Dixon and I had a hankering for some Japanese noodles last week. We headed to Little Tokyo where we were really excited to try out Daikokuya. Sadly, they were closed that evening to celebrate the Japanese New Year. We poked our heads in a little saloon a couple of doors down to have some sake, regroup, and perhaps get some advice from the locals for a backup plan. We were advised to check out Koraku for the ramen - and on our way we went.
Before I continue let me state that neither Dixon nor myself are connoisseurs of ramen world but are rather beginning our exploration and education.
I quite liked the interior and it's ambiance - open kitchen, orange, vinyl booths, 70's wood paneling - a little dingy and totally charming.
We started with the hakusai tsukemono (Japanese style pickled nappa cabbage) ($2.75) to start followed by the goyza ($4.25). The hakusai tsukemono was refreshing, crisp and perfectly pickled in a light rice vinegar. The gyoza were tasty but a little oily - I prefer them a bit crispier.
My big-bowl-of-noodles-choice was the shoyu ramen. The ramen is in pork based soy sauce soup with seasoned bamboo shoots, a piece of hard boiled egg, bean sprouts and two slices of pork. The ramen itself was a decent and chewy egg noodle that was absolutely delicious. The broth was somewhat uninteresting and one dimensional.
Dixon however hit gold with his choice, the gekikara miso yasai ramen ($8.25). Full of beef, egg shreds and vegetables, this was hearty and spicy - just the right amount of burn while the miso provided a velvet texture.
We had some cold sake and a big Sapporo with our meal - and a hundred glasses of water with Dixon's dish! The servers were sweet, responsive and helpful, the food came out swiftly, the prices were right. I was pleasantly surprised with our almost - arbitrary restaurant selection this evening and anticipate returning to explore more of the items on the menu.
They are open until 3am
314 E. 2nd St.
Los Angeles 90013