Archive for the ‘Ramen’ Category

Tatsu Ramen, Los Angeles

Greeted by 3 ipads on the wall at the entrance of the ramen joint that opened 23 May by Ryu Isobe, a recent USC graduate, who walks around the restaurant and chat with customers. On the walls of the restaurant, there was a photo of him and a short paragraph that gives a brief introduction about his life. From what I could remember, Tokyo, Japan, son of actor, Hiroshi Isobe, Hawaii, USC, best entrepreneur program in Los Angeles, wanted ramen in US to be like that of Tokyo, learned from pro Jap chefs, Tatsu = Dragon. Pretty sure I missed some stuff but I think I got most of the main parts.

Tatsu Ramen, Los Angeles

Naked Ramen and Tonkotsu Ramen

Anyway, the concept was pretty interesting with the ipads on the wall and ordering and payment was done right at the ipads. The app was clean with a white background and nice pictures. The ramen was fully customizable with only 2 types of ramen, tonkotsu ramen and naked ramen. Customization includes amount of garlic, green onions, spiciness, pork or chicken or tofu and egg (sweet corn, seaweed and garlic cloves are free). Apparently they have “holy water” for free too LOL. The ramen was kinda too oily for my liking but I have heard many mixed reviews from friends that visited. Suggestions to maybe include the amount of oil in ramen and strength of soup base like that of Shin Sen Gumi would be good. Other than that props for opening till the latest on Sawtelle.

Tatsu Ramen
2123 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 684-2889
Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed, Sun 11 am – 12 am
Thu-Sat 11 am – 3 am


Johnson House Boo Dae Jji Gae, Los Angeles

Johnson House Boo Dae Jji Gae, Los Angeles

Boo Dae Jji Gae

Special Hot & Spicy Assorted Soup Restaurant located in the Boiling Crab plaza in Ktown. They used to only have a korean menu but they also included an english menu. The staff don’t quite understand english though. Valet parking is available in the plaza for 2 bucks and they are open till 5am daily!

Anyway I was looking up Boo Dae Jji Gae and found out that it originated from a city called Uijeongbu in Seoul after Korean war. It is also commonly known as Johnson Tang. Apparently, Johnson being a common American last name and Tang meaning soup. People made use of remain food like spam and hot dogs from US Army and added it into their traditional spicy soup with gochujang and kimchi. Over the years, the recipe was modernized to include ramen, American cheese, ground beef, bacon, green onions, sliced sausages and mushrooms like the Boo Dae Jji Gae available at Johnson House.

Johnson House Boo Dae Jji Gae
3377 Wilshire Blvd
Ste 100
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Neighborhood: Koreatown
Tel: (213) 389-9946
Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun 11 am – 5 am

Categories: Asian, Korean, Los Angeles, Ramen

Tsujita L.A., Los Angeles

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

At a corner in sawtelle, there was this ramen shop, a branch of Nidaime Tsujita, that was renovating for a couple of months before finally opening in September 2011. They already had multiple locations in Japan and was breaking into the US market. However, they didn’t start serving ramen for lunch till late October 2011. I remembered reading somewhere that the owner Takehiro Tsujita didn’t want to serve ramen till his staff mastered the skill. I have walked past the restaurant countless times and never had a chance to try the ramen there as it gets really busy during lunch. So one fine friday afternoon, me, A and B decided to take a trip to Tsujita L.A. for ramen. We had conversations from last quarter that we should find a day and grab ramen together somewhere since A was a huge ramen fan.

Tsujita LA
Char-Siu Tsukemen
Tsukemen topped with slices of roasted pork

From what I read, tsukemen, means dipping noodles. Noodles are served cold with dipping soup and toppings on the side. According to the menu, the tonkotsu soup is simmer for 60 hours and seafood is added for sweetness and thick tastiness. There was even an instruction on how to eat it. You are supposed to eat the first one third of the noodles with the dipping broth, the next one third with the black shichimi (black seven flavor chili pepper) and finally with a squeeze of lime with the remaining one third. The waitress will then add hot water into the dipping sauce to make it like a soup. The Char-Siu Tsukemen was really good and totally worth a try. Soup was thicker than regular ramen soup and the noodles also tasted chewier than regular ramen. Its also not the usual ramen where the noodles is served with the soup. A ordered a Tsukemen and B had a Char-Siu Ramen. Will definitely come back another day to try the Char-Siu Ramen which looked really yummy as well. On a side note, ramen is served exclusively during lunch hours.

