120 + 20 = Tonkotsu Ramen

Culver City's newest noodle joint

An awe-inspiring equation is laid out on the back wall of Culver City's new Ramen Yamadaya.

To produce the restaurant's broth, 120 pounds of pork bones are cooked for 20 hours before their collagen-rich meatiness is surrendered from its calcium cage.

That bowl of tonkotsu broth you'll soon be slurping? That's the equivalent richness of 24 ounces of pork bone.

Curry rice, fried pork or karaage (fried chicken) will likely grace your chopsticks here. However, these are but auxiliary bites: You're here for ramen, for that hard-won pork flavor.

There are various way to gild the brothy building block. A spoonful each of back fat and black-garlic oil? Soy sauce and black-sesame paste? Chile sauce? The delicate touch of nuttiness in that second option, the Tokyo-style shoyu ramen ($8), swayed us, but surely the call of back fat will pull many to the kotteri broth ($8.50).

You can opt to have just a few garnishes resting on the tangle of springy noodles each bowl holds, but we can't think of a good reason not to order the Yamadaya Ramen (pictured; $10). This all-star bowl features both chashu (barbecued pork) slices and a small block of belly, a seasoned egg, menma (fermented bamboo shoots) and sheets of nori, all swimming in your choice of broth.

Ramen Yamadaya, 11172 Washington Blvd., Culver City; 310-815-8776 or ramen-yamadaya.com