Welcome to my ramen dream... Currently being interpreted in Ramen Burger Land... Looking for a good slurp? Email me ! - Keizo

Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Go Ramen Rankings! (Top 48)

Shinnen Akemashite Omedetou-gozaimasu!! Happy New Year!!!

The year has finally come to an end and in looking back; I can't believe I ate so much ramen! What started out as a simple way to keep busy while the company I was working for went through bankruptcy, slowly turned into an obsession that ignited a crazy addiction for the slurp. Bob Sylva might have said it best when he described my passion as being "never sated." Thanks to all who managed to keep me company during these ramen expeditions. And thanks to those of you who have taken the time to actually read and enjoy my blog. Here's to a happy and healthy 2008.

On to the rankings! I'm still deciding on whether to start a ratings system. And from the looks of my poll, I'm still not sure if you really want one. One reason I choose not to have one is because restaurants can be so inconsistent these days and plus, my mood may not be very consistent either. Anyway, the best I can do right now is rank all 48 ramen-ya's that I've been to in the past 7 months. This was extremely hard to do so I hope no one is offended if their favorite ramen-ya is not where they think it should be. Let me know what you think in the comments. Here it goes!

  1. Umemura - I'm definitely biased since I have a history with Umemura, but it still impressed me the most and any ramen-ya that's lasted this long should surely deserve the recognition. Congratulations!
  2. Foo Foo Tei (Hacienda Heights) - Great ramen, great gyoza (the best!), great staff! The location is horrible but they still manage to pack the house everyday. That's just admirable.
  3. Cafe Asa - The latest ramen-ya to open has you experiencing the giddiness of a new relationship. I really hope this one lasts.
  4. Shin-Mama Ramen - Because mama said so.
  5. Daikokuya - Early on this was the best I've ever had, but subsequent visits may have cost its number one ranking.
  6. Ramenya - The best of the west-side. Their chahan was incredible.
  7. Gardena Ramen - It's simplicity just makes you appreciate it that much more.
  8. Shisen Ramen - An interesting twist at the least. A spiciness that doesn't disappoint.
  9. Shinsengumi Hakata Ramen (Fountain Valley) - Top ten for sure.
  10. Kairakutei Ramen House - The hidden gem of OC.
  11. Kohryu - Probably number one in the 90's, but we all know about the ownership change. Their constant improvement (plus my hope) ranks it at #11. Please improve...onegai!
  12. Men-Bei - The noodles were very impressive.
  13. Chabuya - I loved the environment. Great place to relax.
  14. Ebisu Ramen - Takeda-san is my hero!
  15. Santouka - My apologies to rameniac, but I'm sure edjusted can back me up.
  16. Tamaya - A great surprise! I think it could only get better.
  17. Koraku Restaurant (Sherman Oaks) - I might favor this location since I've been working in the area, but it does have a certain uniqueness that outshines its original location.
  18. Kinchans - I only wish it was around when I was going to school.
  19. Asahi Ramen - It may be hard to believe but I've ranked it last on the west-side. I had high expectations so I expect them to be higher in '08.
  20. Kiraku Ramen - The gyoza was outstanding.
  21. Ramen Nippon - It's not the best in the valley but it still has the best potential.
  22. Kokekokko - The best chicken ramen. It really hits the soul.
  23. Katana Sushi and Ramen - It cuts fine, but could still use some sharpening.
  24. Koraku Restaurant (Little Tokyo) - It's been around a long time, but it may have faded with the rest.
  25. Teri Cafe - A great place to get away...even if it may seem far.
  26. Hanaichimonme - My girlfriend liked it so maybe it can stay in the top 30.
  27. Kyushu Ramen - Not quite Kyushu, but close enough.
  28. Hanashima - Not much flavor, but I liked the place.
  29. Tampopo - Their mabo-ramen is delightful, but it can't make up for the rest.
  30. Eboshi Noodle Bar - A disappointment for sure, but I still look forward to going back someday.
  31. Takeshi Ramen - Not bad if you're in the Glendale area, but competition is scarce.
  32. Orochon Ramen - It's all hype to me. Though I still would like to try the Special 2.
  33. Shinsengumi Hakata Ramen (Rosemead) - The youngest Shinsengumi may have some growing up to do. I'm sure it'll mature just fine.
  34. Mr. Ramen - According to one reader, I just may have had a bad experience here. I look forward to trying it again in '08.
  35. Honda Ya - My favorite izaka-ya! Ramen plays the part of Robin courageously, but it's still no Batman.
  36. San Sui Tei - A great place to chill, but it still yearns for more.
  37. Chuuka Soba Gomen - Very sorry but I still forgive you. (UPDATE: It's way better than I thought. Check out my revisit!)
  38. Mitsuru Cafe - I can picture this place booming in the 80's but too bad it's 2007.
  39. Mentatsu - At least their not the worst in the OC, but then again they are the worst that specializes in ramen only.
  40. Igosi Ramen - It's the best ramyun but not quite ramen.
  41. Oki Doki Asian Cuisine - Just Oki Doki and only worth eating toki doki.
  42. Takaraya - The mushroom essence has renamed the place--ShiiTakeraya.
  43. Yokohama Kaigenro - If the old Yaohan Plaza had a basement, this should have been banished down below.
  44. Ajisen Ramen - A popular place, but just not for me. The msg content was insane!
  45. EZO Noodle Cafe - A disappointment at best.
  46. Noodle World - Places like this might be better off not serving ramen at all.
  47. Sushi Pia - Not the worst but still really bad.
  48. Mountain - The worst ever. The only time I couldn't even finish the bowl. I'm not even sure why I've included it on this list.
Well there you have it. Don't forget to GO RAMEN! in 2008!!



