Okonomiyaki Specialist Gottsui Now Open For Lunch, Serving Only Ramen
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier on Sawtelle, I stumbled upon this last week: Gottsui, the previously dinnertime only Tokyo okonomiyaki chain, is now open for lunch! But before Japanese egg pancake fanatics get too excited over this new West L.A. lunch option, you should know they’re not serving okonomiyaki. They’re serving ramen. (I warned you it was about to get crazy.) With the lines at Tsujita getting longer and longer by the day, you can see how a place on Sawtelle with no lunch business would be tempted to do lunchtime only ramen. But with Ramen Jinya opening soon, Gr/eats becoming a tsukemen spot, and no standout lunchtime okonomiyaki to speak of in the area, the decision seems questionable at best.
What could they possibly do to make their ramen stand out on this soon to be ramen packed street? Bring on the beef!
To say I was skeptical about this lunch would be an understatement. (In fact, I only ended up there because I discovered that a new Korean option in the same strip mall wasn’t open for lunch yet.) There is no way this bowl of soup was going to be better than Tsujita, but I had read good things about Gottsui so who knows? Maybe they could pull it off.
The menu didn’t really give away much, except the price ($8.50) and the fact that it was soy sauce flavored (aka shoyu style.) So imagine my surprise when this was delivered to the table.
Beef ramen?! Yup. A chef’s creation unique to this location of Gottsui, the bowl of soup featured beef broth, chunks of tender beef, a ton of cabbage, and fried onions. Needless to say, this is not your standard bowl of ramen.
Your only option to customize the soup is to order it spicy, in which case they give you this delicious mixture of chili paste and scallions. (Not sure if they always give it on the side, or they just did it for us because we’re white and they thought we couldn’t handle the spice.)
Obviously if you are a pork fanatic who loves ramen for its ultra fatty, porktastic punch you will be incredibly disappointed with this “ramen”. Plus the noodles themselves are totally run of the mill, and the egg was disappointingly hard boiled. But despite the strangeness, there was something incredibly tasty and satisfying about this bowl of soup. The broth was super tasty, and got even better once the spicy stuff was added. And while I would never pick beef over chashu pork, the chunks of tender beef were a nice change of pace.
Will this replace Tsujita as my favorite bowl of ramen on Sawtelle? Not a chance. But I could see a situation where I might be more in the mood for Gottsui’s ramen. And even more importantly than that, I would imagine that those of you who don’t eat pork, but really want to jump on the ramen bandwagon, will be super pumped about this new entry to L.A.’s ramen scene.
THE + (What somebody who likes this would say)
- I don’t like pork, but I LOVE beef! Bring on the beef ramen.
- Tonkatsu ramen is waaay to fatty for me. I like this cleaner beef shoyu broth way more.
- The chopped up cabbage and fried onions is a nice change of pace from the typical ramen fillers
- Why is every single new ramen place hakata style tonkotsu ramen! It’s nice to finally get something different, even if it’s not an authentic regional style.
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this would say)
- I’m a ramen purist, and this bowl of soup is a complete bastardization of the genre!
- Noodles are my favorite part of ramen, and these are nothing special
- Ramen without pork? I can’t even imagine.
- I like beef, but their beef had a bit too much connective tissue for me
- So much cabbage. I hate cabbage.
- The egg tells me everything I need to know about this soup… no way it’s good.
- Aren’t these guys okonomiyaki specialists. Why don’t you serve that for lunch!?!
Gottsui, 2119 Sawtelle Blvd. 310-478-0521
Lunch is cash only and the ramen is the only thing they serve. Ramen not served on the nighttime menu.