Santouka Ramen

Mitsuwa Marketplace, 3760 S. Centinela Ave.
Mar Vista, CA 90066


  • Daily 11am-8pm
  • $
  • Takeout
  • Dinner, Lunch
  • No Alcohol
  • Parking Lot Available
  • Reservations Not Necessary
Part of a Japanese chain with American outlets in Torrance and Costa Mesa, Santouka is pretty spare for a food-court restaurant. A wooden vitrine to one side of the cash register displays plastic replicas of the food on the menu, which you are well-advised to study — if you aren’t ready to order when you reach the counter, you will be ignored. What you get at Santouka is ramen, or more specifically shio ramen, thin, squiggly noodles served in a boiling-hot pork broth minimally seasoned with salt. Floating among the noodles will be a bit of seaweed, a pinch of chopped green onion, a thin round of bland fishcake and three slices of pork. At the exact middle point of the bowl is a single scarlet pickle, the dot over the “i” that brings the entire composition into focus. Add or subtract a buck or two and get a bigger or smaller bowl than the default size; throw in a couple more and get a bowl of rice topped with glistening salmon roe, with bonito flakes and chopped green onions, or a frosting of hyperstinky fermented soybeans. But the top of the line is undoubtedly the ramen with special pork — which is to say, a plateful of fattier, roastier slices of pork served on the side, unsullied by the taste of noodles or broth.

Related Stories (5)

Load More Articles


View All

More Japanese Restaurants in West L.A.

  • Kiriko Sushi
    Critics' Pick

    Kiriko may still be the great undiscovered sushi bar in Los Angeles, and Ken Namba's traditional ...

  • Fu Rai Bo doesn't just specialize in chicken, but in spicy skewered teba sake chicken wings; not ...

  • Devoted to the Japanese cult of perfect rice, Torafuku is the first American outpost of a small T...

View All

More Japanese Restaurants in Los Angeles

  • This is a Japanese market and food court where you can buy bobble-headed Hula dolls and good-luck...

  • Gardena’s Marukai Supermarket is among the great food resources in Los Angeles, one of those plac...

  • A'Float Sushi
    Best Of

    Looking to keep your checkbook afloat? A?Float Sushi is known as much for its fresh sushi selecti...

  • In a neighborhood where artists once rented studios for pittances, a sleek commercial district of...

  • Matsuhisa
    Critics' Pick

    If Nobu Matsuhisa were nothing more than a gifted sushi master, running his successful restaurant...

  • Deep-fried catfish are almost as inescapable around here as personal trainers or Chevy Suburbans,...