Little Tokyo: Ikemen Ramen Now Open
Ever since my usual ramen shop closed in Little Tokyo, I’ve been on a ramen rampage. Luckily for me, a few options have opened in Downtown. I checked out the new Ikemen Ramen recently. I have not gone to the original in Hollywood and don’t usually eat “dip ramen.” This is where you get a pile of cooked noodles to dip into super concentrated broth. I hadn’t read any reviews but I figured I’d try their namesake ramen.
The slice of pork was covered with toasted bits of garlic. I loved the smell, texture and taste of this garlic. It went really well with the dip which Ikemen calls “jus.” The dip has shaved bonito which adds an extra dimension and savoriness. I did find it messy though. I’m used to spooling my noodles onto a soup soon and then dipping a bit of broth to eat my noodles. To dip the noodles into the jus and then move them into my mouth proved unwieldy. I ended up splashing jus all over the place. I tried to spool a bit of noodles onto my spoon but it didn’t have the give of noodles softened in broth so the noodles just slid right off the spoon.
Dip ramen, I soon discovered, was great for those who really like al dente noodles. I prefer mine just a tad softer.
Everyone at Ikemen was nattily dressed. Most wore hats and I spotted a few suspenders. They were very dapper. For some reason, they made me think of Japanese cowboys.
I’ll have to go back to try the other dips but I am more interested right now in their broth ramen. The Premium is $3 more but I heard it’s amazing. The guys next to at the counter all ordered that and seemed happy slurping up their noodles.