LA might be the best ramen city outside of Asia, and like 72% of the evidence for this is Tsujita.
Just a few years ago Tsujita was a cult favorite spot at the corner of Sawtelle and Mississippi for tsukemen (dipping noodles). If you knew, you knew. They blasted one ethnic…rhythmic…instrumental song on repeat. The smells of the fishy, porky broth permeated the space. There was usually a wait during peak dinner hours, but otherwise not bad. Their alkaline noodles, served with a wedge of lime, was addicting enough to attract even Japanese visitors on occasion.
Today, Tsujita is a franchise slowly taking over Sawtelle. There’s Tsujita Annex (my preferred Tsujita), which has the same addicting noodles but a more pork based dipping broth. No lime, but I like their chili oil. There’s Killer Noodle, which specializes in dan dan style spicy ramen. There’s an outpost in Glendale called “The Tsujita” which for some bizarre reason has it’s own website. Ok well actually, the brand touch points are just all over the place lmao. There’s “Tsujita Central Kitchen” in Fairfax for to-go orders. A $$$ Sushi Tsujita, continuing their expansion up Sawtelle. And, perhaps most impressively, a location in Tokyo. Today, Tsujita is thoroughly mainstream, with satellite foodies flocking in on the weekends, forming a constant crowd along the sidewalks, and inspiring the Annex to put up a separate waiting area outside with heaters. What used to be mostly Asian now sees diverse faces, as well as a bunch of Asian tourists too.
All of this is to say that Tsujita is one of LA’s must-eat restaurants, and should be on everyone’s shortlist. It’s a celebrated franchise that we’re proud, if annoyed, to share with the world.
|Address||Sawtelle: 2057 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025 – the Sawtelle Tsujitas are all within a block of each other|
Glendale: 889 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210
Fairfax (pick up only): 109 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
|Yelp||Tsujita LA | Tsujita Annex | The Tsujita | Killer Noodle | Sushi Tsujita|
COVID Hours: 11am – 9pm, available for take out, pick up and delivery (via Postmates, Doordash and Grubhub), outdoor dining set up (pending local restrictions)
|Price||$$ – the most basic tsukemen starts at around $13, ramen options also start around $12|
|Aesthetic||simple, generic, Japanese-ish. Except Killer Noodle, which is like, very red.|
Go here for: a classic LA foodie rite of passage, oh and the best noodles ever
Order this: tsukemen aka dipping noodles. I could seriously eat those noodles plain, that’s how good they are. Oh, and do yourself a favor and add an egg.
Amount of time to spend: between parking, waiting and eating… probably 2 hours to be safe?
When to come: for an early weekday lunch, early weekday dinner, or at a random time in the afternoon. Avoid Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at all costs, though dinner times suck in general.
Parking: is the worst in Sawtelle. During peak dining hours it’s near impossible to snag a meter on Sawtelle. The neighboring residential streets have over the years tightened restrictions, so there are few available within appropriate walking distance. Try finding street parking on the Beloit side of Sawtelle. Glendale location is at the Americana, but they don’t validate.
Other things to note:
Last visited: November 2020
Last updated: December 2020