What is the Best Ramen Place?


Hiro Nori

Hiro Nori is one of the most popular ramen places in Irvine.

Jerry Hu, Staff Writer

The number of ramen spots in Irvine has increased dramatically during the past few years, and it seems like a new restaurant opens every week. However, there is still much debate over which ramen place is the best. Hiro Nori, J San and Silver Lake are some of the most popular ramen places in Irvine, and all reside near popular locations that attract major attention. 

At the Irvine Spectrum, a popular destination spot for many is Silver Lake Ramen. The food service is quick and the price is well-adjusted for its portion size. Its signature tonkatsu ramen is rich in flavor; however, it has a unique taste compared to traditional ramen places that some may not appreciate. Additionally, they use ingredients like corn that you don’t usually see in ramen. While not objectively bad, this was still a unique experience that is different from your traditional Japanese ramen spot. 

J San Ramen has a plethora of options on its menu compared to other ramen restaurants that focus only on a couple of broths. The Ika Kara Age (fried squid) and Original Kara Age (fried chicken) are great options to complement your ramen. The broth for their tonkatsu ramen is salty and significantly weaker in taste than Silver Lake. However, J San makes up for its lackluster broth through its other items. They have a popular eel rice set, different types of udon, beef curry, fried items and even pork katsu. For the most part, every food item is decently flavored, but it lacks the specific aspects that make the dishes truly special. It’s an overall solid place for Japanese food in general, instead of specifically ramen.

Hiro Nori is, in my opinion, the best ramen place in Irvine. The broth is extremely rich in flavor and its toppings like the bamboo shoots taste very fresh. The menu boasts fresh ingredients that are prepared in-store. Even Hiro Nori’s appetizers and side menu items are great starters, like the rice bowls. The individual character of each ramen dish is very distinct from other menu items, so one’s order caters to a specific flavor. Hiro Nori’s attention to quality is very heavily emphasized. I would recommend this place to any lover of ramen or Japanese cuisine in general.