Santouka Ramen – Mar Vista/Palms

When listing the top ramen places in Los Angeles, Santouka Ramen is, more often than not, in the top 10.  Located in the Mitsuwa Marketplace, Santouka has been serving quality  ramen for several years, long before the current ramen explosion.


Santouka is counter service and cash only. You wait in line (there’s always a line), look at the plastic food display and then place your order. The lines moves quickly. Your biggest challenge will be to find a table in the busy food court.

DSC04284There are four different pork broths to choose from – Shio (mild salt), Shoyu (soy sauce), Miso (Soybean Paste) and Spicy Miso. My go to is the Miso ramen. I like the rich mellowness of the miso, which isn’t quite as salty as the ship.  The ramen comes with some fatty pork chashu, scallions and bamboo shoots.


My daughter ordered the Toroniku (special pork) Shio ramen. After looking at the plastic food display, she was won over by the fact that the ramen was seemingly free of any toppings other than sesame seeds, since they all came on a separate plate.

Tonkusen Toroniku

Since she completely ignored her plate of goodies, I started eating it, not wanting anything to go to waste, and discovered that the pork that came with it was vastly superior to the chashu that had accompanied my ramen. The tonkusen toroniku is made from pork cheek, tastes incredible and melts in your mouth. It’s completely spoiled me, and I will never want to order anything but this ramen at Santouka.


One of the great things about food courts is the variety of options. So if someone isn’t feeling like eating ramen in pork broth, he/she can choose something else. In this case, my pesto-vegetarian husband went over to Hannosuke, the tempura place, for his meal.


Like Santouka, Hannosuke is also a Japanese chain that has opened up locations in Los Angeles and Torrance. They are famed for their lightly battered, seemingly non-greasy tempura. Hannosuke does a great job, using quality ingredients for a top-notch tempura bowl.


With both Santouka and Hannosuke conveniently located in the Mitsuwa Marketplace, you don’t have to travel far to get a taste of Japan.

Location: 3760 S. Centinela Blvd.,  Los Angeles 90066. Additional locations in Torrance, Costa Mesa, Irvine, San Diego and San Jose. Locations outside of California in New Jersey, Honolulu, Seattle, Chicago and Japan.
Website –
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes, they have a salmon & roe rice bowl.
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes, they have a natto rice bowl.
Gluten-Free Options – Yes, they offer five different rice bowls.

Location: 3760 S. Centinela Blvd., Los Angeles 90066. Additional locations in Torrance and Japan
Website –
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes.
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes.
Gluten-Free Options – No

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