Ramen Hayatemaru on the Westside

[I don't know if anyone's noticed, but I'm trying to increase my posting a bit.  One way I'm doing it is with these same-day "flash" reviews, like the one I did for Tacos Punta Cabras.  Here's another...]

I’ve heard very good things about Ramen Hayatemaru in Torrance and have been trying to get to their new West L.A. location for a few weeks now (since they’ve only been open for a few weeks).  They’re at the corner of Olympic and Barrington, where Waraya used to be.

Ramen Hayatemaru (© 2013 The Offalo)

Ramen Hayatemaru (© 2013 The Offalo)

I finally went tonight with my younger daughter.  We were the only ones in there at ~6:30 PM.  The interior did not look new, so apparently no major remodeling was done before opening and the place probably looks close to what Waraya looked like before (I presume, having never been to Waraya).  Everything was clean, but I did take notice of the aging and stained drop ceiling with a rusty metal air vent hanging down, and the somewhat haphazard looking bathroom.

I’ve never been to the Torrance one and I’m no ramen connoiseur, but I generally like the shio at Santouka (my favorite ramen place) over their shoyu or miso, and I’ve gathered that Santouka’s shio is tonkotsu-esque, so I ordered the “Hokkaido ramen” which I figured was close to either shio or tonkotsu at Hayatemaru.

Hokkaido Ramen @ Ramen Hayatemaru (© 2013 The Offalo)

Hokkaido Ramen @ Ramen Hayatemaru (© 2013 The Offalo)

I probably still like Santouka’s shio better, but I did enjoy the Hokkaido ramen.  The noodles were cut relatively short and were easy to eat with the large spoon provided.  I didn’t get any add-ons, so the ramen had just two slices of chashu and the ajitsuke tamago was cooked through.  Does anyone know if that’s standard for the ajitama that’s included with the ramen but if ordered as an add-on would be more hanjuku?

My daughter wanted “potstickers” so I ordered gyoza for her.  Those were very good, mostly due to the skin, which were very thin.  They allowed the gyoza to really crisp up.  The filling didn’t have too much of what I thing of as “empty” filler like cabbage, just pork and asatsuki from what I could tell, which was good, but was a little compact.  The slightly spicy miso dipping sause was very good.

Pork Gyoza @ Ramen Hayatemaru (© 2013 The Offalo)

Pork Gyoza @ Ramen Hayatemaru (© 2013 The Offalo)

I would definitely go back again, especially since it’s a little more convenient than going to Santouka.  I may order the tsukemen next time just to see how it compares to Tsujita.  Or maybe I’ll try the white or red miso, since I’ve read that “real” Hokkaido ramen is usually miso-based.

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Ramen Hayatemaru (Official, Facebook)
11678 West Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 444-7555

m4s0n501

2013 March 04 by The Offalo
Categories: Japanese, Ramen | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. Not a fan of the hard-boiled egg in ramen either, but half the places I’ve tried have it as such, and I never complain about it at Santouka. I’ll probably try this place very soon. So what’s your ramen power ranking after trying this?

    • I need to try more ramen before I can make anything resembling a power ranking. The problem is I basically started my ramenducation (did I actually say that?) with one of the best ramen-ya in town in Santouka, so everything’s gonna be compared to that.

      I guess if I hade to make a list, at this point it’d have to be Santouka, then Tsujita, then Hayatemaru, but ask me again after I hit Kotoya, Jinya, and Yamadaya, all of which are on my ramen to-try list.

    • Oh, and happy birthday!

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