What do you do in Pasadena when it’s 100 degrees outside? Surely not ramen in an un-air conditioned restaurant. Right? Wrong. You see, sometimes you just need ramen and sometimes that means going to Tamashii for it. Tamashii is a small izakaya-esque spot that has a surprising variety for such a small place, even within the ramen section.
It’s pretty well-known that Little Tokyo is now home to some of the best restaurants in LA. One of these is better-known for their spicy ramen challenge perhaps moreso than how good their ramen actually is. This place is Orochon Ramen, which can be found in one of Little Tokyo’s mini malls and I set out to try their non-crazy-spicy ramen to see how it held up.
The name Bull Demon King isn’t intimidating at all, right? And yet it’s pretty much the most appropriate name for a beef noodle soup spot in Diamond Bar. You see, a buddy of mine from work thought it would be a great idea to check the place out and I thought it was a good idea as well.
One might think that pho would be a little too “wintry” of a food for the springtime. But in Pittsburgh, that is certainly not the case. So when, on a chilly spring evening we were invited to try out a supposedly delicious Vietnamese pho spot in Bloomfield, we couldn’t say no. Called Tram’s Kitchen, the menu featured more than just pho, but we were there for one reason only (okay maybe two if you count spring rolls).
As we began our road trip, we had one rule for meals: No more than $10 per person. It was a relatively simple rule, but still frightening when considering how much that would cost for two people for three meals a day. With this in mind, a buddy of mine recommended Splash Cafe in San Luis Obispo (also known as SLO for the cool kids). He had heard great things about their clam chowder, so I was excited to get clammed up there.
Yakisoba is likely my favorite Japanese food. Yet, yakisoba is rarely every made from real soba, which is a buckwheat noodle. Real soba, though, is highly underrated, typically coming in third when people think of Japanese noodle dishes (ramen and udon first). This is a shame, because soba boasts a truly unique texture and flavor. Fortunately in Torrance (and now in West LA), there is a restaurant dedicated completely to soba called Soba Sojibo.
Down in Gardena and Torrance, it’s hard to turn a corner without spotting a ramen shop. So when my coworkers and I set out for some Hakata Ramen Shinsengumi and found the line to be too long, it wasn’t hard to get our ramen fix elsewhere. That led us to Tampopo in Gardena. Tampopo may have a good amount of ramen on their menu, but they reminded me of an old-fashioned Japanese izakaya moreso than a simple ramen restaurant.
Every time I go shopping at Mitsuwa, a Japanese grocery store in Mar Vista, I can’t help but notice a crazy long line in the adjacent Japanese food court. This line always sprouts from Santouka, a ramen place with roots going back to the real Japan. So, out of curiosity for that crazy line, Joel and I finally decided to give Santouka a go.
Have you ever looked upon a meal and thought it was just too pretty to eat? It happens to the best of us, and to be perfectly frank, a pretty-looking meal is often disguising a lack of flavor or creativity. So when my buddy and I decided to head to Tsujita LA in West LA for lunch, I was a little concerned that their claim of “Artisan Noodles” would make for a pretty meal, but little else. But when we showed up and found an obscenely long line of people waiting to get a taste of the noodles, I thought again.
Recently a little pho place opened down the street from me and called itself Super Pho & Teriyaki. Anything that starts with super must be pretty cool, so I took a stroll down the road with my friend so we could get ourselves a taste. The place is pretty tiny and nondescript, but had enough tables open for us. We ordered at the counter and I decided to get their House Pho. This included meat balls, brisket, tendon and tripe. A few more organs and I would have had enough to build a whole cow from scratch in my stomach.