Housed in a fairly simple building in the trendy neighborhood of Melrose, is perhaps the best Ramen you will ever happen to stumble on. There are so many Ramen restaurants now in Los Angeles; it has become a real foodie phenomenon. What E.A.K. has that no other Ramen restaurant has, is truly delightful food, with many menu items and very friendly staff.
Info about Ramen and E.A.K. Style Ramen:
What is IEKEI?
IKEI is a style of Ramen that is marriage between Tonkotsu style from the West (Kyushu) and Shoyu style from the East (Tokyo). It is a very distinct thick broth, which is a mixture of chicken and pork, topping of spinach instead of green onions; with chashu, a large piece of nori, aji-tama egg, and the noodles are thick, bold and straight.
E.A.K. Ramen was born from their philosophy of wanting to spread IEKEI style of ramen to the world. In Japan, they are known as Machida Shoten as well as many other names within the IEKEI style of ramen world. They have direct outlets as well as franchises that cover a large part of Japan that add up to roughly 400 stores. Internationally, they have presences in Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines, Italy, China and Thailand.
However, after capturing a major portion of the Japanese IEKEI market, they decided that it was about time to cross the ocean and make their mark in the US market. Up until now, the US has been introduced to a limited amount of Ramen styles and some stores did try to make an IEKEI style but fell short. They saw an opportunity to spread the wonderful IEKEI style of Ramen and branded their style as E-A-K for the phonetic pronunciation of IEKEI style.
In their broth they use only natural chicken and pork bones and they take 18 hours of love and care to prep, boil, cook, stir, and perfect the broth. Their noodles are custom made for E.A.K., using their distinct formula that no one else uses. It is thick, bold and straight. Their tare recipe is known only by the owner himself; and is a close kept secret to keep their flavor from changing.
Here is what I tried:
Garlic Edamame, with garlic aioli sauce and anchovies. These are perfect, they melt in your mouth, with a nice fragrance of garlic aioli sauce.
Takoyaki, savory round octopus pancake with a sweet and spicy sauce. These are something you just can’t describe, they are crispy on the outside and soft melty on the inside, just remarkable.
Karaage fried chicken, with lightly salted crispy fried chicken thighs served with sauce of your choice: ponzu sauce, sweet chili, curry, honey mustard, spicy garlic, and homemade tartar. You can try these with their dipping sauces but the seasoning is so great, I loved these little nuggets just on their own with no sauce.
Homemade Cucumber Kimchi, spicy pickled cucumber kimchi. Truly delicious but get ready for the kick, because these are very spicy.
DIY spicy salmon & avocado hand rolls, wrap your own, great for sharing with side of nori and lettuce. This is quite the creative idea and it really works. You get to do all of the work yourself and the payoff is fantastic.
Homemade ginger gyoza, with homemade grilled dumplings filled with seasoned pork, chives and ginger. They flip over these pot stickers in the pan, so you’re left with a yummy film that is the pan sauce, sweet and delectable!
Superfood salad, with baby kale, spinach, seaweed, hijiki, cucumber, and shoyu based onion dressing. This is my kind of salad, it’s super fresh and healthy, the dressing is just fantastic. The little bits of seaweed on top are my highlight. This is the kind of salad you can order and eat every day and feel great about this healthy choice.
E.A.K. fried rice, with pork-fried rice served table side in a piping hot iron skillet. This is such an interesting presentation. They use an iron pan which they serve the rice in the middle, done table side, then they pour an egg on the outskirts and scramble it right on front of you. It makes for one wonderful fried rice dish.
Oyako Mini Bowl, with chicken and egg marinated in soy sauce, mirin and dashi with radish sprouts on rice. This bowl is very tasty and the price is incredible.
The Original The E.A.K. shoyu, with Pork and chicken broth, pork chashu, seasoned egg, spinach, nori. You can see why E.A.K. is so special, this Ramen is super rich with great meaty flavors, and it really hits the spot.
Tan Tan Men, spicy yet refreshing. This Ramen is served cold and is vegetarian. Once again, this is a dish that you could eat every day and not have one ounce of guilt from the simple pleasure of good smart eating.
Kirin – pale – Japan, super refreshing and very light, perfect with the Ramen.
Sapporo – pale – Japan, wonderful and very drinkable, it works perfectly with anything that has a little kick.
Very Berry Soju with strawberry ice and strawberry puree, soda, and soju. This drink is more like a smoothie but with a nice Soju kick, it is super fun and delicious.
Green Apple Pen with green apple, soda, soju, and lime. It is very reminiscent of an apple martini, but done with Soju. I would highly recommend this over-the-top cocktail.
Makiri sake (Premium), Takenotsuyu, Kurosawa nigori, Un-filtered, Semi-Dry, Mio Sparkling Sake.
Each Sake was recommended to me by the lovely Meadow, she selected each and every one of them, she did a great job. They were all different, each with a complete great characteristic. My favorite was the Makiri, it went down super easy and has some nice floral nuances.
This is Ramen at its best and all of the other menu items will make you never go anywhere else for your weekly Ramen fix. There are other Ramen places that have great accolades but E.A.K. is just the best of the best. Their prices are extremely affordable, and there are so many menu options. From big huge Ramen bowls to tapas style smaller dishes that will leave you completely satisfied. My vote, next time you’re in the mood for Ramen try E.A.K.
7455 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
* Note some content was taken from their website.