137 Japanese Village Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Go Lakers! Amazingly, I was fortunate enough to score a seat at the Lakers game for last night’s game 3 victory over the Celtics in the NBA Finals! It pays to have GREAT friend’s with season tickets sixth row behind the basket who charge you face value for tickets that would easily cost in the thousands. Okay, I apologize for gloating, but there really is a point to why I’m telling you this. According to my friend, every time they have eaten ramen at Daikokuya before attending a Lakers home game this season, it has resulted in a Lakers win. So without a doubt we planned on heading over there before the game, but since Daikokuya doesn’t open until 5 and with the early start to the game (due to the east coast fans) at 6, we decided just to eat ramen somewhere else and hope that the same luck holds true. And luckily, IT DID!! So if you ever go to a Lakers game, make sure you eat a bowl of ramen in Little Tokyo beforehand (Daikokuya or elsewhere) to ensure a Lakers win!
Every time I’ve gone to Little Tokyo lately, whether it be buying mochi at Mikawaya, scarfing down some Imagawayaki’s at Mitsuru, or just ending a night of drinking at Cefiore, I’ve walked by the Joy Mart Restaurant and thought “this looks like a cool place to just chill and drink sake.” Well, after a quick glance at their menu and noticing that they did indeed have ramen, we thought it would be a good start to our Lakers night even though their specialty is sushi and sake. After all, I live for trying new restaurants that serve ramen regardless of their specialty.
Chashu Ramen: Their website menu shows that they have four different types of ramen (Spicy Negi, Chicken, Chashu, and Tokyo ramen), but I only remember seeing three. I didn’t see a Tokyo ramen on the menu, otherwise I may have ordered that one. Anyway, I ordered the Chashu ramen. This assari shoyu based ramen was very light and refreshing. To some this ramen might seem bland, but joyous bits of garlic give the shoyu something to talk about. The toppings (chashu, negi, and moyashi) did not live up to their attractive presentation. The chashu was delicious and tasted more like pork belly. The noodles were slightly clumpy, but chewy and springy. Overall, the ramen wasn’t bad. I’ll go back to Joy Mart someday, but more likely to get wasted off their sake before finishing the night with a ramen.