Tamashii Ramen is open in Sherman Oaks. (Colin Fung )
Tamashii Ramen opened in Sherman Oaks on Wednesday, another tonkotsu stop along the great L.A. ramen trail, from chef Akira Imamura. The English translation of tamashii is "soul," used to describe the comforting quality of the food, Imamura says.
Imamura, who is from Nagoya, Japan, says his lifelong dream has been to open a business in California (inspired by the Eagles' "Hotel California" and descriptions in Japanese magazines such as Popeye). In Nagoya, he ran a California-cuisine-inflected Italian restaurant called MoonGlow for 19 years.
After moving to California a year ago and working at ramen shop Jinya, he's translating his pasta skills to Tamashii Ramen, where he's making the noodles for his ramen.
On the menu is tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen, as well as ramen made with chicken broth and vegetable broth. Imamura's tare (concentrated broth seasoning) includes shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt) and a spicy tare made with three kinds of chile paste.
The 28-seat restaurant also serves pork gyoza, prawn gyoza, pork or chicken chashu rice, curry rice, crispy chicken karaage, deep-fried chicken wontons and sushi rolls. The pork and chicken chashu and chicken wontons also are among the ramen topping selections.
And the noodles? "I found that thick, straight noodles are much better for our soup. It was the best match. We tried many, many noodles."
14531 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 990-1268.
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