  1. Quite an impressive rundown. I wish I had a chance to sample all these ramen shops... *sigh* maybe next year.

  2. Thanks ramen! I hope you get to try them all too. Take care.

  3. Too bad so many of these places are just too far a drive from Claremont. My wife and I just moved down from Seattle recently and it's been tough finding a decent ramen place close by. Thanks for pointing us to Foo Foo Tei and Tamaya (your best-ranked placed within reasonable distance). Both were better than anything else we found on our own for different reasons (Tamaya: noodles and curry, Foo Foo Tei: broth and gyoza). We'll check out Kokekokko next. Thanks!

  4. Hey Nathan. Thanks for using my site as a guide! Ya it's too bad there's not more ramen-ya's near Claremont. I remember visiting some friends there who were attending the Claremont Colleges and I don't remember seeing much over there, but it was a very nice campus.

  5. dooooooood

    As I am sure you are aware…or maybe not…there is a very thin line between good ramen and mediocre ramen…(mediocre is a complete waste of time)
    ALSO, something that I must point out…certain Ramen shops are only excellent on very specific items…everything else is usually just garbage and menu filler.

    For instance you compare tonkotsu ramen from shinsengumi, to Kohryu’s good ramen which is shoyu based…this is a terrible comparison.
    You also must understand, that the mom and pop ramen-ya is usually cooked with their own recipe, and therefore the taste will vary night to night. For instance Kohryu will serve b- Kohryu ramen on one night, and the very next day serve b+ to maybe even A- kohryu ramen…

    You have gomen ranked at 38…you obviously must have gone at a bad time…I have had their tonkotsu and it is just so-so, but their shoyu based soups such as the chashu-men is quite tasty…

    Shinsengumi is just mediocre at best and yet you have them ranked in your top 10…?
    Kokekokko - The best chicken ramen. It really hits the soul.-??? Are you kidding? Chicken Ramen??

    Anyways SoCal Ramen is almost a joke…I am surprised that you actually wrote about 48 different shops

  6. edit...I meant Hakata Ramen from Shinsengumi...

  7. Hey dooooooood. Thanks for expressing your love of socal ramen! And thanks for visiting!

  8. Hey Keizo,

    It's almost that time of the year again. Are you going to do another list for 2008? If you do, you know I'm going to have my eye out for that.

    Love your list because I did go to some of those places based on your list.

  9. Hi Pepsi Monster! I'm glad the list came in handy for you and YES you can look out for the 2008 version coming soon... ^_^

  10. I can't believe there are so many ramen-ya in LA. I'm incredibly jealous.

    I was looking through our pics from this trip and realized that mostly what we did for the past four months was... eat ramen. What will we do back in our noodle-less Seattle?!

  11. Michelle Grimord Eggers I know it is 10months past. But YOU have noodles in Seattle. Samurai Noodle in the Uwajimaya center downtown. There used to be a old style like place up in Lynnwood by the old best buy, older couple, and oddly manga in bookcases along the walls. There are a few other places mostly Chinese run or Korean so it influences the flavors a bit.