Santouka has a no-frills vibe: the ramen joint can be found in the food court of a Japanese supermarket chain. Don’t let its casual demeanour fool you, though – this is assuredly not typical food court dining. A mini-chain that began in Japan before branching out stateside, Santouka is famed for its shio broth: perfectly salted and rich, this blend of pork and seafood stock makes an ideal backdrop for springy noodles, slices of pork, and a variety of classic ramen toppings (mushrooms, bamboo, a hard-boiled egg). Those with a fiercer palate may prefer the spicy miso broth, whose vermilion hue hints at its heat (more glowing embers than total explosion, mind). This could very well be the best café in LA for casual, no-fuss Japanese fare, and locals know that the best time to pay this ever-popular stalwart a visit is during off-hours, as the hasty scramble for a seat can otherwise get a bit elbow-y.