DTLA Gets 3 New Noodle Spots, One More on the Way

Daikokuya just celebrated its 11th anniversary last week with $5 ramen, a deal that made those of us who already hate the lines at Downtown’s most popular ramen joint shudder.  I’m as cheap as the next guy, but even on a normal day, the waits at Daikokuya have me questioning how much my time is really worth.  Luckily it’s not the only noodle game in DTLA these days, and more and more places seem to be popping up every day.  Here are 3 of the newest:

Men Oh Tokushima

DSC00038This Tokyo ramen chain opened its first L.A. location back in October in the same strip mall as Aloha Cafe and Sushi-Gen.  Fans of the super porky broth at Daikokuya might not consider it a suitable replacement, but pure ramen fans looking for something new and different will find a lot to like about this place.  Their signature ramen is a combination tonkotsu/shoyu broth, giving the soup an interesting flavor that you’re not likely to find at any other ramenya in L.A.  Toss in some thinly sliced, stir fired pork belly alongside the more typical chashu pork and you’ve got a bowl of ramen worth going a little bit out of your way for.  456 E 2nd St. 213-687-8485


IMG_1342When this self proclaimed “stylish” noodle shop first opened in Hollywood two years ago, tsukemen was a new concept to most Angelenos. Now dipping noodles are all the rage among a certain group of ramenhounds, and while Ikemen has adopted a less traditional menu of options (to say the least), it’s clearly been popular enough to warrant a second location. The new location, which faces Astronaut E S Onizuka St. on the bottom floor of the Weller Court, features the same menu but feels a bit less claustrophobic than the original, with chairs that literally look fit for a king. Not interested in dipping your noodles? Their premium ramen (which is limited to a certain number of bowls per day) is one of the more underrated bowls of tonkotsu ramen in L.A. 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. 213-928-0525

Tsurumaru Udon Restaurant


Want to forget about ramen altogether?  A new fast food udon restaurant has opened on the 3rd floor of the Little Tokyo Shopping Center that houses Woori Market (on Alameda and 4th).  They have a wide range of hot and cold udon dishes, with or without soup, topped with all the things you’d expect to find at a typical udon place: bonito, seaweed, grated daikon, and an assortment of tempura (including a kick ass vegetable kakiage, that a small bird could probably live in.)  There’s also warm rice balls stuffed with salmon, seaweed, or cod roe, and the best part is, the bowls are cheap enough that you can add one all sorts of extras and still get out of there for under $10.  333 S Alameda St

Bonus: Marugame Monzo


Can’t get enough udon?  You’ll be excited to learn that a new udon place is also taking over the old Fat Spoon place on 1st Street (next to Daikokuya).  It’s called Marugame Monzo, and they hope to be open next month serving handmade udon.  Hopefully they’ll do a better job of attracting the Daikokuya spillover than their predecessor.


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    Seems like I’ve been on a noodle kick with all the cold weather. Tried Ikemen the other night. It was pretty good. I’m liking the tsukemon trend!

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