The Fusion Ramen in Town

Hanna Joo, Staff Writer

   When was the last time you’ve seen Japanese and European cuisine on the same menu? At Ramen California, located around Crenshaw and Lomita, there are such menus, seemingly conventional dishes with a modern twist. As soon as Ramen California opens, customers flock in to get the first seats indicating the popularity of the new restaurant.

   The atmosphere is relaxed and rustic. The place has an East Coast small restaurant-feel with lots of warm wood furniture, dimmed lighting, and modern white dinnerware.  The restaurant has chic décor accented with dark colored woods. A line of green flags with Japanese flower symbols are strewn across the restaurant, a touch that indicates the Japanese culture. The buffet is modern and streamlined with sleek retro style bowls and platters.

   Originally a Japanese themed restaurant, the menu increasingly became more influenced with European dishes. One of the top four ramen chefs of Japan came to America with a vision to incorporate Japanese cuisine and American cuisine into a single menu. This inspired the super casual eatery, Ramen California.

   All of the ramen are of optimum health; the healthy dishes on the menu have no MSG and no sugar. Each soup also includes at least thirty different organic vegetables. All meals start every meal with three Rosemary Kasha Bread biscuits for appetizers. The chef’s appetizers is made with  grace and one really begins to appreciate the crew’s hard work. The chef’s work and detail in every dish is exquisitely done, which makes the meals really worth every penny. The elegant glassware and hospitable waiter service only add to the restaurants welcoming ambiance.

   There are several types of Ramen: the restaurant’s signature specialties Ramen California or the Ramen Heirloom Tomato, for examples. Another great part about Ramen California is the fact that anyone who wants to try  different menus can get the small size (15 oz) bowl. Because it is significantly cheaper than the regular size, it is perfect for those who enjoy trying out many dishes.  Still, regular size (20 oz) and double size (40 oz) which are sure to fill up an empty stomach are popular too.  The prices of the ramen noodles range from $3.25 – $13.20, idealistically falling within a student’s budget. Some small plate servings consist of: fresh oysters with Tsongas Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella with five salts, fresh desert raised tomatoes, fresh halibut carpaccio, fresh kampachi snapper carpaccio, and German sausages with moutarde mustard. All of these small plates fall under the price range of $5.95-7.25. 

   Ramen California is diverse joint to hang out with friends, spend time with family, or even a romantic dinner with one’s significant other. Since they offer beer and wine, a student’s parents might consider this restaurant a good place to reserve a date. One can dress it up or dress it casual—either way would fit right into the atmosphere of Ramen California.

   For lunch, Ramen California opens at 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and for dinner it is open from 6 to 9:30 p.m. It is closed on Monday.