Tsujita Annex Brings Infamous Jiro Style Ramen to Los Angeles
When Tsujita first announced that they’d be taking over the old Miyata Menji space to open an “Annex” it made total sense. The popular ramen spot on Sawtelle has been perpetually packed for lunch since word got out that they were serving the best bowl of ramen in L.A. Plus, the original space turns into a ramen-less izakaya at night so having a replicon across the street would not only lessen the lines during lunch but would also give Tsujita’s legions of fans an opportunity to eat their ramen for dinner.
Well, the Annex had their grand opening yesterday after a 4 day invite only trial period and you might be surprised to hear that the bowl of ramen they’re serving is absolutely nothing like the original. The good news is, it’s nothing like any of the other bowls of ramen in Los Angeles either.
The first sign that this Tsujita is going to be different are the condiments. The pickled ginger, hot mustard leaf, and sesame seeds have been replaced by freshly pressed garlic, black pepper, and Japanese chili powder (onikasu), which turn out to be all the clues a ramen fanatic might need to unlock the inspiration behind this place. Because just like Tsujita was modeled after Tanaka Shoten, Tsujita Annex is modeled after a different but equally famous chain of Tokyo ramen shops.
Ramen Jiro! The pile of bean sprouts with a tiny bit of shredded cabbage. The rough cut char sui
cut from the that’s been rolled into the shape of a tenderloin and sliced thick. The fat filled tonkotsu/shoyu broth that almost spills over the top of the bowl. And of course…
… the thick cut noodles, which are even fatter than the tsukemen noodles they serve across the street. All markers of a Jiro-style bowl of ramen.
The one similarity between this and the bowl of tonkotsu ramen across the street at the original Tsujita? The perfectly cooked egg. I’ve never tried any of the dozens of original Jiro style ramen shops in Tokyo so I can’t say how it stands up, but if you’re a student of different kinds of ramen you’ll be excited to know that L.A. just added a new style to its repertoire. If the globules of fat aren’t enough to clue you in, the broth is far richer than most anything you’ve had in L.A. so finishing the whole thing isn’t recommended- unless you are as they say in Tokyo, a “manly man”. But after polishing off the noodles, pork, egg, and veg, mixed in with some fresh garlic and super spicy red chili powder, you’ll be more than satisfied.
Right now the standard tonkotsu/shoyu is all they’re serving, in addition to a menu of small rice bowls just like the ones at Tsujita (char sui, ikura, tuna and spicy tuna) and they hope to have the miso version ready to go by next week. But if you were hoping the Annex would mean Tsujita ramen at dinnertime or shorter lunchtime lines at the original, guess again. If anything it looks like we’ll now have two ramen spots on Sawtelle with crazy lines out the door.
Tsujita Annex, 2500 Sawtelle Blvd. 310-231-0222