Jun 2013

Marugame Monzo – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Marugame Monzo - Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

I fell hard and fast for Marugame Monzo’s made-from-scratch udon noodles. As a testament to my infatuation, I haven’t dined on sushi or ramen while visiting Little Tokyo since the shop opened a few months back. It’s been pure, unadulterated affection for these chubby darlings from the start.

Marugame Monzo - Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

According to a write up by Miles Clements on the subject, the man behind the magnificent noodles is the restaurant’s general manager Kenji Tateishi. Marugame Monzo is his first stateside restaurant after training in Japan.

Marugame Monzo - Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

The process of transforming a hunk of tough dough into slurp-able strands is simply mesmerizing. The glass-encased workshop guarantees that nearly every seat in the house has a stellar view of the magic in progress from start to finish.

I was seated near the front door on my first visit and at the bar on my second. The latter’s so-close-I-can-almost-taste-it access was much preferred.

Marugame Monzo - Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

On visit number one, my date Stassi selected the Shrimp Tempura Udon ($11.95). The hot broth diminished the noodles’ texture just a touch, but the overall package was pure comfort.

Marugame Monzo - Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

The shrimp tempura were served on the side for maximum crunch.

Marugame Monzo - Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

I selected the Zaru Udon ($6.95), which to date is my favorite of Marugame Monzo’s selections. Served chilled on a bamboo mat, the noodles had the most wonderfully satisfying bite.

Marugame Monzo - Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

After dressing up the equally chilled broth served on the side with grated ginger and daikon, scallions, and a few panko crumbles, I dipped and slurped until all the noodles were gone. Mmm, good!

Marugame Monzo - Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

On my second visit to the restaurant a few weeks later, I sampled the Sea Urchin Cream Udon ($15.95). Rich and luscious with a touch of garlic and brine, these noodles stuck to my gut in the best way.

Marugame Monzo - Little Tokyo - Los Angeles

The Astronomer also quite liked his Duck Nanban Udon ($12.95), which had the same mellow broth as the shrimp tempura udon. The slices of duck were fine, but I’d choose the crispy shrimp every time.

Get your udon on.

Marugame Monzo
329 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: 213-346-9762

There’s more to eat in Downtown, Los Angeles on Gastronomy:

Previous Post
Next Post

4 thoughts on “Marugame Monzo – Los Angeles (Downtown)

  1. Oh, yum! Really good udon is hard to find, so I’m very eager to give this place a go. I’m going to have trouble choosing from all of those, though I suppose the weather will definitely dictate my ultimate pick 😉

  2. Yay for oodles of udon noodles! Okay, not that I got THAT out of my system, I need to get those into my system. 😉 Yum!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *