Ask Mr. Gold: Fiery Ramen

Dear Mr. Gold:

In your column a few weeks ago, you alluded to the ramen in a South Bay supermarket whose noodles are served hot enough to “char your lips into ash,” a charming thought, I’m sure. I’m not a ramen completist or anything — okay, you’ve got me: I am — but could you tell me where these fiery noodles might be found?

Michael, Hawthorne

Dear Michael:

I wasn’t referring, I don’t think, to ultra-spicy ramen, amped up to ridiculous levels with packaged chile. You can find those noodles at a place in Little Tokyo whose name I have conveniently forgotten. But the legendary supermarket ramen, squiggly, Top Ramen–looking things served in a broth that seethes in its bowl, is at Santouka, an outlet of a Japan-based chain located in the food court of the Mitsuwa market in Torrance, and it is pretty great. Conventional wisdom suggests that you go with the austerity of the shio, soy, broth, which is probably the best of breed in the Los Angeles area — although no follower of this column will be surprised to learn that I generally order the pork-flavored ramen instead. 21515 Western Ave., Torrance, (310) 212-1101.

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Santouka Ramen

21515 S. Western Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501-3048


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