Virtually unheard of outside its native Kurume in Japan's Fukuoka Prefecture, this popular ramen chain opened their first stateside location in Pasadena, where they serve the scrumptious, rich pork ramen noodles that made them famous. Packed with flavor, the Koku Tonkotsu is always a solid choice, as is the mellower Jun Tonkotsu. No matter which house-made dish you choose, be sure to top it off with a soft-boiled egg.
Rich, creamy tonkotsu is a hallmark of ramen that originates in chef Ryuta Kajiwara’s hometown in southern Japan, which is where he founded Ramen Tatsunoya in 1999. The business proliferated across Japan, and in 2015, expanded to Old Pasadena and later to Silver Lake. Many a ramen lover has waxed poetic about Tatsunoya’s magical broth—a rich yet incredibly light soup made only with pork bones and water simmered for over 15 hours at a high temperature to coax out maximum umami flavor. Koku tonkotsu is the more formidable broth, versus the milder Jun, and comes with classic accompaniments, fat-streaked chashu, and optional (but essential!) flavored egg.
How to order: The Silver Lake location has outdoor seating that is first-come, first-served. Order for pickup via their website or delivery via UberEats and other apps.