Daikokuya

Rice bowls & ramen have customers lined out the door at this small, no-frills Japanese restaurant

For years, the Little Tokyo Daikokuya was the place one went for ramen in this town, and many of us had our first bowls of L.A. ramen at this pleasantly grungy downtown ramen shop. These days the lines are just as long and the interior is just as grungy, both of which are oddly comforting. You’ll still find yourself wedged into the jumbled front entrance, probably boxed between a defunct neon sign and a tourist, listening to the servers shout impossibly loud greetings in Japanese, then soon enough jammed into a booth over a bowl of old-school ramen. The broth will be murky and rich, the noodles chewy, the condiment bowls of raw garlic and ginger pretty much where they were years ago. Order some of the excellent gyoza just to prolong the experience and hope that you’ll be doing the same thing five or 10 years from now.

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Sunday 11AM–11PM Monday 11AM–12AM Tuesday 11AM–12AM Wednesday 11AM–12AM Thursday 11AM–12AM Friday 11AM–1AM Saturday 11AM–1AM