Irvine’s ramen game is on point, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. But here are three spots whose authentic noodles win rave reviews.
Los Olivos Marketplace
Marufuku Ramen is all about authentic Hakata-style ramen. Skinny artisanal noodles and chashu pork swim in a milky tonkotsu broth crafted from pork bones that have simmered for over 20 hours to extract the rich umami flavor. It’s so good that fans of Marufuku’s Japantown location in San Francisco nicknamed the restaurant “The Royalty of Ramen.” The Los Olivos Marketplace spot also offers izakaya-style appetizers and beer and sake.
HIRONORI CRAFT RAMEN
Sand Canyon Plaza
HiroNori Craft Ramen prides itself on its made-from-scratch noodles, stock and sauce. The Sand Canyon Plaza spot touts “the best vegan ramen in Irvine.” Founders Hiro Igarashi and Nori Akasaka crafted a sesame miso broth using six types of imported Japanese miso. For their popular Shoyu Ramen, they use Japanese soy sauce that has been barreled for two years and
fresh cut noodles paired with spinach, bamboo, green onions, kaiware sprouts, egg and grilled pork chashu.
SILVERLAKE RAMEN (pictured at the top)
Irvine Spectrum Center
Silverlake Ramen says it wants to evoke “the free spirit and casual vibe of Los Angeles.” The stylish little spot opened at Irvine Spectrum last summer, serving up steaming bowls of silky noodles from a streamlined and affordable menu. If you’re a first-timer, try the Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen with spicy, creamy pork broth. It’s what fans flock there for.