Shin-sen-gumi offers ramen in a traditional sense but with bursting flavor in their house-made noodles, delicate broth and tender chashu pork joining together to take it to another level of deliciousness. Not only does Shin-sen-gumi have great ramen, each customer can customize it to fit their taste ranging from the firmness of the noodles to the amount of oil or salt in the broth.
The best part of the ramen is the toppings that can be added. These toppings add more flavor and enhance the bowl of ramen. The most popular topping, which is the one I ordered, is the spicy miso blend. It came in a small cup and is mixed into your the ramen. It infuses the ramen with a spicy garlic flavor with some garlic. Adding the spicy miso to my broth was absolutely worth it. It gave the ramen a dramatic but delicious change that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. The broth became very spicy but left me wanting more after each bite. Shin-sen-gumi also offers many other toppings such as extra slices of their chashu pork, half-boiled eggs, and dumplings for your ramen.
The noodles, one of the most important parts of the ramen, are all made fresh in–house every day. Each batch of ramen is prepared with purified soft water that gives it a unique texture. The texture of the noodles felt light and bouncy, a perfect way to finish off the already amazing bowl of ramen. The size of the bowl was a bit overwhelming at first, but when I started eating, I quickly realized that I could finish the entire thing. If just one portion of noodles leave you wanting more, one can order another portion of noodles at any time during the meal.
During lunch, Shin-sen-gumi has lunch combos; a bowl of ramen and the customer’s choice of a appetizer. My favorite to get is the spam musubi combo. It comes with four pieces of spam musubi, a piece of spam wrapped in rice and seaweed. It came wrapped in plastic to ensure that they didn’t fall apart, but when I ate them, the different textures of the meat, seaweed, and rice mixed together well, which was delectable. The other choices of appetizers are all great as well, such as the beef, eel and curry bowls.
I personally thought that the ramen I had at Shin-sen-gumi was one of the best I’ve had in Los Angeles. Every time that I go, the restaurant is always packed with a growing line outside, showing how popular Shin-sen-gumi really is. Their small restaurants can only serve nine or 10 small parties at a time, so the line can grow pretty quickly and span to over an hour. However, the quick turnaround between ordering and the food coming allows the customers to quickly cycle through. I recommend that if you plan to visit, you check and register on Yelp, reserving a spot online for you or your group. The restaurant is open 7 days a week, all year.