First came Tsujita Artisan Noodle, then three more restaurants all on a one block stretch of Sawtelle in Japantown
Takehiro Tsujita is da man/owner/chef, and Tsujita’san dominates Sawtelle with his killer noodles from ramen, tantanmen, tsukemen, to even sushi. That should be no surprise because the man is straight outta Tokyo where he lives, owns, and operates a number of successful ramen restaurants in and around Asia.
One time I was here with either a girlfriend at the time, friends, or possibly visitors from out of town that left a memorable experience. Not a memory created by the girlfriend or the friends, but by Tsujita (looks like my friends need to step it up).
Shortly after ordering, we had been asked by the staff if we could move on over to another table because they needed to make room for a larger group.
While transitioning on over to the other table, our order had come out, but the food had sat out on the table. It had sat for barely a minute and before we could start eating, the chef took back our entire order to the kitchen to have it redone.
I thought that was an over the top move since tsukemen is not served piping hot, but I had appreciated the attention they placed on their product. Now, if only the ex and my friends would step it up to leave memorable lunch experiences (I joke, well slightly joke).
On Sawtelle in Japantown, Tsujita owns and operates:
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles
I’m sure this was the second spot they opened, but they serve up a “Jiro style” tonkotsu shoyu (pork and soy sauce base) ramen w/cabbage (kyabetsu), and bean sprouts (moyashi). I personally like to go hard with the garlic (ninniku).
2050 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
11AM-12AM (last order 11:30pm)
Order online for pickup
I would have to say Tsujita’s abilities and capabilities are not limited to ramen because their edomae sushi holds their own (if not one of the best in LA).
2006 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
Tantanmen a spicy ramen based on dan dan mian (what isn’t rooted in Chinese food) and the only spot I unfortunately have not tried yet.
2030 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
11AM-11PM (last order 10:30pm)
Order online for pickup
To Glendale and Beyond
Good to see that they have extended their reach beyond Sawtelle, but I can’t believe their Honolulu location failed and closed.
The Americana at Brand
889 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210
Daily 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Order for delivery or online
Order through: postmates.com
Tsujita & Co. Noodle Production
109 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Order online for pickup or delivery (caviar)
In 2017, the late LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold ranked Tsujita 91 out of 101 on his Best Restaurants list.
Tsujita Artisan Noodle
I’d say I would do the tsukemen 4 out of 5 times when I’m on Sawtelle.
I love the tsukemen that much, I pursued learning how to make it for almost a year and a half till I felt confident enough to do my own tsukemen pop-ups (www.taniguchiramen.com)
How to eat tsukemen
This is the “how to” that was provided by Tsujita.
- Enjoy the flavor of the noodles.
- Stir the broth as desired.
- Eat the noodles and toppings separately.
- Squeeze a lime to change the flavor as desired.
- Use condiments and spices as desired.
This has got to be one of the most distinctive sushi bar interiors in all of LA.
If you have some time to spare in Japantown, be sure to walk on down to the Giant Robot stores. They have a gallery and a retail store, and I have been following them ever since they were a magazine publication back when I was living in the SF Bay Area, back in the day…. “back in the days when I was young. I’m not a kid anymore, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again. Back in the days when I was young. I’m not a kid anymore, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again. Back in the days – Ahmad.”