Ramen Nagi makes SoCal debut in Westfield Century City
By Kerry Slater
A legendary Japanese ramen restaurant has opened its first Southern California location on the Westside.
Last month, Ramen Nagi opened at Westfield Century City Mall, the third U.S. location for the ramen shop, with locations in Palo Alto and San Jose).
“Los Angeles has long been home to thriving Japanese culinary scenes, especially when it comes to ramen. ‘Nagi’ means, ‘a calmness before the waves,’ and our Ramen Master Chef Satoshi Ikuta has dedicated himself to introducing a new take on ramen to the world through every delicious and memorable bowl,” said Stanley Ko of Ko Hospitality Group, which is opening Nagi with Chef Ikuta.
Nagi is known for its noodles and both traditional and fusion broth flavors ranging from tonkotsu, a pork marrow bone broth cooked for at least 24 hours, to niboshi, a sardine and soy sauce-based broth.
Guests start by choosing their broth — original, black king (squid ink), red king (spicy broth), and green king (basil), or a special “limited king” broth. Next, customers choose the “chef’s recommendation” and can further customize their bowls, picking “strength of flavor” (light, normal, heavy), desired “richness in oil,” level of garlic, cut of pork — chashu (sliced loin), kakuni (belly), or none — and choice of vegetables. Last, customers select their bowl’s spiciness level, their noodle thickness (thin or thick), and their noodle firmness.
Nagi was founded in 2004 by a 27-year-old chef, Mr. Satoshi Ikuta. Ikuta trained in several famed Hakata ramen shops, starting with a practice known as aida kari. Prior to opening his shop in Shinjuku Golden Gai in 2008, he also ran a highly successful restaurant in Shibuya. Ramen Nagi was awarded Tokyo’s Best Ramen in Try Magazine’s definitive rankings. Today, the brand has expanded to nearly 40 restaurants with branches throughout the world.
Ramen Nagi is located on the second level of Westfield Century City Mall. Lunch is served daily from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., and dinner from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.