There’s a ramen renaissance happening in Los Angeles, and Takehiro Tsujita’s namesake ramenya is at the center of it all. Located in the Little Osaka neighborhood of West Los Angeles, Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle is a branch of Nidaime Tsujita, considered one of Tokyo’s best noodle houses.
It’s absolutely impossible to choose between the restaurant’s two signature offerings, ramen and tsukemen, so come with a fellow noodle lover who’s open to sharing. It’s important to note that both dishes are only served at lunchtime.
The Hakata-style tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen is slowly simmered for 60 hours, which results in a viscous, milky broth that sings the song of swine. While it may have been a touch excessive to layer on a few slices of chashu (braised pork) atop an already porky broth, it was the right thing to do in this situation. A “seasoned boiled egg,” perfectly runny in the center, was also added for good measure.
After slurping my way around town, I’d say that this bowl is the holy grail of ramen in Los Angeles.
Tsujita’s tsukemen was also something special. A bowl of cool, curly noodles arrived at the table bare, save for a sheet of nori (dried seaweed) and a wedge of lime. On the side was a bowl full of intensely savory broth made from bonito, dried sardines, and pork and chicken bones.
To eat, we dipped the noodles into the broth, swirled them around, and delivered them neatly to our lips. We repeated with a dash of black shichimi (Japanese chili powder) and a squeeze of lime until our hearts were content. I can’t imagine a meal at Tsujita without ordering both the ramen and the tsukemen, but if a tough choice had to made, I’d give the former a slight edge.
It’s a very rare case when a highly hyped restaurant is able to meet my expectations completely. All of the great press and buzz that Tsujita has garnered since opening last summer are totally warranted—the noodles here are spectacular.
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle
2057 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025
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