House of Jin (which, by the way, is actually a Chinese surname, and is the same as that found at ‘Chin’ Ma Ya). is a cool place. At 5:30pm, it’s cool for the Beverly Hills adjacent daddies to bring the daughters for a quick slurp of noodles. At 8pm, it’s cool for the couples to share some bespoken house made silken tofu. Jinya offers a prix fixe dinner of $25, $35 and $45. For dining on Third Street, a $25 multi-course Japanese dinner is almost affordable, and hence, Robata-Jinya is perpetually packed. The prix fixe starts off with a simple sashimi (usually tuna), a bowl of tofu, a few skewers from the robata, and finishes off with the weirdly non-Asian shrimp toast, and a small portion of the house ramen. No complain can be found in this Little Osaka meal transplanted to the middle of Mid-Cities West.
It is the full order of the once “limited edition” tonkotsu ramen that reeks of demogogy. The half order ramen, served as a postscript to merely expand your gut at the end of a meant-for-skinny-Japanese-people meal, isn’t susceptible to much scrutiny. It seems a freebie; it’s hard to fault free grub. I would know.
On its own, as a $10 bowl of ramen ($8.50 and a $1.50 hanjuku egg), this really leaves something to be desired. The noodles are standard factory fare, they’re not lifeless, they’re not charming, nor are they offensive. They just are. The broth is a bit more coy. It’s clean and bony carrying half the sea salt produced in Hakata, which is to say: it’s properly Japanesey noodleezy. It’s an unoffensive bowl even to the local Chosen people; it reminds me of shopping at Target (when Jason Wu is out of stock). Thanks for the $10 bowl of snore, dudes. Otherwise, this place rocks, especially because it sports the cool gay parents cache. I mean, if it’s hip enough for them, it’s gotta be trendy enough for me? Verdict: let the cool kids keep drinking the coolaid. There must be better ramen on the Westside.
This is by far the superior bowl between the 2 mentioned here today. The broth was a near equal marriage between porkiness and saltiness, the noodles were available hard, and sizeable portion of char siu comes with the ($14!!) bowl of noodles. The effect of over stewing of the pork (and most probably chicken skin) is obvious — the ramen gently sits underneath a wave of glimmering fat. What do not receive passing grades here are the trimmings. The pork belly used in the char siu is absolutely fatty, but lacked moisture, softness, complexity and flavor of Fujin’s fantastic rendition. Hanjuku, again, tasted merely of boiled eggs, with the yolk lacking any fluidity, with the whites lacking any marinade. At over $20 for a meal of ramen and matcha ($4!!! but necessary to fight the salt), one expects bliss. This is but merely a pummeling of the arteries. Alas, perhaps the JGold approved tsukemen is the only way to go?
However, at 40% higher cost, one should skip Tsujita’s ramen as often as Jinya’s. Eat Tsujita too often, and hypertension will undoubtedly come knocking.
2057 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025