Hey everyone, Joan here!
I originally didn’t plan on writing this post since I have written about this place so many times. But I figure I might as well, the blog is looking neglected… Haha! Sean and I paid a visit to an old favorite the other night, Shin Sen Gumi in Little Tokyo. And I have to say, it felt like home.
“Home is Little Tokyo”
I just got home from hanging out in Santa Monica with my cousin Michelle and my brother Mark. It was Mark’s birthday yesterday and Michelle wanted to take us out! We went to the new Tsujita Annex in West LA on Sawtelle Blvd. (aka Little Osaka), which was just across the street from the Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle. In case you didn’t know, Tsujita LA only serves ramen during lunch, and the new Tsujita Annex serves ramen all day and night! So I was quite thrilled to try the new place out.
We arrived at Tsujita Annex around 7:30 and there were 21 people waiting ahead of us! We almost considered leaving and going to Kotoya instead… but decided that we should try a new place tonight. The nice thing was, they took our orders while we were waiting outside.
My birthday is apparently not over. I just had birthday ramen with Angie and Matt when I returned from San Francisco. Then Sean decided to take me out for birthday ramen again on Tuesday! I chose Men Oh Tokushima Ramen in Little Tokyo, since Sean has not been and I wanted to try their classic tonkotsu broth.
Very simple menu
Joan here. Just so you know, the reason why we went up to San Francisco, other than to have a jolly ol’ time, was because of my birthday! Check out some of the cute gifts Tanya got me!
I ❤ Ramen mug and ramen keychain!!!
I finally made it to Tsujita in West LA yesterday! Tsujita is famous for their 60-hour broth and they only serve ramen during their lunch hours from 11 am to 2 pm. I met up with my cousin, Michelle, and friend, Max, at Tsujita around 1 pm. There was a long line of customers but we waited for only 20 minutes or so and managed to get a table inside.
We started off with some Kirin beers. Max and I ordered their Char Siu Ramen, (which is their tonkotsu ramen with extra slices of barbequed pork,) and Ajitama (seasoned boiled egg) and Michelle ordered the Char Siu Tsukemen with extra green onions.
Char Siu Ramen
This past Sunday night, I had ramen with an old friend of mine, Jeraldin. I had not seen her in over 10 years! Jeraldin and I went to school together back when we both lived in Hawaii. When I recently found out she moved to Santa Monica, we started hanging out. We met up for a ramen dinner then went to the Basement Tavern to watch my friend, Max, and his awesome reggae band, Bodhi Rock.
I wanted to check out a new ramen place, but most ramen places around were closed early on a Sunday night. Luckily, Kotoya, one of my favorite ramen joints, their last call was at 9:30. When we got there, there was a smaller crowd and we immediately sat ourselves at the bar. Everyone that works there, are so nice. It always felt good to walk in and everyone, including the chefs, would greet you. I think they recognize me by now, as they seemed to have the look on their faces that they were glad to see me again. Well, I hope they were glad to see me back. (Last time I was there, I showed up piss drunk and going off on some crazy rant… Haha.)
Okay, I’m not from Arcadia, like the show Joan of Arcadia (that’s set in Maryland). But I was in Arcadia, California. Haha. That was lame. Anyways…
Sean told me about a place in Arcadia that his boss Angela recommended, Ramen Yukinoya. Somehow I’ve never heard of it even after having done Google searches for ramen in the area. I don’t think this place has been around for that long. It’s too bad that Pasadena, where I work, doesn’t have an actual ramen house, so I was glad to know that there is a ramen house 10 minutes away!
Last night after work, Sean and I went to Ramen Yukinoya. We lucked out when we arrived, as it was packed and there were only two seats left at the bar that we managed to get. Then a swarm of people arrived and had to wait in line outside.
They had a small ramen menu which was nice. I always preferred places that focused on basic ramen flavors, rather than a large menu with everything tasting mediocre. We started with some hot tea, and I ordered the Tonkotsu and Sean ordered the Tonkotsu Chasumen with corn.
I’m not going to lie…. even though I’ve been trying to hide it. But I’ve had noodles 3 days in a row. And 2 days in a row last week. Not all of them were ramen!! But I’m definitely noodle’d out. With a restaurant like Noodle & Noodle down street from work, and having those Sun Noodle ramen kits at home, being noodle’d out was inevitable. Today was a cold day and I had a hankering for spicy ramen at lunch.
Gloomy day in Pasadena
“What is ramen?”
“Wait… there’s “real” ramen?”
“Wait… they’re not just the stuff in styrofoam cups?”
These are a few of the questions I’ve had to answer ever since we took on this ramen mission. Yes, there is more to ramen than the Cup Noodles and Top Ramen. The real deal is just so… much… more!
A couple days ago, Joan and I went on a ramen run in Fountain Valley and shopped a bit at Ebisu mart. We bought a couple ramen kits.
Sun noodle brand: Ramen Miso