AFURI ramen + dumpling (Arts District): A Pictorial Essay

AFURI ramen + dumpling is an international chain, now bringing their game to L.A.’s Arts District… Never having tried any of their locations before, I went in with a blank slate, not knowing what to expect.

The space is large for a ramen-ya. Large open kitchen. Two large tablet kiosks are located at the entrance for ordering - expect QR codes and credit card-only payment. Once the customer orders, the party receives an obelisk with an order number (a la Carl’s Jr.), and then can go find any open spot to sit. There are mostly communal tables. A few bar seats and a few two-tops and four-tops are available.

… and now, onto the food!!!

Gyoza soup (pork, green onion, ginger, garlic, cabbage, chicken broth, sesame, chili threads, lemon)… This was ok. The broth was light. Reminiscent of won ton soup. The house special yuzu lemonade was refreshing.

Ebi spring roll… Nicely fried.

Soft shell crab bun (soft shell crab, spicy mayo, kimchi, cucumber)… Delicious! This is a must-order.

Yuzu shio ramen (shio tare, chicken broth, yuzu, bamboo, egg, chashu pork, endive, fried garlic, nori)… I ordered extra tamago, nori and ginger pork crumble. The main show! Their chintan broth was, as promised, light and airy. What really impressed me, though was the quality and bite of the noodles (made in-house). The menma and chashu were top-rate as well. This made the overall bowl superb. It’s up there with Iki Ramen - and that’s high praise.

G.O.A.T. ramen is unlocked if you’re lucky enough to be assigned this number…

Afuri’s ramen should garner a good following in L.A. Non-pork seekers will be satisfied with their offerings. I hope the quality stays high - we shall see!

Recommended.

AFURI ramen + dumpling
688 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
213.221.7206
afuriramen.com

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Can you elaborate on the number 23 and G.O.A.T. ramen? I don’t understand…

GOAT =greatest of all time

Please see:

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Ah. Thanks. I knew what the acronym meant, but not the context or number, not being a sports follower.

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Warrior: I wandered here after getting my hair cut in the Arts District, and Guerrilla Tacos was closed for some reason. It is a block north of Guerrilla Tacos. I thought it was going to suck, because I think ramen is a faddish thing. But it did not suck. The hazelnut ramen was elegantly prepared, and the seaweed salad tasted properly seaweedy as opposed to syrupy. I would definitely return.

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Just curious what do you mean by ramen sucking because its a faddish thing?

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Warrior: I suppose it is just my nature to be provocative. Personally, I don’t think ramen is the kind of thing to wait in long lines for. In Tokyo, I went to the Michelin starred ramen place in the afternoon after getting a ticket in the morning. It cost me like $50 in train fare just to get the ticket. But that experience, not the ramen itself, was the only memorable thing. My Japanese colleagues took me to an old school ramen place, and the only memorable thing to me is the old schoolness. Ramen is just not my thing. By the way, I think your hainan chicken and soy sauce chicken are both fantastic and worth waiting in long lines for.

Peony:I think ramen is very comforting! Especially on a cold day.

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Ah fair enough, I do think ramen in America just cant compare to Japan. As RamenBeast the tokyo ramen expert once said:

You can take the 1000th best ramen restaurant in Tokyo and put it anywhere in the world and it would probably automatically become the #1 ramen shop in that area.

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