Restaurant Review: Ramen Jinya — An authentic noodle house hits the 818

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BY KAREN YOUNG

I have to preface this article with a disclaimer: I am not a ramen expert, nor do I know much about ramen noodles or the many types of Japanese noodles in general. Ramen experts pride themselves on being a unique group — like a special club where admittance is gained by only a select few. I am, however, most picky about finding good food and knowing what I like. That being said, Ramen Jinya in Studio City is an exciting restaurant find.

Jinya Ramen PHOTOS: KAREN YOUNG

Situated in the corner of the small shopping center anchored by Marshall’s, Ramen Jinya is located on the eastern end of Ventura Bouldevard’s Sushi Row. Although Ramen Jinya has a clean, modern, strip mall look with an open kitchen, it is authentically Japanese and owned by Japanese restaurateur Takahashi Tomonori, who has seven restaurants in Tokyo, and just opened Robata Jinya in West Hollywood in mid-October.

Open since this past summer, I waited to go until the weather cooled to try a hot dish, however, there are also rice dishes, select sushi, gyoza and salads.

The star here, however, is the giant, white bowls filled with chicken or pork broth and ramen noodles. There are seven different types of ramen, plus another two or three specials of the day. The namesake of this casual eatery, Jinya Ramen, is a rich chicken broth with two chicken meatballs (flavored with ginger and garlic), spinach, crispy green onion, and the house made ramen, of course. The broth, is accompanied by the long thin, tender strands of noodles in the bowl alone. A plate is placed on top of the bowl holding the other items which each patron pours into their own bowls. The spicy ramen in similar to the Jinya except bean sprouts replace the crispy onions — and you can order the spice according to taste. Order it if you like food with a bite.

A plate with all the trimmings is placed on top of the bowl filled with broth and ramen. Just slide it in and eat.

If you eat pork, the Tonkasu Ramen is the most flavorful— made with pork oil and pork broth and Chashu, which are large pieces of tender pork, and a soft-boiled egg. There’s also a won ton ramen, a vegetable and a Tomato Seafood Ramen which is the Japanese version of Cioppino. Ramen bowls run $8.55 to $12.55 (seafood). There’s also a choice to build your own ramen bowl, in the  make-your-own-omelette tradition.  Also offered are combination ramen specials which all include salad plus another item such as sushi, gyoza, tuna bowl (with rice) or curry ($12.50-$13.50).

The ramen bowls are served with a giant white spoon. Eating  ramen requires a utensil shift from the spoon to chopsticks or fork. Fortunately, the spoon allows for each delicious dropful of broth to be consumed.

Rock Shrimp Tempura Roll

The variety of sushi involves basic rolls. For $3.99-$5.99 a roll, they are well sized and tasty for an extra addition to your meal. The gyoza are crispy on the outside and filled with tender ground chicken. Also available are rice bowls filled with such additions as spicy tuna, curry, chicken and chashu ($4.55-$4.99). Organic salads in three sizes are offered, including such varieties as tomato and avocado, potatoes, corn and tofu, pasta, and couscous.

As we move into chillier weather, Ramen Jinya is the perfect place for a quick, hearty meal  at a reasonable price.

Indoor and outdoor seating is sleek and casual.

Ramen Jinya 11239 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 980-3977 . Sunday – Thursday 11am-10pm Friday – Saturday 11pm -midnight  www.jinya-la.com/ramen Free parking on top level and below. No alcohol.

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find. Email: karen@mydailyfind.com

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • sylvia

    Can’t wait to try it out this weekend. Yummy — I love ramen noodles.

  • Rachel

    I just went and tried this place. AMAZING! I’d recently been to two other ramen places in the Valley and both were pretty good, but not mind-blowing. Bland; good quality, but, well, boring. Our bowls here were, in the positive sense of the word, interesting! Chicken meatballs, crispy onions, incredibly flavorful broth, and a few unusual flavors I haven’t seen at other places (in the Valley, anyway). Love the fact that you pour your ingredients into the broth – it’s somehow satisfying and rewarding! They are apparently trying to start offering delivery service. I hope this place gets enough business for it to stick around!

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