Tag Archives: ramen

Tsujita LA Annex Artisan Noodles

May 13, 2015

Tsujita LA Annex Exterior

Tsujita LA Annex Exterior

By Kristie Hang*

Sawtelle has never had a shortage of authentic ramen houses, but Tsujita has always been deserving of the ramen powerhouse spotlight. In fact, Tsujita has been so popular that there are two branches almost directly across from each other on Sawtelle. If you ask ramen aficionados, each will have their own Tsujita preference since the food is very different at both. I personally prefer Tsujita Annex over the original Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle location. Here’s why…

BBQ Pork Tsukemen

BBQ Pork Tsukemen

Pork Broth

Pork Broth

The BBQ Pork Tsukemen or dipping noodles is the most popular dish to order at Annex. The cha siu BBQ pork melts in your mouth and is very tender. The most obvious difference is that the ramen noodles at the Annex location are much thicker, roughly twice as thick than the ones at Artisan.

For those unfamiliar with Tsukemen, it’s like the ramen version of zaru soba. In essence, the hot ramen noodles come in a bowl alongside a separate bowl of soup. The noodles are eaten after being dipped in the broth. The shoyu/tonkotsu broth they use for Annex’s broth has a sweet and vinegary flavor whereas Artisan uses the salty broth. The broth at Annex is filled with layers of delicious pork fat. It packs much more flavor. Most importantly, Annex’s broth comes out piping hot unlike the lukewarm broth from the original location.

Putting the noodles in the dipping sauce

Putting the noodles in the dipping sauce

Annex also serves up tonkotsu shoyu (soy sauce) ramen while the original Artisan location does not. They also have different condiments for their noodles. Each table is stocked with freshly minced garlic, black pepper, and Japanese chili powder (onikasu). Aside from typical shortcomings such as being cash only and having meter only parking, Tsujita Annex almost gets full marks for their food. I say almost because one of the most important toppings for a good ramen is a properly cooked soft boiled egg. Annex’s soft boiled egg is not consistent enough. When it’s done just right, the runny yolk is a delectable experience for the senses. There has been times when the egg has been slightly overcooked. The good thing is however, if the egg isn’t done right the staff will happily replace it for you until it’s done right. Another quip about Annex is that the tsukemen broth may be too rich for ramen traditionalists. If you’re used to typical ramen and have never had dipping-ramen, this may be overly flavorful for you. The best way to find out if it’s for you is to give it a try.

Overall, Tsujita Annex knows how to serve up an authentic bowl of BBQ pork Tsukemen that everyone should try. The lines out the door are warranted. Check them out!

* Contributing writer Kristie Hang is a globetrotting tv host, journalist, and food writer based in Los Angeles.



つじ田 アネックス







Tsujita Annex is located at:

2050 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025







Tatsu Ramen / タツ ラーメン

March 30, 2015

Outside of Tatsu Ramen

Outside of Tatsu Ramen

By Malcolm Johnson*

I don’t know why, but the iPads along the wall didn’t surprise me.

No, we’re not talking some kind of restaurant “Spidey Sense”, but it seemed inevitable that one of these days our little Tablets were going to replace Menus, and…maybe Waitresses themselves.

It does give Tastu Ramen a slightly different feel.  A little more modern, a little more L.A.

iPad Ordering Stations

iPad Ordering Stations

Tatsu Ramen is one of the newer Ramen Joints that have opened up in the ever-growing, ever expanding Sawtelle District in West L.A.  With Tsujita L.A. literally across the street, you do have to do something to distinguish yourself.  So why not walk in, and before you’ve done anything else, place your order and pay for your meal with one of the iPads stationed along the wall.

Anyone familiar with a Tablet will get how it works.  Just go through the menu of options.  They’ll all be there.  Pick what kind of broth you like, what kind of extras you want, and what you’d like to drink.  Take your receipt, show it to the hostess, and let her find you a seat.  The very Multi-cultural (thus, very L.A. Kitchen staff gets to work making your food.)

After that food and drinks just start…arriving.

How they know where and who you are, I don’t know.  But they know.  It could be a quick check of the receipt with your order number on top and in bold.  But I prefer to think it’s that restaurant “Spidey Sense”.

Just let me go with it, okay?

Funny thing, I’m visiting Tatsu Ramen on a day (in early March) when it’s ninety-five friggin’ degrees.  Stepping inside the crowded restaurant, taking a seat at the counter near the stoves where they’re actually making the ramen, doesn’t make it much cooler.

But you know?  I’m totally having fun anyway.

Yeah, the Waitstaff is nice.  The other customers are friendly as well.  Now, granted, everyone is really into their Ramen, but it’s a good vibe all around.

Bold Ramen

Bold Ramen


You heard me.  Bold Ramen.

It’s their version of Tonkotsu (Pork bone based) broth with 11 “bold” ingredients.  (Their words, not mine).  It’s not as rich or milky as I’ve come to expect from other Tonkotsu broths I’ve had in the past, but the spices inside make up a lot of difference.  This broth has a lot of flavor, as well as a lot of kick to it.  The good news is that the spiciness level is not a full on assault on your taste-buds (like say at Pa-Ord Noodle), but it will sneak up on you.  The good news if you don’t like pain and pleasure in the same meal, is that your tongue will not be feeling those chilis for hours afterwards.

Like with Pa-Ord Noodle.  Damn, that stuff was hot.

Pork Bao Bun

Pork Bao Bun

Along that, I went and got a Pork Bao Bun, which was not bad.  It was sweet and creamy (thank you dollop of mayo) and a nice complement to the meal.  I probably should have gotten just the one, but when I see Steamed Bread, I usually lose my head.

And just go in knowing that the place is really, really popular.  Expect a crowd.

* Contributing blog writer Malcolm Johnson is the publisher of the food blog Is It Any Good?

Outside Seating at Tatsu Ramen

Outside Seating at Tatsu Ramen

 タツ ラーメン

日増しに発展しているソーテルの辻田のお向かい辺りにipadで注文するたつラーメンができ。入店するとまずiPadのメニュー(すべての料理、飲み物 サイドオーダー、やスープのオプション)で注文し支払はプリントアウトする。もちろんキャシュも可。ホステス嬢にそれを見せ席に案内してもらうと食べ物飲み物が次々と運ばれてくる。


お勧めはボールドラーメン(Bold Ramen)でしつこくない豚骨スープに11種のものが入っているそうだ。つゆはとても味が出ていてピリ辛ではあるが後味に残る物ではない。肉まんも美味しい。あんがクリーミーだ。このレストランへは中々の人気店なので混むことがある。

Tatsu Ramen is located at (next to Kitchen Story):

2123 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 684-2889


Hours of Operation:

Sun – Wed: 11am – 2am
Thu – Sat: 11am – 3am