Ramen seems to be the latest restaurant craze, with a new ramen place opening every week somewhere in Los Angeles. This weekend we visited Kotoya Ramen in Palms, their newest location (the original is in West LA).
The Palms branch is much smaller than the original location, with only 11 available seats. While the West LA has a stylish interior, this spot is pretty basic, with nine seats along the counter. I enjoyed watching the lone chef at work, making noodles.
The highlight of which was when he brought out a blowtorch and proceeded to blast the chashu with it, giving the meat a nice smoky flavor.
With the smaller venue, comes a much smaller menu. Gone are the rice bowls and slips of paper offering customization of each bowl of ramen. Instead there are only three different ramen bowls – Soy, Spicy and Chicken. The Chicken Ramen is a new addition and only available at the Palms location. The Tonkotsu Ramen in West LA is my current favorite ramen, but I’d say the Chicken Ramen runs a close second.
If you are vegetarian/vegan or gluten-free, you’re out of luck here. The Palms branch does not offer a vegetarian broth nor do they have a gluten-free option. For more options, visit the Kotoya Ramen in West LA.
My husband, who is pesco-vegetarian, actually preferred this smaller branch, despite the lack of vegetarian options (he just got the pork broth and gave the pork chashu to my daughter). My daughter, ever the picky eater, liked being able to customize her ramen to her liking. For me, it doesn’t matter which location we visit. Either way, I win.
Location – 10422 National Blvd., Los Angeles 90034
Website – http://kotoyausa.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – Yes
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – No
Vegetarian Friendly – No
Vegan/Gluten-Free Options – No