Japanese Cuisine

Tsujita Annex: Now Open With All-Day Ramen, Umbrellas + Awesome Signage

Comments (0)


Tue, May 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM
click to enlarge Ramen at Tsujita Annex - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • Ramen at Tsujita Annex

With the dollar-yen exchange rate so good right now, you may be reading this in a Tokyo tsukemen shop. Lucky you. But if you're still in L.A., you might consider heading over to Little Osaka, where the beautiful noodle palace of Tsujita L.A. has recently expanded across the street. Lucky us.

A few weeks ago, Tsujita Annex opened in the space that previously housed the short-lived ramen shop, Miyata Menji.

That Tsujita has expanded should come as no surprise to anyone who has spent time waiting outside the original shop at lunchtime, when long lines often snake down the street as the usual crowd waits for a table at which to consume tsukemen, the dip ramen in which the restaurant has specialized since its opening in 2011, which is served only at lunch.

Tsujita Annex does not have tsukemen (see: divide and conquer), but it does serve the more traditional tonkotsu and miso ramen, huge deeply flavorful bowls of it, the noodles of the thicker variety, the eggs cooked perfectly, which is to say not hard-boiled into dull submission but more like what you might get with a handy immersion circulator. The Annex also has combination specials, as does the larger restaurant across the street, donburi bowls of ikura or spicy tuna or char sui that you can match with your massive bowl of ramen. If you're that hungry, which is a good state to be in along this stretch of Sawtelle.

click to enlarge Tsujita Annex, exterior - A. SCATTERGOOD
  • A. Scattergood
  • Tsujita Annex, exterior

What the Annex also has -- thanks to city planners and the gods of street food -- are outside chairs and patio umbrellas, such that you can sit and wait for your name to be called in bucolic comfort, maybe texting your sunburnt friends waiting in line across the street. Maybe bring your battered copy of 1Q84 and enjoy yourself. (Pretend you're on a bullet train. Pretend we have them.)

Another fun thing to do while you're waiting is to check out the menu, which is a classic example of creative ESL phrasing. "Sometime ago we died at a very popular and well-established Ramen Noodle restaurant in Tokyo..." being my favorite. (Hopefully nobody got an editor, as it made me seriously nostalgic for the tsukemen shack down the street from my sister's Tokyo apartment.) The menu also has a convenient number ranking for the amount of fresh garlic and chile spices you can add from the (free) bowls of it on your table for "extra flavor," in which one spoonful is "Good" and three is "Awesome." It is.

The restaurant is cash only and no, you can't get take-out. If you've ever brought tonkotsu ramen home, assuming it doesn't spill all over your car en route, and stored it in the refrigerator until the next day, you'll know why. But why would you anyway? One of the myriad joys of our current era of fantastic L.A. ramen is that you can slurp your beautiful noodles at a crowded bar, the servers yelling, the patrons elbow to elbow, without having to fly to Shinagawa to do so.

See also:

- 5 Haruki Murakami Titles That Would Make Great Restaurants

- 10 Best Eats in Little Osaka: Neighborhood Grub Crawl

- The Ramen Map: A Guide to Ramen in Los Angeles

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Related Location

Related Content

Now Trending


  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • Milo's Kitchen: A Treat Truck for Dogs
    Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.