2pm. That’s about the perfect time, for those who hate waiting, to arrive at Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles Annex. This was of course an additional restaurant to the one across the street. However, at this time, the original location incurred a lower health score, so I decided to try the annexed location. There was a small line at 1:30pm which cleared up after I finished lunch. And by cleared up, I meant no lines, and several open tables.
Inside, the majority of the place is dedicated to the ramen bar that surrounds the noodle chef with some individual tables off to the front of the store. At the bar, you can watch the masters in action and see how those heaping bowls of ramen are prepared. They are quite the sight – very Instagram worthy. I wish I had ordered one, but the day was a little too warm. So the final choice was the tsukemen, dipping ramen, with an additional small rice bowl. Yeah, I was very hungry. Sitting at the bar, watching things get prepared and carted off was brutal. Though, the wait wasn’t too long. That’s because when you’re the next party to come in, they will take your order outside. By the time you’re seated, all you’re doing is getting a nice cold beverage to cool you off from that LA heat.
Man I love ramen places that are this efficient.
2050 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
+1 (310) 231-0222
Verdict: Want honest to goodness noodles, then get yourself here.
Let me start off by saying, I hate bean sprouts. It's that texture combined with that empty taste that makes me steer clear of it. However, in this bowl, this huge bowl, of tsukemen dipping broth the bean sprouts go wonderfully with the noodles. The hearty broth along with that spoonful of spicy goodness puts this into a league of its own. Sure, you can fall in love with the sheer size and ingredients of this bowl with the thick cuts of char siu and perfectly soft boiled egg, but once you have it, you'll get why people line up here.
$11.95 USD (regular)
Here's the ramen noodles. They are the thick variety and cooked to a chewiness you'll love. For a regular helping, it's as much as your dipping broth. So if you're super hungry, you can venture for the large portion. Otherwise, the regular will do fine.
Nobody warned me about the size of the tsukemen so I added a salmon and salmon egg rice bowl to my meal. It was discounted when paired up with a ramen order. But you know what? I was able to finish it because damn, it was good. Fresh fish, both cooked and uncooked, along with those salty fish eggs... boom. A perfect lunch.
$4.99 (add on)
Not to be mistakened for their other location right across the street. The Annex can be easily spotted via the ineffective camouflage. :P