Ikemen has had a location in Hollywood for a while, but I never find myself in that area. So, when I heard that they were opening up a new location right by our office in Little Tokyo, I was really excited. It’s located in Weller Court on the first floor, just to the right of the main opening.
What’s different about this ramen restaurant is that it follows the Tsukemen style, which means instead of the noodles sitting in a hot broth, they are dipped into a concentrated sauce (or as the restaurant calls it, “au jus”). They do have the soup-based ramen for the die-hard ramen fans, but if you’re going to check this place out, you have to try the dip-style first.
I tried the “Zebra Dip” and it did not disappoint. It had freshly grated dried bonito (fish flakes, a.k.a. katsuobushi) on it and that definitely made a difference. You can also order additional toppings such as egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. Another dip ramen on their menu is called the “Ghost Dip”, where they toast a marshmallow at your table and then mix it in with the sauce. It sounds odd, but the sweetness of the marshmallow compliments the rich and salty profile of the soup.
I usually order extra noodles whenever I eat ramen, but here the portion size is pretty generous, so I didn’t need to. The service was quick and friendly, and the dip ramen was a nice change from all the soup-based ramen shops out there. Overall, I had a great experience! I’ll definitely be back soon to try all the dishes they have to offer.
Ikemen the Dip Ramen – Little Tokyo
Location: 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., Ste. 108
Hours: Mon-Sun – 11:30am to 3pm, 5:30pm to 10pm