Sometimes the ramen gods hear you, don't they. Tsujita Annex, the little ivy-covered outpost of the larger Tsujita L.A. ramen palace across Sawtelle Boulevard, opened recently serving big bowls of tonkotsu ramen and not too much else. The lunchtime bowls of tsukemen, or dip ramen, were the province of the larger restaurant, which has had long lines pretty much since it opened as crowds gathered for bowls of the stuff. But a few days ago, tsukemen showed up on the menu of the Annex, for which some of us are unreasonably grateful.
The Annex, a cheerful ramen bar plus a few tables, serves only one kind of tsukemen — at least it does right now, though given how beautifully adaptive it is, who knows what'll show up next week. You'll be served a happily large bowl of extremely rich dipping broth, heavily laced with garlic and chiles and pork, LOTS of pork. No notes of bonito here, just pure pig. You can order it plain, with a soft-boiled egg, or with char sui. There are also options for extra noodles or extra vegetables, although since vegetables are very much beside the point here, this seems counterintuitive. Extra soup is free. (You won't need it anyway.)
Of course you can order the tonkotsu ramen or the miso ramen, or even the donburi bowls if you really feel like it. But why, when there is tsukemen, especially of this quality and, well, enormity. Add spoonfuls of the raw garlic and chiles in pots on the bar if you can stand it. Drink some matcha tea. Remember that there are umbrellas outside, under which you can sit afterward in a kind of pork-induced postprandial stupor. More things to be grateful for, I suppose.
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