Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle Annex, Japanese Ramen, Los Angeles, CA 90025
2050 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
11am-12am (11:30 PM Last Order) 7 days a week
It has been years since I have eaten on Japanese food on Sawtelle, and it sure has changed a whole lot. Kelly and I wanted to have something special for our wedding anniversary, so we wanted to try something great, and I kept reading reviews of Tsujita and especially of it's annex.
When you get there, neither will be hard to find as there are huge lines for both and they are across the street from each other. At the annex, it is in a little parking lot where they have setup chairs to wait. There are no reservations, no takeout and it is cash only. You put your name on a list, an they wait a while, then when they are getting ready they come over to you and take your order, then you wait some more and get brought in. We waited for a little over an hour, and people just kept coming, but some people do leave, so sometimes you will move up the list quickly!
The inside is quite small, though not packed, with a sushi style bar with the chefs behind it, and a couple of tables (which we sat at) and traditional Japanese music playing.
Kelly and I both wanted to try the Tsukemen, which is Ramen with the noodles cooked, but seperate for dipping into your bowl of delicious pork bone broth. We both got Tsukemen with Char siu (pork) though I got a large. You get the same sized boll with broth, which comes with garlic and Onikasu (red Spice, though you can get it without, and there is ample more at the table) and a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg. In the broth is some pork that is melty delicious, and some more cold pork in with the noodles that you put in the broth to heat up.
I was so excited to eat that I was late taking a picture, so this from their menu, and then after I had eaten quit a bit.
Prepare to get messy, as you could use a big with all the dipping and slurping, of which there will be a lot. The broth is fatty and salty and vinegary and delicious, and the Onikasu is not too spicy at all but perfect.
This will make you realize what is so special about Ramen. It is so damn good! Just incredible! This is absolutely amazing food!
Honestly my only complaint is it is a bit too salty for my pallet, but then post my heart surgery I really stay away from salt even more that I used to, and is so good it is worth the extra salt to try this delicious dish!
Man this place is good!
Katsu Japanese Cutlet, Korean, Japanese Cutlet, Northridge, CA
Northridge, CA 91324
10 AM till 9 PM
First off, how could I have lived in the valley for 5 years and not know that the Galleria Market on Reseda is an amazing and huge Korean Grocery store? And that it has a pretty impressive food court, with 3 Korean restaurants, this Katsu place and a Sushi place, and filled with Koreans (think I was the only white person there). I will be going back and trying the Korean places, but loving Chicken Katsu Curry form the curry house I had to see if there was something like it closer than downtown LA.
And there is, though not quite up to par with Curry House, though I love the sides, but great for so close to my house.
As you can see the Kastu plate is huge for under $10, with a delicious cabbage salad, 2 pickled veggies, rice, Miso soup and the curry sauce. And the chicken is white meat, with a good breading (though dark meat always gives a little more flavor. My biggest complaint was the curry sauce, which while good, was just not strong enough, and with zero spice. Next time I might need to bring some hot oil to put in to kick the flavor up, and give me my spice level I like (and yes I will go back).
Quite good and tasty, though yes I could use a little stronger curry sauce.
Can't wait to get back to the Galleria food court and try some more food!
Asahi Sushi, Sushi, Granada Hills, CA
Pretty darn good Sushi in the valley. Sure it is not Sushi Ike that i had near me in Hollywood, but fairly reasonably priced and good service. The only complaint is the place gets pretty packed, and you might wait for a table, but the service is pretty fast, especially at the Sushi bar. And the best part both times i have been there has been great Albacore. Exceptional in fact.
Overall there is a decent variety of good sushi, and a huge amount of strange and different rolls. Lots of quirky rolls. My favorites are the Balboa Roll with spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, avocado cucumber w/seared albacore and fried onion (more like thin panko onion strips).
There are other rolls I would like to try, though too many have spicy tuna or albacore, and I tend to shy away from that as I think the spicy wipes out the fish flavor completely!
They also have tons of bento boxes and the like that lots of people get and I would like to try sometime, though I don't know if I will be able to stay away from the sushi.
I signed up on their web site and go ta $5 coupon for my 2nd visit, and enjoyed it immensely the second time as well.
Well worth checking out.
Tapas and Wine Bar C, Japanese Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA
Tapas and Wine Bar C
428 East 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: 6:00 PM-2:00AM
A little place that I never would have heard of, but would certainly have been interested in seeing at least once, but luckily two of my friends took me there one night. This strange little wine bar is located on the southeast of 2nd, in a little mall with parking, though it will likely be full up, but there are various places to park in Little Tokyo.
Now for what makes this place special. It does have food, though we didn't try it, but it is mostly a wine bar (though they have mixed drinks and beer) with a huge selection, including most that can be had by the glass, but what makes it really special, is that the Japanese waitresses all dress in French Maid outfits. Yes you heard that right, FRENCH MAID OUTFITS!
Yes this place is nuts. I have read about places like this in Japan, but honestly never thought I would see one, or go in, and never expected to see one in downtown Los Angeles. Of course I also saw a brand new Jaguar with the license plate Gundam X, so Little Toktyo is a little different!
Some waitresses were very Japanese, and were not very chatty with 2 white guys with a Chinese guy, but there was one who had obviously grown up in the US, and knew how to flirt. And that has got to be why people come here.
