#1 RAMEN IN THE U.S. – DAIKOKUYA
In my humble opinion, Daikokuya has found the formula to ramen done the right way: the authentic Japanese way. Maybe you find my heading to be offensive because you know of a better place. I’m always open to some guidance. But having lived in Japan for over 7 years, I think I’ve earned my right to rate a bowl of noodles!
The thing I love about the noodles at Daikokuya is the heartiness and the inconsistencies of the kinks in the noodles. Makes it also easier to grab a hold of. Many places in the U.S. offer the thin, straight noodles, which they also offer in Japan, but I’ve found more restaurants to use the thicker egg noodles which they cook al dente. Mmm. It’s a matter of preference, I suppose, and since it’s my blog entry, I’m going with the al dente hearty egg kind!
The second most important component in a bowl of noodles is the broth. At Daikokuya, they make their broth from soy sauce and from boiling pork bones for almost 24 hours. You can imagine the buttery divinity of the flavorful soup. Not to mention, there are toppings you must add for the full effect: grated garlic and hot chili oil. Oh. My. Gosh. Game over. Go heavy on the garlic if you’re not on a first date!
This was my first time to Daikokuya and the reason we ventured downtown was because Rachel’s and my best friend, Meagan, who has decided to move back to Iowa with her boyfriend to start a new life, lives near downtown. We’re really sad, but happy for her, and trying to keep it together. It was her second to last day of working at one of the most fabulously chic fashion houses, and we wanted to celebrate and just cherish the last days we have with her in LA. But…she’s vegetarian. Being the good sport that she is, she trudged over to Daikokuya anyway. Good for her that she’s started incorporating some fish into her life so she ordered the tuna rice bowl. And we, the noodles with all the fixins!
Gyoza or Potstickers. You can make them at home following this recipe I blogged about here.
The noodles, above, with no garlic or chili oil…yet. The toppings pictured are bean sprouts, kurobuta sliced SO thinly, seasoned bamboo shoots, chopped green onion and a whole egg, simmered overnight in a soy sauce.
This is pure perfection. I can actually smell the spicy aromas as I stare at these pictures. And with 2,695 reviews on Yelp, I think a lot of people have gotten excited about Daikokuya. The numbers don’t lie. I suggest you give them a try. Trust me, it’s worth the drive and the line in which you’ll have to wait. But you can duck into the bar a few doors down til they call your name!