Tsujita LA / Artisan Noodle
2057 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: (310) 231-7373
Opening Hours:
6:00pm – 12:00pm
Reservation For Dinner.
11:00am – 3:30pm
Artisan Noodle Open 7Days

Categories: Los Angeles, Ramen

Shin-Sen-Gumi, Los Angeles

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

You know how sometimes, you wish you could customize your ramen a little more than just the ho hum requests like, “no spring onion“, or “add a flavoured egg“, or “additional chasu“? Ok, so maybe you are not as fastidious as I am when it comes to eating, but never underestimate the power of choices! The concept at Shin-Sen-Gumi Little Tokyo fits finicky eaters like myself, and the health conscious like T, to a t! Over there, you get to tailor the ramen to your liking, and the choices go down to the smallest details, like firmness of noodles, strength of soup base and even the amount of oil. You order by filling up this matrix of choices that would overwhelm you at the onset, but once you got used to it, it’s a breeze. Just tick the choices of what you want and don’t want, and you’re good to go.

Shin-Sen-Gumi, Los Angeles

We ordered the half bowl, because we don’t eat that much, and added all the usual stuff like egg and bamboo. For mine, it’s sans the ginger, for sure. Oh and we had our noodles hard, with light amount of oil and strong soup base. We were lucky to get seats by the counter, where you can could watch the chefs whip up a storm, effortlessly. There is a guy who prepares the ramen with the soup and toppings, and I reckon his job is the toughest, because every order is unique. He has to dilute the soup, use different amounts of oil, cook the noodles to the various desired hardness.. it really takes some coordination man. And sitting there watching him do it, order after order, in seamless perfection, it is impressive. I wish I had his brain power. Heh.

Shin-Sen-Gumi, Los Angeles

We went to Shin-Sen-Gumi at Little Tokyo, the latest branch that just opened its doors in Sept 2011, and they specialise in Hakata ramen, the same type as Ippudo. The Hakata ramen broth is white and creamy, and Shin-Sen-Gumi uses top grade Berkshire pork and filtered water, simmered over 15 hours to make its delicious tonkotsu soup. The Japanese really do have lots of patience and tenacity, which undoubtedly translates into perfection. That’s what you get at Shin-Sen-Gumi; a perfectly assembled ramen, just for you, with great service to boot. The best part is, you don’t have to wait over an hour like at Daikokuya for great ramen. Sweet.

Hakata Ramen – Little Tokyo
132 S. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 687-7108
Fax: (213) 687-8572
Restaurant Hours: Open 7 Days 11am – midnight


September 19, 2011 Leave a comment

When Ippudo just opened in Singapore, the queue would snake all the way to Lawry’s, and the wait came to an average of 40 minutes? So after less than 2 years of its opening at Mandarin Gallery, you would expect the hype to have died down. Well it did; by just a wee bit. Think the wait is now an average of 30 minutes? Hah, it’s still darn popular, and even expanded to UE Square. That probably explains the shorter waiting time… because there is another branch to share the demand. Being a fervent fan of ramen, Ippudo was a must-try for me. I still prefer Santouka over Ippudo, but Ippudo has its strengths in its noodles and broth; springy noodles and the broth is just right, not too salty nor too bland. Of course, you can choose the level of “springy-ness“, but I prefer them noodles springy.

The Ippudo ramen traces its roots to Fukuoka, Kyushu, where it distinguishes itself with a rich, milky tonkotsu broth. And if you think that Ippudo is big here in Singapore, think again! Last winter, when I was in NYC, T and I realised that Ippudo is massive there. We stayed in an apartment at East Village, and Ippudo was just round the block from where we lived. But never once did we succeed in eating there, because the queue was crazy long, and the wait, as advised by the Ippudo staff, could take up to 2 hours! Given the fact that there was a whole load of other restaurants to try in NYC, and the possibility of trying it in Singapore, we naturally opted out each time we tried our luck (or lack of) at Ippudo NYC.

Ippudo SG

Shiromaru Kakuni – simmered tender pork cubes

Ippudo SG

Kyushu Miso Tonkotsu

Ippudo SG

Dashimaki Tamago

My palate is highly sodium-biased (read: love salty stuff!), so I always order the miso variation of the broth whenever I have ramen. But some ramen, like those served at Miharu @ Gallery Hotel, pack so much salt in the broth that a pint of beer doesn’t do much in washing the “jialat-ness” down. So I thought Ippudo’s one was just right, as mentioned earlier. And the tamago was perfect too! We both love tamago, and the tamago at Ippudo was really good.. fluffy and light. Ippudo apparently means “one wind hall” in Japanese. Not sure about how that name came about (sketchy details can be found if you wiki it), but it sure blows some of the competitors away yo.

Ippudo @ Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road, #04-02/03/04, Singapore 238867
Opening Hours:
Mon – Sat 11am – 11pm (Last order at 10pm)
Sun 11am – 10pm (Last order at 9pm)
Tel: +65 6235 2797

Ippudo Tao @ UE Square
207 River Valley Road, #01-55/56, UE Square, Singapore 238275
Opening Hours:
Mon – Thu 11.30am – 3pm (Last order at 2.30pm), 5.30pm – midnight (Last order at 11pm)
Fri – Sat 11.30am – 3pm (Last order at 2.30pm), 5.30pm – 2am (Last order at 1am)
Sun 11.30am – 11pm (Last order 10pm)
Tel: +65 6887 5315