Ramen Bangaichi (Los Feliz): A Pictorial Essay

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.

Culver City Ramen Bangaichi is open.

The space is nice, much better flow and ambiance than Tentenyu.

Special Vegetable Ramen - Good.
Bento Box with chicken - Salad and pickle were excellent.
Spicy Miso Ramen - Good; the egg was perfectly soft-yolk cooked.

The broths were good, the servers very kwaii, great thin noodles, no ginger on the table (only sad note).

I’m very happy this is in Culver City.


Convenient bump. I went to the SL Bangaichi yesterday and expected much greatness, alas my hopes for Bangaichi went down in flames like USC

Had the miso Bangaichi, shio ginger, and miso vegan. Garlic fries were okay if you can overlook the fact that there is no visible garlic - they seem to be using a garlic oil. Gyoza were excellent - thin skin, great crisp. The egg as mentioned above is magnificent - a perfect 5/7. It was all downhill from there.

The chashu was not…luscious. The noodles were okay. The broth lacked dankness - the shio not as good as Santouka, the miso not as good as Jinya or the OG Mottainai. I don’t know if this is the style or what, but the broth was a major miss for me.

looking at the reply above, maybe all the chefs were at Culver city.

oof that’s too bad. I’m going to hit the Culver City location soon and will report. It looks pretty busy most of the time.

Went to Jinya today to get their miso ramen to wipe the that Bangaichi taste out of my mouth.

I think it was the style, which is from Hokkaido. I went to the Culver City location and had the butter corn ramen with the shio broth. I liked it a lot. It wasn’t dank like many LA ramen broths. However, it was much lighter but I would say flavorful in its own way.

I’m hoping to get @Dommy there soon because I think this would be right up her alley. Also, she could give a more nuanced description that I could.