DTLA: Ramen Hood to the Rescue at Grand Central Market
Ramen Hood opened a couple of weeks ago at the Grand Central Market. It’s Chef Ilan Hall’s vegan ramen joint. I was super bummed out when Gorbals closed (in Los Angeles) and Bar Mitzvah. Where was I going to get the greatest broccoli dish ever? Well, it turns out Ramen Hood has a broccoli dish that I suspect might be pretty darn close to it. And I love that they retained the paper mache animal heads from Gorbals for Ramen Hood’s decor.
There are two ramen options; the original and spicy. The spicy seems to be the original with the addition of spice paste. I decided to go with the spicy and ended up adding in chili oil to make it even spicier. It got a bit tense at the end when I realized I really needed to swirl up that paste to evenly distribute the spice level.
The broth is made from sunflower seeds which gives it a creamy appearance and taste that approximates tonkotsu (ramen broth that’s porky/fatty deliciousness). There’s even a vegan egg option for $2 if you want to get as close as you can to the non-vegan versions your meat-eating friends have been eating for years. The egg white is made from coconut milk with agar agar to set it. The yolks is nutritional yeast, B vitamins and black salt. A cook explained the black salt is what gave it the egg flavor.
It’s a good lunch and quite filling. I enjoyed the noodles though wish they were more al dente. I like chewy noodles. I was a tiny bit surprised by the three pieces of mushroom. Where’s the protein?
I’m glad then I added a side dish. The tofu al pastor was great. The tofu cubes are perfectly fried and topped with a good sauce. I wouldn’t say it’s at all close to al pastor but it’s a fun name. And I got my protein.
Next time, I’d try the cucumber salad. And get the broccoli!
In the meantime, I can only hope a new Gorbals DTLA will open soon.
Ramen Hood at Grand Central Market317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 — (213) 265-7331 © The Minty 2015