The Unvegan

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Ramen to Stay at Santouka

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Ramen with a touch of pink.

Every time I go shopping at Mitsuwa, a Japanese grocery store in Mar Vista, I can’t help but notice a crazy long line in the adjacent Japanese food court. This line always sprouts from Santouka, a ramen place with roots going back to the real Japan. So, out of curiosity for that crazy line, Joel and I finally decided to give Santouka a go.

A quick search of the interwebs told us to order their Salt (Shio) Ramen with extra meat. Extra meat? Don’t mind if I do. I also opted for a soy sauce egg to join my ramen. The result was a beautiful bounty of pork and noodle-filled broth with little rice cake and some random greens that would be avoided at all costs. Oh and it also had some bamboo shoots, which I love.

The result was a very good ramen. Perhaps even oishii.The pork meat itself was some of the best I’ve had in ramen and the broth had a simple, yet well-balanced flavor. Finally, the noodles were of medium thickness and had a great texture. I know some people like to let their noodles soak up a lot of broth, but I think that makes them soggy and much prefer the way Santouka took care of business. The egg was a nice touch, but definitely not a necessity.

Santouka turned out to be a worthy ramen house and one that is worth going back to. Aside from the pork, nothing stood out as amazing, but it is so damn convenient I will surely return. My only real complaint, though, is that when I got halfway through my soup I decided I wanted the rest for later. Sadly Santoukawas all out of to-go lids and I was forced to devour the rest of my soup on hand. Things could be worse, but I would have appreciated that second half of ramen a lot more at a later hour.