Ramen Hayatemaru prides itself with serving the best Hokkaido style ramen, with its specialty ingredients straight from Hokkaido, Japan. They serve ramen noodles made from goma (ごま) seeds and Okuhara sauces from their factory in Hokkaido. It seems like a lot of effort for such a small, hole-in-the wall over on the Westside, but their efforts are not in vain. I still dream about their flavorful ramen and can’t wait to go back.
I rarely find myself over on the Westside since I graduated from UCLA some years ago. The LA traffic is definitely a strong deterrent, so it does require some effort on my end to make a day out of visiting that part of town. I just so happened to be visiting my old boss and also my best friend who is currently studying at UCLA when he suggested that we try Ramen Hayatemaru.
We parked on the street since the restaurant was located in a tiny plaza on the corner of Olympic. From the outside, it didn’t look like much, but it’s always a good sign to see patrons seated inside with food on the table. Right as we entered the restaurant, this incredible smell of tonkatsu broth hit us. I was immediately excited.
While looking at the menu, I discovered something that I don’t see too often in ramen restaurants. Ramen Hayatemaru offers half-sized bowls. I thought this was perfect, because I also wanted to try their chicken karaage. I like to eat a lot, but not to the point where I hate myself. This was a great solution to that problem, haha.
Aside from the chicken karaage, we decided to try their amazu chicken. It’s their signature chicken karaage drizzled with their vinegar, ginger sauce. However, just to warn you…their dishes do have MSG in them. If you’re sensitive to MSG, I highly suggested that you ask whether they can make it without it.
The half-bowl of spicy miso ramen was simply amazing. The broth wasn’t brimming with chili oil, as you may find with other ramen restaurants. It had a nice subtle spicy flavor, with a lot of depth due to the slowly-cooked pork broth. The noodles were cooked al dente and the chasiu was pretty standard. Chasiu doesn’t normally make it or break it for me in terms of ramen. But that broth, oh man, I still dream about it.
The Amazu chicken was equally as impressive as their ramen. Their vinegar sauce was refreshing and was a nice complement to the chicken. It was so good, we used the remaining sauce for our plain chicken karaage. I would definitely opt for the Amazu chicken over the regular chicken karaage.
Overall, it was a great experience. I really wished that this restaurant was located closer to me, then I’d eat it all the time. If you’re ever in the area, definitely stop my Ramen Hayetmaru. They have great service, great decently priced food, and delicious ramen.
11678 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025