Of course the wine list is amazing, and as I said most can be had by the glass, though even a low end wine is about $20 a glass, so don't expect a huge deal, but you can try some really good wine that would cost more than that for a bottle. And the wine I had, a glass of pinot noir was amazing.
This place is certainly worth seeing once, but expect to drop a mint, and there might be flirting, but I am sure there will not be anything more! Ha!
This place is a major trip!
Orochon Raman, Japanese Noodles, Little Tokyo, CA
123 S Onizuka St, 3rd floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Mon-Sun: 11:30AM-10:15PM (though there was a wait, and we didn't get seated until about then)
I can't believe I had not heard of this place before, especially since it is on the floor above the Curry House in Little Tokyo (and so it has the same parking underneath with validation). I didn't hear about this place until it was on MAN VS. FOOD, where I learned of the spiciest Ramen in Los Angeles, and I had to go. Then my friends took me out to Little Tokyo, and since every place was packed we decided to go to Orochon since I wanted to go, and one of my friends wanted the spicy ramen (my other friend wanted another ramen place he thinks is better, and I must try).
Orochon has pork Ramen in different levels of spiciness. Their are the 7 normal levels, 7 being the least spicy, and 1 the most, except the 2 specials, Special 1 and the hottest Special 2 which has a contest if you can eat it and finish in 30 minute you get a photo taken and are put on the wall.
I love spicy, but I decided I wanted to enjoy my meal so I got the number 1. The number 1 was tasty and delicious, thought not as spicy as I thought it would be, in fact I could have taken more. It did taste pretty damn good, though not as amazingly tasty as say Noodle City's Pho, which isn't even spicy, but has such layers of spice. This was good, but not as amazing as I expected actually. Worth trying, but not something I would necessarily eat every day.
Still have to take Kelly here some time so she can try it. She could do number 1 so easily she would be amazed!
Certainly worth checking out, maybe even a must try, but I still am on the lookout for tastier Ramen.
LightHouse Royal Seafood Buffet, Japanese All You Can Eat, Santa Monica, CA
201 Arizone Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Listed as a top 5 buffets by the Food Network, this place is pretty decent, but the food is of course buffet quality, but pretty damn decent for $11.95 lunch and $20.95 per person dinner. It is located one block away from the promenade, and remember not to fill up on too many drinks, which they will refill quickly to try to fill you up. A decent meal that will fill you, but of course nothing amazing.
The best thing is the sushi with salmon, yellowtail, red snapper, scallops, squid, salmon roe, sea urchin, cooked shrimp, octopus, fresh water eel and vegetarian sushi. They also have various cooked seafood, as well as chicken terriyaki and other asian dishes, and some delicious fresh fruit,
The service is fast (you serve yourself, and they try to fill you on drinks) and the food is decent, so it is worth it if you are hungry.
Atch Kotch Japanese Ramen Restaurant, Hollywood, California
1253 Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90038-1662
A little Japanese Restaurant in a strip mall in Hollywood. A place for Ramen, though I haven't tried their Ramen yet, just their Bento box which was excellent and inexpensive.
Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Hollywood, California
1545 North Vine St.
Hollywood, CA 90028
As a chain I didn't think this place would be that good, but I was wrong. The Sushi is actually really decent, and even better half price (the joy of bulk buying for a chain) and all tasted very good. My only complaint was the Chicken Terriyaki was not nearly as good as what I make, but the rest of the food was quite good, and $70 for 2 people including booze is pretty inexpensive.
I also went to one in Burbank with some co-workers and was equally impressed by the quality of the Sushi. This is a fairly quality establishment. Not the best Sushi you can buy, but certainly worth the price. Well worth checking out.
The Curry House, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California
123 S. Onizuka St. #204
Los Angeles, CA 90012
If you love Japanese Curry, or Curry at all you have to check this place out. This has been one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles for many many years. My friend Ashanti brought me here while I was going to USC, and I have been going ever since. The place is almost always packed, and the food is always good (if a little fattening).
Park in the structure on Second Street, and get it validated so you don't have to pay for parking, and then either go up the stairs to the second floor, or take one of the elevators. The service is great, always quickly refilling your ice tea, whatever you are drinking, unless they are really busy. I always hear that they rush people out, but I have never had that problem, maybe because I have been going for ages now.
Now I always get the same thing, Chicken Katsu Curry Extra hot with Rice, a Miso Soup and an ice tea (unless it is there really late, then it is water or lemonade). And make sure you put some hot oil on the curry, as it doesn't quite make it spicy, but it does add to the flavor for sure. And it includes a little side salad, though I liked the old french dressing that they used instead of the new Asian dressing. Still good, but not as good. Sure the deep fried Chicken cannot be too good for you, but damn if it isn't tasty. The Miso Soup is very tasty, though they have replaced the seaweed with spinach which is healthy, but not quite as tasty as the seaweed in the miso. Still good though.
The Chicken Katsu Curry.
The Miso Soup.
This is one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles.
I have only been to one of the other versions, and while it was good, it was not as good, the Little Tokyo Branch is the best of the best!
I was turned onto this place by my friend Ashanti Luke, and also used to go with my former old friend Maggie Lee. I have been going to this place since probably 1993 or 1994.
Still love the Curry House, though don't get to go very often. I do go every year on my birthday though! And they have changed it up and their spicy has gotten much spicier and extra hot is in fact very hot and costs ¢25 extra, but is very worth it!