Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles | Sawtelle, Los Angeles, CA
There are many reasons to go to Los Angeles. To find water is not one of them, but to find good ramen definitely is.
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They had outdoor heating lamps for diners and people waiting in line. Which were all on. It was like 70 degrees out.[/caption]
My friends dragged me to their favorite local ramen spot — Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles. In fact, this place is so popular that they had to open an annex across the street. Even so, this cash-only restaurant (and its annex) are both popular enough to have a reasonable-sized wait list going. (There’s actually a bar across the street beckoning hungry patrons to have a drink inside while they wait)
Now while this place specializes in Tsukemen Style Ramen (noodles and soup are separate, you dip the noodles in the soup as you eat), we stuck with the good old just-put-everything-in-one-bowl style ramen. I chose to get Char Siu (asian-style bbq pork) Ramen with a side of negi (green onions) and ajitama (soft-boiled egg marinated in a soy-based broth).
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Geh. Hungry again.[/caption]
Now I regret not taking a video of this, but the tonkotsu broth (made from pork bones and some other umami-full ingredients) was so luxuriously thick, it was insane. The menu claims they simmer the broth for 60 hours, which is about 45–50 hours more than most places that I’ve been to. All that collagen in the pork bones was very thoroughly converted into gelatin, creating a thick, rich broth with a deep flavor and a velvety mouthfeel.
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It took several seconds for the thick broth to flow into my spoon. Static photos are notoriously bad at depicting animation and movement, so you’ll have to take my word for it.[/caption]
Now I usually prefer my ramen noodles to be a bit thicker, but the thinner style of noodles were cooked perfectly and broth was able to cling onto all that extra surface area. The char siu pork was flavorful and melted in your mouth.
The ajitama was very well done (and by that I mean under-done, as soft boiled eggs should be) but I feel that it could have benefited with a longer marinade time as the flavor was a bit bland for my taste, but it was by no means flavorless.
I had considered getting a rice bowl as a combo to the ramen, but then I saw that they offered Kaedama for only $1.50. Now Kaedama is basically a refill of noodles to take advantage of the leftover broth. Usually you just get more noodles, but this place also tops off your bowl with more broth…!
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It’s like I got a whole second bowl of ramen for a buck fifty.[/caption]
As far as tonkotsu ramen broth goes, this is hands-down the most rich and flavorful broth I’ve ever had.
What’s not pictured here is me getting rolled out the restaurant because I could no longer walk. Once I finish digesting, I will definitely be back for more.