The Ramen Yokocho Assn.'s ramen festivals in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco each have drawn tens of thousands of ramen fanatics for $8 bowls of Japanese noodles of all styles and provenance.
The next Ramen Yokocho fest takes place in Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 16 and 17 as part of the cultural festival Nisei Week. The Ramen Yokocho Assn. was established in Southern California in 2013 to promote the namesake noodle soup. "Yokocho" means "alleyway" in Japanese, a reference to the small alleys in Japan that you'll find lined with food vendors.
At Little Tokyo's Ramen Yokocho, the ramen options will include vegetarian, gluten-free and meaty ramen alike. A brand-new miso ramen will be introduced by popular L.A. ramen-ya Tsujita. Shoki Ramen House of Sacramento is joining the festival for the first time with its "white ramen," made with soy milk, kelp stock and tomato noodles.
Other participants include Men Oh Tokushima, with its Tokushima ramen; Monta's Kurume-style tonkotsu from Fukuoka; Iroha Toyama's black shoyu ramen; Fujin's spicy miso ramen burger; Shin-Sen-Gumi with its Kagoshima-Satsuma ramen; Izakaya Kaba's Igeta shoyu; Shimane tonkotsu-shoyu ramen; and Mattou Seimen's spicy red ramen.
Other festival snacks will be available at matsuri stalls. DJs include IcyIce, G-No, Orion and more. There also will be a ninja art exhibit, Japanese arts event Samurai Geisha Fest and Day-Lee Foods' World Gyoza Eating Championship.
Saturday 5 to 11 p.m. and Sunday 5 to 9 p.m. Admission is $5.
L.A. City parking lots 7 and 2, 160 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles, www.ramenyokochous.com.