It was a rare cold rainy day in Los Angeles. My daughter, as always, wanted ramen. Knowing that Tatsu would be a madhouse, my husband suggested trying another ramen place – Ramen Yamadaya on Westwood Blvd. Oddly enough, we had never been there before, even though it’s probably the closest ramen place to us.
We got there shortly after they opened and were surprised to find that there was only one other diner in the restaurant.
The window outside declares “20 Hour Tonkatsu Ramen.” I had previously thought that meant that the restaurant was open 20 hours a day. Duh. Thanks to the wall mural, I learned that it meant that the pork was cooked for 20 hours, so that the broth would be strongly infused with porky goodness.
Ramen Yamadaya also offers a spicy version with varying levels of heat, topping out at Level 15 Death. They even have photo gallery on the wall of “Death Eaters (Harry Potter reference!),” who successfully finished their spicy ramen bowls.
My daughter ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen (basic pork broth). Personally I found the broth to be very salty, but she enjoyed it. She was even slurping up the broth after she had eaten all of her noodles.
My husband got the Vegan Ramen, which had a soy milk based broth and spinach ramen. It had a nice flavor, though my husband prefers a spicier broth. Too bad he’s a vegetarian or he could have really tested his heat threshold with that Tonkotsu Spicy.
Who goes to a ramen place and doesn’t order ramen? Today, I was that person, choosing to get a karaage chicken bento box. My meal came with the traditional miso soup and a plate, as opposed to a box, with fried chicken, salad, corn, potato salad and a football-shaped pile of rice. My generous portion of fried chicken was moist and tasty. Sometimes when you get fried chicken, there’s a dried out piece or a weird nugget of fried chicken skin and fat (which I find delicious in its own way). I’m happy to say, there wasn’t a single bum piece. I even liked the salad dressing and happily mixed my potato salad into the rice for a nice carb loaded experience.
Yelp reviews complain of poor service, but maybe because the restaurant was only a third full by the time we left, we had no issues. So if you’re looking for ramen and don’t want to have to wait a lifetime to start slurping, Ramen Yamadaya will do just the trick.
Location – 1248 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, 90024. Additional locations in Culver City, Costa Mesa, Torrance, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
Website – http://www.ramen-yamadaya.com/index.html
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes
As of May 2027, this location has closed and has been replaced by Ramen Fujiwara.