Since Tsujita L.A. opened, in the summer of 2011, seemingly permanent lines have formed outside the little shop on Sawtelle Boulevard, and for very good reason. The Tokyo-based company makes what most people consider L.A.'s best ramen, purist iterations of Hakata-style noodles that have engendered not only crowds and accolades but also appearances in ramen festivals and, last year, an annex across the street. There are also bowls of superior tsukemen, or dip noodles, as well as other non-noodle dishes (although who would order those here?). In this age of ramen, L.A. has been blessed with very good bowls of the stuff, crazy odes to pig in the form of tonkotsu, Chinese-inspired bowls of spicy black ramen, Italian-inspired bowls with tomato and cheese, even ramen burgers. But for a beautifully orchestrated bowl filled with chewy noodles, complex broth, the option of a perfectly cooked egg and classic condiments, best get in line at Tsujita. Thankfully the shop now serves ramen at both lunch and dinner — and it's open until 2 a.m. Bring the latest Murakami, or maybe make some new friends. —Amy Scattergood
2057 Sawtelle Blvd., Sawtelle, 90025. (310) 231-7373, tsujita-la.com.