Really, really good Ramen in Studio City.
Most days I want Ramen. I think this is a normal reaction to living in such proximity to good, good Ramen.
Problem is (and I’m sure you’re already aware of this), no matter where you are, the best Ramen always seems miles and miles away, like Torrance, San Gabriel or Little Tokyo.
I was both gratified and surprised to learn that there was one place close by…at least to me. Ramen Jinya of Studio City.
Yes, Jinya is a chain, a national chain with five locations scattered over some very interesting areas. Still, this is the place is what started the grand Ramen revolution here in Los Angeles. It’s hard to believe, since it looks so modern and new.
Walking in was a bit of a jolt. You just don’t expect it where it is. Yes, that is a Marshall’s you’re passing by. Yeah, that is an Office Depot across the way. You’re left wondering if the Soccer Moms of the San Fernando Valley ever bother to stop by in here.
Well, who cares? This is about you and your Ramen, and what a Ramen it is.
First off, any place that lets the sound system play “The Right Time” by Ray Charles can’t be all bad.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: If you’re really asking what you should get at a Ramen place, then I can’t–
–oh, which Ramen should you get? That I can help you with.
Coming off my high at the 2014 Ramen Yokocho, I was in the mood for Black Ramen. And, of course, following my first thing on the menu rule, I went with the Jinya No. 1 Tonkotsu Black. It’s a Ramen with Pork Stock, and…well…Pork, Kikurage (which are mushrooms), Green Onion, Two delicious sheets of seaweed, a Seasoned Egg (which I am growing more and more fond of as time goes on), Garlic Chips, Garlic Oil, and Fried Onion. Delicious stuff. The greatest of all time, I don’t know…but I haven’t stopped thinking about it since my first visit.
But I couldn’t stop there, I also got two Jinya Buns, which is their version of what Flying Pig has been doing so well, for so long, a nice hunk of braised pork with veggies wrapped in a steamed bread bun. Again, two great things that go great together.
A second trip brought me their version of the Cold Summer Noodle, or Cold Ramen. This was a nice, incredibly flavorful dish. It’s Ramen, but you treat it like Soba Noodles. You’ll pick through the sprouts, the spinach and all…and dip your Ramen into some Noodle base that comes with your bowl. Perfect for the summertime, and really, really, good.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Nothing really too out of the ordinary. Just bear in mind that you walk in and wait to be seated. Waitstaff will be buzzing about to and fro, doing all manner of things.
The restaurant is in the most nondescript part of the Strip mall. You’ll have a hard time seeing it from the street, I promise you.
Oh, and despite the fact that I keep forgetting it…there is Iced Green Tea on the menu.
PARKING: Odd. Jinya’s located in a Strip Mall, a very small, tiny and decently hard to get in and out of strip mall. For some reason, I just thought it was easier to park along Ventura Blvd, pay about a buck to the meter and call it a day. Leaving becomes a breeze.
Jinya Ramen Bar
11239 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Tel: (818) 980-3977
Sunday-Thursday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:00am – 11:00pm