Ajisen Ramen in San Gabriel

I strayed from my favorite ramen restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley last week and opted for Ajisen Ramen in San Gabriel, a large chain based in Singapore. It’s fast-casual dining with a simple, modern-Asian (not fusion) decor. Some say the restaurant serves the Chinese version of Japanese ramen, but should that be an excuse for mediocre ramen?

When I go for ramen, I look for 3 things: broth, noodles and toppings.

Ajisen’s pork-based broth is flavorful but a bit too oily for my taste. The restaurant also has a miso-based both. The noodles taste processed and too closely resemble instant noodles. The menu has a wide range of options — from vegetable (pictured) to fried chicken to seafood ramen. And you can always add more toppings for an extra cost. My bowl of vegetable ramen was only so-so. The cabbage was soft and a
bit overcooked, the shitake mushrooms were bland and the corn was the
coarse, frozen kind (not even the super sweet white corn!)

Perhaps the restaurant is doing too much. Ajisen’s menu also includes curries, pastas, other rice dishes, lots of appetizers and too many types of ramen.

Next time I want ramen, I’ll stick my stand-by: Shin Sen Gumi in Rosemead. It’s also part of a chain, but most of their locations are in the L.A. area. The restaurant is small, which means you may have to wait longer for a table. The menu has fewer varieties of ramen, although that may be a plus in this case. The main feature — ramen — is solid. Excellent broth. Excellent noodles. And all the toppings you really need.

Ajisen Ramen (two locations)
227 W Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776

Get Directions
(626) 281-8388

9202 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA

(626) 292-3888

8450 E. Valley Blvd. #103, Rosemead, CA 91770
Phone: (626) 572-8646

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