Best Udon: Marugame Monzo
There may be as many noodle houses as taquerias in Los Angeles, but Marugame Monzo’s traditional Sanuki Udon made from scratch daily on site using certified Japanese ingredients in the heart of Little Tokyo is still consistently the best and most diverse.
They’ve created their own fusion style dishes like a miso carbonara udon and their signature uni cream udon. Hot or cold, the not-too-chewy, springy noodles make for a delicious seafood and tomato cream dish as well as the unique udon gratin. The cold sansai udon is a refreshing match for their sake selection and Japanese beers on tap.
The tiny and affordable restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, offering friendly service, generous portions and choices for add-ons like fishcake, kakiage, shrimp, soft-boiled egg, squid and others. A bowl of their duck nanban udon is as comforting as watching the graceful twists and turns of the Marugame Monzo noodle masters cutting the udon with surgical precision while you wait. —Michele Stueven
Marugame Monzo, 329 E. 1st St., Little Tokyo; (213) 346-762, marugamemonzola.com.