By the beach, people preach a healthy lifestyle, with clean air, prodigious exercise, and low-fat fuel, but don’t be fooled. No matter where you go in L.A., flavor is what the public actually craves. Venice Ramen recently opened within shouting distance of Venice Pier, and chef/owner Hideki Mochizuki not only doesn’t hold back; he’s leading with pork.
Chef Mochizuki opened Ramen Hide in Shibuya in 1994 and now runs four Tokyo ramen shops. Venice Ramen opened in March in Marina Connection, a two-story strip mall on the Marina del Rey border. The minimalist space includes white walls, red tables, a stainless steel bar, and a poster of Shibuya. Really, though, the focus is on bowls of noodle soup.
Venice Ramen launched with two styles of ramen, both featuring house-made noodles. I prefer Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen ($10) to chuka soba due to a pronounced pork expression in a cloudy broth that coats your lips. Chef Mochizuki crafts lean, fat-rimmed chashu from traditional pork thigh, and rounds out each bowl with chopped scallions, delicately marinated bamboo shoots, and hard-boiled egg. If you want to go all out, consider a combo ($13) that co-stars kakuni, meaty slabs of pork belly braised in a sauce based on soy and ginger. Don’t let skaters, surfers, and Westside styloids limit your pork consumption.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.