Ramen Rollout from Studio City Sushi Star

Ramen Studio City
Sea salt ramen is available with chashu at Maru Katsu. [Joshua Lurie]

Katsu-Ya Group continues rolling out restaurants in the Valley. Maru Katsu Ramen, the latest concept from Chef Katsuya Uechi and crew, is located just across the parking lot from Kiwami—their high-end Studio City sushi bar.

Maru Katsu invites diners to mix-and-match broths and proteins. Depending on how adventurous you choose to get, you get either go with a classic pairing like chashu (pork loin) with miso or shoyu (soy sauce) broth, or a far less typical teaming of soft-shell crab with curry broth. I opted for chashu in a sea salt broth seasoned with dried shrimp and shrimp oil. Lobster, so-ki (pork rib), chicken and vegetables are also in play. Regardless, your bowl comes with scallions, baby corn, bok choy, boiled egg and naruto (fish cake).

Sides include beef gyoza, shrimp shumai, chahan (fried rice) and an array of hand rolls, including spicy tuna and crab, tekka (tuna) and California. After all, this is a Shabu joint.

The space features a plant-lined patio with waves etched on windows, wood-fueled interior and blackboard above an open kitchen starring “ramen guru Mr. Koike,” an Elvis-like eater with sunglasses that’s depicted powering though a stack of bowls. My server assured me there is no Mr. Koike, just Katsu—the establishment’s true patron saint.

11928 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 747-203-1192