Dec 2012

Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle – West Los Angeles

Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle - West Los Angeles

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.

Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle - West Los Angeles

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.

Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle - West Los Angeles

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 LA Artisan Noodle - West 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.

Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle - West Los Angeles

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
Phone: 310-231-7373

One year ago: Eat My Blog Winter 2011: Sweet Sunny Success!
Two years ago: Sugared Cranberries
Three years ago: Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting
Four years ago: Vanilla Bake Shop – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)
Five years ago: Tastes Like Hanoi
Six years ago: Escarole and Little Meatball Soup

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11 thoughts on “Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle – West Los Angeles

  1. I live in the Fukuoka area (where Hakata is), and I’ve never seen a bowl of Hakata ramen without the 2-3 pork slices on top, so I’d say that’s pretty authentic.
    On a side note, people from around here find the typical ramen types you get in other parts of Japan to be weak and flavorless in comparison, and I can’t say I disagree. You’re lucky to have a good tonkotsu ramen place around!

  2. Having been to Tsujita 4 or 5 times now, I’d really have to say the tsukemen is flat out amazing, every place that serves it elsewhere has come nowhere close to being as good as Tsujita. Also the ramen broth isn’t boiled for 60 hours but rather it’s the tsukemen broth which is boiled down further from the tonkotsu broth.

  3. … I still have yet to try this place, and me and the owner are strangely facebook friends…. gwaaaaaaaaaa! I get shafted everytime by 1+ hour wait (that I don’t have time to sit around for).. soon, soon. Nice write up Cathy.. now I know I need to make plans to make this happen SOON!

  4. I’ve been meaning to try the ramen there!!! Glad to hear it lives up to the hype. Will need to add it to the 2013 list of musts.

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