Dosanko Larmen opened its first ramen house in Japan in 1967. It quickly spread into over 500 franchises all over the country. A few years ago the original owner opened a Dosanko Larmen on Olympic just west of Sawtelle Japantown. The service is beyond friendly. You are greeted with big smiles, and sometimes offered little treats on the house. By the time you leave, you feel like a member of the family.
The restaurant specializes in white miso ramen and red miso ramen. Both come with braised chashu, ground pork, cabbage, half of a boiled egg, and bamboo shoots. The red miso, which also comes in a spicy version, is dotted with black sesame seeds. If you feel like half of an egg is chintzy, you can add one for a dollar, along with an assortment of additional toppings. There are a number of other ramens on the menu, like shio butter ramen, mabo tofu ramen, and vegetables tan men.
Fans of the meatier tonkatsu ramen served at places like Daikokuya might find the miso ramens less exciting, but I appreciate the subtlety. The noodles are springy and toothsome. And it all comes together in big, cozy bowls of comfort. There is a special where you can get a ramen with a side like fried rice, gyoza or a stir-fry plus a soda for around $12.