The soy sauce ramen at Santouka
This is the second in a series of pieces focusing on the Mitsuwa Marketplace in West L.A., with this particular article targeting one of the food court restaurants – Santouka, a ramen noodle soup stand.
Santouka can be found at the far left end of the Mitsuwa food court, and like the other restaurants on hand, it boasts a display window where you can get an eyeful of exactly what it is you’ll be ordering – always handy when you’re not a native speaker of the language being used! The dishes are all helpfully numbered for easy ordering.
A plethora of choices await your decision – will it be salt ramen or miso, accompanied by rice with leeks or with salmon roe? My pick was a bowl of soy sauce ramen with a side of Tororo rice – I ordered the items separately, but luckily the cheerful cashier rang it up as a combo, saving me a couple of bucks without me even realizing it – now that’s service.
The aforementioned special was just $9.48 and included a hard-boiled egg. There’s a plate available for any combination you’d like, so feel free to mix and match your ramen and your rice – most combo plates are even cheaper than the one I ordered.
The soy sauce ramen noodle soup was great, and oh so much healthier than your average store-bought version, packed as it is with a variety of vegetables and meat (including my personal favorite, a colorful slice of fish cake).
I hesitate to recommend the Tororo as it has a rather gooey consistency that many American consumers may find off-putting, but I myself did enjoy the sweet blend of yam shavings and seaweed atop a bed of steamed rice.
Be prepared – Santouka is cash only. (An ATM sits at the right end of the food court if you need it.) And for those who blanch at the thought of trying to find a seat in the crowded dining room, relax – not only do the diners eat quickly, but the clean up crew is about 800 times faster and more efficient than at your standard mall food court!
All in all, Santouka provides a fantastic filling meal for less than ten bucks, and it showcases some of the best ramen soups this side of Tokyo.
Click here for Exploring the Mitsuwa Marketplace: Part 1
Santouka at the Mitsuwa Marketplace
3760 Centinela Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90066