Oodles of Noodles:

Some of the Best Ramen in Woodland Hills

Though most Americans associate the reference to “ramen” with the Nissin Foods treat known as “Cup O’ Noodles,” the actual Japanese noodle soup dish is quite the different animal – consisting of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat or, occasionally, fish-based broth, ramen is often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and boasts toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, menma and green onions. Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen – from the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) style of Kyushu to the miso ramen of Hokkaido.

Indeed, if you’re not among the “ramen-obsessed” in Los Angeles, it’s likely difficult for you to fathom how people can get so worked up about a mere bowl of soup. But with so many ramen joints now open around the L.A. area, it’s clear that there are many opportunities for enthusiasts of the dish to indulge in…and at shops a lot closer to home than Tokyo.

In this roundup, we’ve assembled some of the best places to find ramen in Woodland Hills, so even if you’re a first-timer getting your taste buds accustomed to the flavorful soup, there will be something for you to sample at any of these friendly eateries.

Mon Ramen is often referred to as “the best ramen in Los Angeles,” offering fresh broth and fresh noodle creations each and every day. Lorded over by a former ramen chef in Tokyo who perfected his art for four years, Mon Ramen boasts a rabid fan base that returns time and time again for the restaurant’s Pork Belly and Chicken Chachu, in addition to fresh Sushi selections like the Japanese Snow Cone, Spicy Tuna Rice Cake, B.S.C. Roll and Munchy Handroll. Mon Ramen’s signature ramen selection is applauded by fans of the eatery for its deliciously thick consistency and loads of fresh ingredients including hard-boiled egg, green onions, bamboo, sautéed bean sprouts and pork slices. Can you say “yummy”?

Tomoya Sushi & Izakaya  is a family-owned Sushi restaurant in Woodland Hills serving traditional favorites and chef’s specials, including some pretty scrumptious ramen creations ranging from the Wakame Udon and Tempura Udon – brimming with thick noodles, seaweed, green onion and fish broth – to the Spicy Seafood Ramen, presented as a thin noodle, spicy tonkotsu soup with mixed seafood including shrimp, scallop and calamari. Tomoya offers great lunch specials, a Japanese Happy Hour concept known as Izakaya, a variety of tapas that pair nicely with sake (or beer and wine) and gourmet dishes from a Sushi bar and kitchen that satisfies both Sushi and non-Sushi enthusiasts.

Ramen Nippon  remains one of the few ramen places in the Valley with reasonable prices – including incredible combo dish prices – and which serves delicious ramen, to boot. Fan favorites here include Spicy Shoyu Ramen with fried pork dumplings, spinach, bamboo shoots, boiled egg and green onion on a soy sauce-flavored ramen, and the Gyoza Pan-Fried Pork Dumplings, which could be added to any of the already bulging bowls.

Grandma Kims Family Diner, an LA Reader’s Choice winner for 2011/2012, is a neighborhood restaurant serving authentic Korean food, its menu based on simple Korean comfort dishes yielding a unique flavor that must be experienced. In addition to a plethora of other delights, Grandma Kims offers a range of delectable ramen selections including the original ramen (Korean-style spicy ramen with vegetables and egg), Boolgogi Ramen (Korean-style spicy ramen with boolgogi, vegetables and egg), Seafood Ramen (Korean-style spicy ramen with seafood, vegetables and egg) and Kimchi Ramen (Korean-style spicy ramen with kimchi, vegetables and egg).

Curry Up Café  enjoys the status of being a new restaurant concept that fuses Japanese ramen, Japanese curry, Asian fusion tacos, Asian fusion hot dogs and more, lorded over in the kitchen by Chef Wongie, second generation culinary master and son of the “King of Cantonese Cuisine” Bill “Freakin’ Hot Willie” Wong. From Chicken Cutlets with Curry to Carne Asada Ramen, Korean Bulgogi Hot Dogs and Thai Chicken Satay Tacos, Curry Up has what it takes to provide that “full and satisfied” feeling. All ramen dishes are served with spinach, shitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, one-half hard egg, fishcake, green onion and seaweed, with a plethora of tasty add-ons available, including a Full House Salad, steamed rice, Edamme and more.

Take it from us – for a better bowl of ramen, you will have to get on a plane and head over the Pacific. For ramen in Woodland Hills, it doesn’t get any better than the spots we covered here.