The first few times I tried to eat at Tsujita on Sawtelle, a branch of Nidaime Tsujita, considered one of the best in Tokyo they stopped serving ramen, by the time I arrived. They only serve ramen and tsukemen at lunch and what my kids want and love is this ramen! The revelation at Tsujita, what separates it from every other Japanese restaurant in town, is the lunchtime ramen — specify hard-cooked — that float in soup made from chicken, fish and long-boiled kurobuta bones. The gossamer noodles act more as texture than as substance; they add little weight to the broth. Or better yet, get the tsukemen: thicker, burlier, more slippery noodles, pure chew, with the tensile strength of hand-pulled Lanzhou mian; with syrup-dense dipping sauce porkier than pork itself. Be prepared to wait a while in line but Sawtelle has so many cute shops that you can walk in and out of while you wait, the kids won’t complain.
TSUJITA L.A. | 2057 Sawtelle Blvd, W.L.A. | (310) 231-7373 | tsujita-la.com | Lunch daily, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; dinner Wed.-Mon, 5 p.m.-mid. (Last orders taken 30 minutes before closing time.) |