Before “plant-based” became a meaningless buzzword, Rakkan Ramen had already started selling its line of kombu-based vegetarian broth in 2011 in Tokyo. Having expanded to LA, the Japanese mini-chain now offers an array of light, flavorful ramen bowls with fanciful names like Garnet (miso-flavored), Pearl (shio-based), and Amber (soy-based). Yes, there are vegan options, but even if you’re primarily a meat-eater, you can come away from any of Rakken’s three LA locations feeling, just for a brief moment, like you might briefly grasp the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Our favorite, the Amber, lets the umami flavors shine against the thin noodles and a few slices of chashu.
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