Ramen Bangaichi (Los Feliz): A Pictorial Essay

L.A.'s ramen scene continues to diversify, as Hokkaido Asahikawa-style stalwart Ramen Bangaichi opens its first U.S. branch in Los Feliz. I had actually tried their ramen previously in their Tokyo location (under Tokyo Station, as part of the famed “Ramen-dori” there), so for once I actually had a point of reference before trying this L.A. location!

And what is Hokkaido-style ramen? As far as I could tell, the broth is on the clearer side, with toppings like corn and butter (God, I miss having our resident J-noodle sage @rameniac around). The Bangaichi bowl overall reminded me a lot of the now-defunct Mottainai, which operated out of South Bay, if memory serves.

I ordered the namesake Bangaichi Ramen bowl, with shoyu broth (the shio broth looked damn good too, but I had another dinner to go to after this one). I’d characterize the broth as tasty, with a “crisp” feel - Ideal for those of you who despise the pork slurry ubiquitously encountered at many other ramen-ya’s around town. Downside: My two eggs were both overcooked (B-minus). Sides/appetizers were quite good. My favorite appetizer was the nasu miso (eggplant). Gyoza is very serviceable. The meal left me satisfied. Aside from the misstep with the egg, the bowl was almost identical to the one I had enjoyed in their Tokyo branch. I wish them luck!


Ramen Bangaichi
4339 Sunset Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90029


Thanks for the lead

Went to Bangaichi on 7/1 (Sat) night.

Bangaichi Miso Ramen

This is Asahikawa-style ramen. Within the large island of Hokkaido there are several nuanced styles which include Sapporo, Asahikawa, and Hakodate. Here is a site on regional varieties of ramen: http://luckypeach.com/guides/a-guide-to-the-regional-ramen-of-japan/

This is instantly the best option for ramen in the Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park area.
However, your ramen will not come cheap. The pictured bowl is currently priced at $14.50 (excluding tax & tip).

Also, if you liked Mottainai, the chef is still around and better than ever.
His name is Tadanori Akasaka (Mottainai) and he has teamed up with Hiro Igarashi (Silverlake Ramen) to open a new shop in Irvine, by the John Wayne airport.

HiroNori Craft Ramen: https://www.yelp.com/biz/hironori-craft-ramen-irvine

They are making excellent bowls.

Shoyu Ramen

Tonkotsu Ramen


Ah yes! I met Chef Hiro on the night I visited Bangaichi. I look forward to trying out his Irvine location.

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Lines are super long as of yesterday.

Thank you for the admonition.

Amended: I look forward to trying out his Irvine location once the lines die down a bit.

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Amended x2


Well said @Ns1. I think most of us enjoyed Mottainai, but he’s definitely part of the group of ramen chefs that’ve done the bait and switch.

Maybe he’ll stick around this time?

I feel like he was there for a while? Maybe I’m not remembering properly… It’s always hard to say who is responsible when the ramen chef leaves -is it the chef chasing a new restaurant or the owner who feels we have everything set up so now I can make more money by cutting labor?

Can someone give a detailed account of this “bait & switch” tactic that is so commonly referenced in regard to LA-area ramen shops?

Which restaurant(s)?
What was the bait and switch? Sold company to new owner? Sent Japanese training staff back to Japan?
How long after opening did the “bait & switch” happen?
Source of this knowledge?

Thanks to @J_L for the early report, we decided to stop by Ramen Bangaichi, eager for yet another regional style of Ramen to hit L.A. :slight_smile:

From the signage, posters and chatting with the server, Ramen Bangaichi is serving Asahikawa Ramen from Hokkaido. I’m not a Rameniac (I wish!), but looking at the guide that @Starchtrade posted, Bangaichi’s Ramen doesn’t really match the description (there’s no layer of melted lard to keep the Ramen soup piping hot, and Ramen Bangaichi uses Pork, Seafood and Vegetables (no Chicken)). But regardless, we were excited to give it a try!

Shoyu Ramen (Char-siu Pork, Bamboo Shoots, Green Onions, Bean Sprouts):

The Shoyu Ramen should be the standout representative Asahikawa Ramen (according to our server), and the Ramen article seems to corroborate that. Bangaichi cooks their Broth for over 11 hours, using a Pork, Seafood and Vegetable base.

The Shoyu is very light and clean; one of the cleanest we’ve tried recently. :slight_smile: However it’s a touch too light for my tastes, but they might still be balancing things out, or maybe that’s the style. There is no layer of hot Lard however.

They also ran out of Moyashi this evening, but the Bamboo Shoots and Green Onions provided some nice spikes in flavor.

The Ramen Noodles are a touch overcooked (just a touch), but match the Soup well.

Miso “Soybean Sauce” Bangaichi Ramen (Char-siu Pork, Bamboo Shoots, Green Onions, Bean Sprouts, Sesame, Butter, Corn, Seaweed, Flavored Egg):

Perhaps one of the most standout styles from Hokkaido is Sapporo Miso Ramen, and while Bangaichi is from Asahikawa, we wanted to give their Miso a try (listed on the menu as “Soybean Sauce”). This was excellent! :slight_smile: A very well-balanced Miso flavor, not too salty, with a bit of sweetness coming through, it might be one of the best Miso Ramen we have in L.A. right now (but to be fair, it’s not saying much - we recently tried a bunch of Miso Ramen in L.A. / O.C. but I didn’t write anything because we found nothing really remarkable).

It’s not as good as Mottainai when it first opened up (with its wok-fired Miso base), but it’s enjoyable with the Corn and Butter.

The Noodles are slightly overcooked / soft, like with the Shoyu Ramen.

The Char-siu (or Chashu) Pork is OK. They provide ample meat with thick cut slices of Pork, but the negative is that it’s not very tender. A touch stringy, it won’t make you forget about the luscious slabs at Kitakata or Tsujita or E.A.K.

And our experience with the Egg was the same as @J_L: Overcooked, Hard-Boiled Egg was disappointing. :frowning:

Japanese-Style Fried Rice (with Shrimp):

Their Chahan was passable. It’s great for the area, but lacks the panache of a great Fried Rice.

I would agree with @Starchtrade that this is the best Ramen for Silver Lake / Los Feliz area. Ramen Bangaichi’s strength seems to be its Miso Ramen, capturing a really nice depth of flavor without it being overly heavy or salty. The Soy Sauce Ramen is very light, which should be welcome for those tired of the heavy, super porky Tonkotsu (Pork Bone) style Ramen.

Overall (while a different style), for a lighter style of Ramen, I think we prefer Kitakata Ramen Bannai’s offerings over this, and for a heavier style, I think E.A.K. Ramen or The Tsujita (in small doses). But for Miso Ramen, I think Bangaichi is the most enjoyable right now. Now if they can only improve the Egg and Chashu and they’d have an outstanding winner.

Ramen Bangaichi
4331 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Tel: (323) 522-6578


Tried going today and saw this.

I may have to go at opening, maybe 20 minutes before like I do at Kitakata.

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Zoinks. I’ll take your word for it.

A late model Mercedes S-Class with manhole covers for wheels?

I’d have left too.

My condolences.

No front plate. Korengrish : Gangman-style.

What’s that?

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S600 Maybach - factory optional wheels. It’s not a looker, but why does its presence make it worth leaving Bangaichi?

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You too, huh?

If you knew who buys those cars in the Asian community in SoCal, you’d run, not walk, away.

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Those buyers’ world and mine intersect every now and then. I’m used to running the opposite way. Sometimes.