When Matthew “Mattatouille” Kang read Rickmond “Rameniac” Wong’s review of Ramen Jinya, the only thing keeping him from Studio City was about 850 miles. He was in Santa Fe at the time…but as soon as Kang returned to Los Angeles, he was ready for ramen and assembled a culinary quorum. We split three different bowls of ramen at Japanese restaurateur Takahashi Tomonori’s latest venture, a tiny California-influenced ramen shop in a Ventura Boulevard shopping plaza that has already been praised by writers like Dylan Ho (Eat, Drink & Be Merry) and LA Weekly restaurant critic Jonathan Gold.
The broth was a little thin in the cioppino-like Tomato Seafood Ramen, it was hard to argue with impeccably prepared shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, cracked crab claws and sea scallops. The special of the day – Tonkotsu with Bonito Broth – had its nuanced charms, but it was the unabashedly porcine Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.95) that impressed me most, with rich broth that captured the flavor of slow-cooked hog. The bowl also held juicy, fat-rimmed slices of pork loin (chashu), spinach, sliced scallions, a broth-soaked hard-boiled egg and a generous helping of noodles that offered good bite.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.