So I noticed when I was driving near the Japantown area in West Los Angeles doing whatever it is that I do, one of our favorite places to get ramen, Dosanko, had disappeared with a new place already in its spot. I looked it up and I found that they’re in their grand opening phase of business and their signature items were being sold for 50% off. Well, I grabbed my lady and dragged her out to try Mogu Mogu! If you’re interested, mogu mogu is Japanese onomatopoeia that sounds like chewing.
So for starters, what is Mazemen? Ramen, hold the soup. Maze (まぜ) is translated by Google as meaning “mixed”. Men(麵) is noodles. So just a guess, noodles that you mix together?
Standard practice for us when we visit a new restaurant is to order two different items so that we can try each others food. We both opted for types of mazemen as this form of cuisine is new to us. She ordered the deluxe, I went for the cheese.
The server was very helpful in explaining the process of eating mazemen. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a sucker for foods that have some form of procedure. For example, in soba shops in Japan they will reserve the water the soba was boiled in and at the end of your meal, mix it with your soba dipping sauce giving you a nice soup to end your meal. So here’s what I got:
The first step, as they list it, is to take a picture and post it on social media. I’m pretty sure it’s an optional step, but maybe not so much these days… The second step is to mix it up for 30 seconds, resulting in:
Then I plowed through about half of it to get to the next step. The noodles were chewy. The flavors were nice! I’m enjoying the combination of all the toppings. The third step is to add their umami vinegar and mix that into what you have left to change the flavor. I’m a huge vinegar fan, so I was done to do this. And yes, it kind of turned my noodles into a different, but pleasant experience!
The final step is that they’ll give you a very small amount of rice to toss into the bowl to soak up whatever soup is left in there. It’s a practice that brought me back to when I was in Italy and they were telling me to sop up whatever sauce was left on my plate with bread.
Even with the small amount of rice, I found I hadn’t left enough sauce to soak the rice. But that’s really a me problem. Chalk that up to inexperience.
Overall, the food was tasted good. The service was quick and helpful. They did run us through the mazemen tutorial so if you’re not into reading the wall, don’t fret. The rpice without the grand opening promotion will be pretty standard for ramen, going around $10 for one of the standard options. I’d note they also have soup ramen as well and a variety of appetizers.
There’s a small amount of parking in an attached lot, and some metered street parking on Olympic. It’s far enough away from Japantown that I don’t think you’ll encounter the same parking nightmare when you come here. There are three tables for groups of 4 and six smaller ones for pairs. I didn’t visit the bathroom here, but if I know they have one from when it was Dosanko and Ramenya. Two screens were showing anime at the time I visited (just before noon). So if you’re a solo eater or you’re just not that into whoever you’re eating with, they got you covered.
I’ll be back, I’m looking forward to my next trip!
Mogu Mogu Ramen is located at 11555 W Olympic Blvd in Los Angeles. The cross street is Colby. They’re open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30am until 3pm, then again from 5pm until 10pm. You can check them out at https://mogumoguus.com/