10 Best Eats in Little Osaka: Neighborhood Grub Crawl
|Tsujita L.A.'s ramen|
If a bowl of ramen is your idea of the perfect food, then tsukemen might be the Platonic ideal of it -- that bowl of noodles elevated to a worshipful level. Tsukemen (pronounced "skemen") is dip ramen, in which the noodles are presented in one bowl and the sauce, gloriously condensed, comes alongside it. Imagine deconstructed ramen, taken to extremes of flavor. Because the success of the dish depends on the quality of the components, you don't really want amateurs doing this, and there are none to be found at Tsujita L.A., where the tsukemen is a revelation. You can order other things (ramen, even okonomiyaki), but the lines that trail down the block are, justly, for the tsukemen. 2057 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles; 310-231-7373.
A. Scattergood octopus sushi at Kiriko
Kiriko predated most of the hip noodle bars on Sawtelle, and it will hopefully remain, wedged nonchalantly into the lower floor of a mall, long after they've come or gone or morphed into other things. Ken Namba's sushi restaurant is one of the best in L.A., a small and cheery place where you can wander up to the sushi bar and order abalone or octopus, kohada or mackerel -- or let the chef do it for you. The sushi is insanely fresh and creative, a happy combination of traditional and modern. If omakase isn't your thing (and it should be here), you can dine blissfully on chawanmushi, fried gobo, even teriyaki chicken. Although why you'd order teriyaki when you could sample Namba's cherry wood-smoked salmon and mango is a mystery. 11301 W. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles; 310-478-7769.
11301 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA