If you’re in Westwood and a ramen craving hits, Kopan Ramen’s got the cure. Unlike the ramen places on Sawtelle, you won’t have to endure a long wait for a table at Kopan before you eat.
From the outside, Kopan looks deceptively small, but there is a larger dining room in the back. You can customize your ramen – first choosing size (small 12 oz. or large 16 oz.,) and from there move onto spice level, protein, green onion, dried seaweed, and toppings.
A small bowl of ramen starts at $8, much cheaper than most ramen joints. Their broth is made from bones cooked 16 hours to create a rich milky tonkotsu base for their noodles. The ramen noodles are long and thin, perfect for slurping.
If you order toppings, they will come in a side dish. I went ahead and dumped my spinach into my bowl. The mild broth was appropriately not spicy, but not bland either.
There are also a few signature ramen bowls including a veggie ramen with organic noodles. The soup is made from mushrooms and seaweed and is much lighter, and healthier, than its pork cousin.
The veggie ramen is topped with mushroom, broccoli, red cabbage, spinach, cherry tomatoes, corn, bean sprouts and dried seaweed.
For those who may have arrived at Kopan looking for Bibigo (which previously occupied the spot), there are bibimbap rice bowls as well. If you’re hungry during weekday lunch, you can get the lunch ramen combo, adding a side like takoyaki (octopus balls), sesame chicken or rice bowls that can be added on for a mere $3.50. They even have an all-day beer special where you can get a $3 draft beer when you order ramen or a side.
Arrive before 5pm and you can score free 2 hour parking in the Broxton garage. Reasonable prices, no wait and free parking? Who needs Sawtelle when you can go to Kopan instead?
(Just kidding. I go to Sawtelle every week.)
Location: 1091 Broxton Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024. Several additional locations in Southern California.
Website – http://kopanramen.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes