When Tsujita L.A. opened in 2011, people lined up along Sawtelle Boulevard for the duration of its lunch hours — the only time the ramen shop served tsukemen, a version of ramen in which the broth is reduced to a deeper intensity and the noodles, cool and chewy, are served in a separate bowl. You dip the tangled threads into the rich broth — which preserves the integrity of both noodle and sauce — before slurping them down in a kind of caloric trance. Two years later, we're still lining up for bowls of the stuff, despite the restaurant's recent expansion to the Annex across the street. The two shops both serve outstanding tsukemen, but it's the version at the original that we love best. There, they reduce the pork-intensive tonkotsu broth, already pretty condensed, until it resembles a French demi-glace. Imagine ramen deconstructed and re-envisioned, in the style of soba, an ode to pig in a bowl. 2057 Sawtelle Blvd., Sawtelle. (310) 231-7373, tsujita-la.com. —Amy Scattergood
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