen which comes in three ascending spice levels while her boyfriend went for the original ramen. The former consists of Tonkatsu which is a pork based broth, the latter also includes miso flavoring. Each bowl comes includes pork chasmu, green onion, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and nori. I added an egg and some corn to mine to give it some extra flavor.
(Level 3 Red Ramen)
Loving spicy food I decided on going all out and ordering their spiciest broth while my sister went for the least. Once the piping hot bowls came in we all briefly stared in awe at the beauty of the presentation. We then began devouring our bowls, I tried to take it in slowly to appreciate the interaction of the various flavors. The broth was rich and full of flavor and while the spice level was hot I kind of wished there was a higher level for me to conquer. The pork was fantastic, I combined it with the richness of the egg yoke and a mouthful of broth that brought me to culinary heaven.
We all left very delighted with the choice, each bowl was around $10 which is perfectly fine especially for what I got. I highly recommend giving this place a try. If it is your first time eating ramen or if you are a seasoned veteran you will be delighted by the quality of food here.