Much ink has been spilled over Tsujita’s tsukemen, the traditional dipping ramen where the broth arrives separately from the noodles. Tsujita stans wax poetic about how kurobuta pork bones are simmered for no less than 60 hours to create the dipping broth, how the noodles are thick, chewy and dense, and how the wait for a seat can fluctuate between tolerable and formidable (unless you’re dining solo, in which case you’ll usually be seated at the counter in no more than 15 minutes). Suffice to say, in a rare instance of hype living up to reality, all that ink bleeds true: This is the best tsukemen in the city, whether you’re dining at the original location or the Annex across the street. This spot’s noodle bowl is the one to which you’ll forever compare all others, much to your chagrin. Put your name down and wait. It’ll be worth it.
To the unenlightened, ramen might look like a mere bowl of noodles, soup and a few toppings, but this deceptively simple Japanese recipe is so much more than that. In Los Angeles, the home of the country’s best ramen scene, you don’t have to look far to encounter seemingly endless iterations of this coveted, comforting dish, including plenty of vegetarian and vegan broths. Stellar bowls of ramen can be found in strip malls, upscale restaurants and tiny, crackerbox storefronts all over the city, and we’ve rounded up our top 19 ramen spots across L.A., spanning geography, broth type, price point and even vegan options. However (or wherever) you like your ramen, you’ll find plenty of options ahead, so read on for our favorite spots for the next time you’re craving a bowl of noodles.