Koraku Japanese Restaurant 314 East 2nd Street


Koraku Japanese Restaurant was opened in 1976 as the first authentic Japanese ramen restaurant in the United States. In 1986, it's present owner Mr. Yamauchi purchased the establishment with a friend. Mr. Yamauchi came to the United States in 1976 to study English and came to own Koraku through a series of chance events. During its early years the restaurant catered mostly to Japanese customers, but its reputation has grown and its popularity has expanded outside of just the Japanese-American community. Koraku's menu provides an eclectic variety of both Chinese and Japanese entrees, while its ramen dishes remain its claim to fame. The restaurant is open until 3:00 AM, so it is a great spot for late night dining and was recognized by Los Angeles Downtown News as the best place for an after midnight snack. Koraku provides a casual, friendly environment to enjoy good food and company in the heart of Little Tokyo.

Slides in this album 

Koraku Japanese Restaurant on 2nd Street

Koraku is a Japanese restaurant owned by Hiroshi Yamauchi.  Mr. Yamauchi is a first generation Japanese immigrant who came to the United States in 1976 to study English.  In 1986, he and a friend were finally able to open their own restaurant, Koraku, on 2nd Street in Little Tokyo.  Serving …

Streetview of Koraku
Contributed by: adlarose

Front Half of Koraku Restaurant

In Japanese, the word "kouraku" means "outing" or "pleasure trip".  Just as the meaning of its name suggests, the laid-back atmosphere of Koraku allows its customers to feel comfortable and at home as they enjoy their meal.  People are welcome to sit at the red vinyl booths and tables at the …

Interior of Koraku Restaurant
Contributed by: adlarose

Koraku's Main Dining Room

Koraku's main dining room accommodates a number of diners at booth style tables, which allow people to relax and enjoy outstanding ramen dishes. 

Koraku Restaurant's Dining Room
Contributed by: adlarose

Kouraku's Menu

Koraku’s menu includes a variety of ramen dishes as well as other Japanese and Chinese entrees, which are reasonably priced and appeal to a variety of palates. Mr. Yamauchi hopes that word will spread regarding Koraku's great food and that more people will continue to become regulars. 

Koraku Restaurant's Menu
Contributed by: adlarose

Koraku's Beverage Offerings

Koraku serves a variety of beverages including Japanese beers. Kirin Ichiban is one of the Japanese beers which complement the cuisine well. This poster is also one of many hanging in the restaurant that advertise Japanese products. Diners at Koraku enjoy a truly authentic Japanese experience from start to finish. 

Kirin Ichiban Poster
Contributed by: adlarose

Koraku's Specials

This white board hanging in the middle of the dining room at Koraku lists the current specials available to diners. 

Koraku's Specials
Contributed by: adlarose

Koraku's Chefs at Work

Although Koraku has been in business since 1986, Mr. Yamauchi and his chefs continually make adjustments and changes to the recipes to produce even better tasting food. The open kitchen allows diners to watch the chefs prepare their meals and gain an appreciation for Koraku's ramen. 

Koraku's Chefs
Contributed by: adlarose

Koraku's Chashu Ramen Dish

A realistic example of Koraku's chashu ramen dish is displayed in the glass showcase outside of the restaurant.  Though it's name is clearly Japanese, Mr. Yamauchi defines Koraku as a Japanese-Chinese restaurant because of dishes like this one that contain Chinese influences.

Picture of Koraku's Chashu Ramen Dish
Contributed by: adlarose

Koraku's Mabodon Dish

Mabodon includes ground pork, tofu and green onions over steamed rice with a spicy sauce. This is one of the many dishes on display outside the restaurant to encourage people to dine at Koraku. 

Koraku's Mabodon
Contributed by: adlarose

2005's "Best After Midnight Snack" Restaurant

In 2005, Koraku's tasty dishes were recognized by the Los Angeles Downtown News when the restaurant received the Best After Midnight Snack Award. Mr. Yamauchi keeps his restaurant open until 3:00 am for those customers looking for a satisfying late-night meal. He takes particular pride in both …

2005 "Best After Midnight Snack" Award
Contributed by: adlarose

Sidewalk View of Koraku

Since 1976, Koraku has been serving ramen to the residents of Little Tokyo and its tourists.  Today, Mr. Yamauchi's restaurant continues to live up to it's name.  A local favorite where people can relax from the stresses of daily life and enjoy a delicious meal, Koraku is …

Sidewalk View of Koraku Restaurant
Contributed by: adlarose

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adlarose — Last modified Jun 28 2021 1:49 a.m.

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