More tasty ramen in Palms!
New (second) location for Kotoya, same chef (“Sergio” is in the house, for now). It’s in the old Yamakase space on National Blvd. (across the street from Simpang Asia).
Bottom line: It’s still in soft-opening (which means there are only 2 bowl options available right now: Soy and Spicy). I ordered the soy ramen, and it was a very good bowl. I will be returning for the spicy bowl later.
Three strength: (1) That chashu pork. It is damn delicious, and yes, it’s worth a trip here just to have that meat. The chef finishes it with a flame sear just before serving for a smoky layer. And the meat just melts at the touch of your chopsticks. The tenderness is comparable to great buta no kakuni.
Also, (2) the ajitama is just about Japan-level. Runny yolk, flavorful, and adds to the wonderfulness.
And to top that off, (3) the gyoza are prepared with love.
Their weaknesses: Overall nothing that would be a dealbreaker for me… A bit too much sprout and scallion in the bowl (but honestly, those are more my preferences than inherent problems with the bowl - easily avoided by removing). The menu is pitifully limited for now (but will be expanding in April). Oh, and no liquor license yet. Yet.
Kotoya Japanese Ramen (Palms location)
10422 National Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Egg looks absurdly good.
Is that soy or soy/tonkotsu? Looks murky.
Thanks for the report. The same chef was at the West LA location on Sunday, and the chashu (and egg and gyoza) were indeed great. Very happy to hear he’s been successful enough to expand.
@porthos: menu says that they’re all tonkotsu-based (and the broth is indeed slightly milky): http://kotoyausa.com
Only been to the location on Santa Monica Blvd, and I agree on all accounts - the subtly smoky chashu though it looks like they torch it slightly more here at the moment based on your pic, the liquid-yolk ajitama, and the copious amount of beansprouts.
+1, with request for less beansprouts.
Based on their menu, their ramen is tonkotsu-based with the exception of their vegetable ramen.
I don’t know if the chef was at the SM Blvd location when I went a few weeks ago but the chashu was rather weak as was the shio broth. Rather meh. Was gonna comment here but thought maybe they had their focus on opening new place or something so cut them some slack.
I don’t normally pay attention to the chef, but, on my last visit, I was at the bar, so I had a good look at him. I also have had 1-2 visits where the chashu was blah, although I’ve always been pretty satisfied w/ the broth. I’ve only the shio once and don’t have a great recollection of it; miso is my favorite.
Sergio in the house syndrome.
Finally made it last night on a solo outing. The chashu is absurdly good. The broth is delicious. Too much onion and cabbage overall in the “spicy tonkotsu,” it ended up cooling off the soup too much. Noodles were good, but not exceptional. The egg was really good as well, though I had to remind them I ordered it and it came after the bowl did. There is so much “stuff” it ended up being a stew. Because of the bowl shape and amount of additions it was actually not effortless to get a spoon full of broth to dip the noodles in at the last moment before a bite. Once the pork started to fall apart and I was getting bits of pork and bits of egg in each spoonful the dish really came alive. I hope they can stay afloat with such an absurdly small space.