K-Ramen shines as the Americana’s hidden gem


photo via flickr.com under Creative Commons license

An example of one of the ramen noodle dishes at K-Ramen.

Amidst all the dining options available at the Americana at Brand, none of them seems to have the appeal for Goldilocks: not too “this,” and not too “that,” but just right. Some places are too formal, too stiff to have a casual lunch, and others are the complete opposite.

Enter K-Ramen, a pop-up joint tucked away in Katsuya’s second level. It belongs to the Japanese restaurant as an extension of the brand, but features ramen and burgers as their main offerings, as opposed to Katsuya’s sushi.

It’s easy to miss this little eatery, which can only be accessed by making the hike up a giant, yet narrow spiral staircase tucked inside a corner of the large Japanese establishment. Despite the unwanted workout required to even enter K-Ramen, the dining experience proves to be worth every step.

There’s a mix of booths and picnic tables scattered around the two bar setups and an outdoor patio with a spectacular view of the Americana’s dancing fountain. The ambiance is quiet, with no garish lighting or annoying music to distract from the culinary magnificence.

The food is simple, and yet complicated; who knew that burgers and ramen noodles could be upscale comfort food? The shining stars of the menu include the K-Burger — a half-pound of beef with caramelized onion, American cheese, yellow tomato, a “Chef’s Spicy Creamy Sauce,” and a side of thin cut fries (you can also order tater tots, if that’s what floats your [sushi] boat)  that are so flavorful without ever being salty — and the Shoyu Ramen, made “with chashu chicken & marinated egg in a classic Tokyo-style broth,” according to the restaurant’s menu, available here.

All in all, it was a good experience, with great food and a service to match. However, I do recommend coming in at night to fully enjoy all K-Ramen has to offer, patio views and all.

Address: 702 Americana Way, 2nd Floor, Glendale, CA 91210

Phone: (818) 741-2701

Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.