Ramen makes life worthwhile!
Come out of the K-Town antics, guys!!
LA has more to offer than just Korean BBQ and this is reminiscent of the many different cultures separated by a mile or two in this busiest downtown of The States. My hangout in LA led me to Little Tokyo and I happened to visit one of the popular place to have..
Yeah, I needed that pause!!
And, the place to have it is none other than Daikokuya at Little Tokyo. Sandwiched between a gift shop and a motel, this place is cramped for space, but it makes up for the quality of food it serves.
Don't expect to find a spot for your car anywhere in downtown without paying a hefty amount for it. I chose to Uber/Walk/Crawl using my best instincts and the nature of the environment. And, And, And, most of the places in downtown are cash only, so don't forget to keep an eye on nearby ATMs and also on "pickpocketers".
After a 30 minute wait, which is actually pretty decent for this place, got ourselves seated and ordered without any adieu.
The menu was self explanatory stating what their popular dishes were and we went with those without any hesitation.
This is not actually a dish on the menu. This was the side they got us started with along some soy sauce.
The sauce sure is traditionally served. Anyways, now I can surely say.....
The Gyoza. Their most popular homemade appetizer and it sure does look teasingly delicious. You get around 5 pieces for more than a buck each, which is a tad bit expensive.
"But hey!!! This is LA and you are in the downtown, kiddo! What do you expect? 20pc McNuggets?" exclaimed my inner devil.
Beautifully pan-fried dumplings which come with a stuffing of black pork and veggies and topped off heavily with green onions. The black pork comes from Jeju Pig which is small in size and has a very tender meat. It sure did sparkle in this case though.
Dipped into some chili and soy sauce and munched the piping hot dumpling right away, albeit letting out dragon fumes. A must-try is all I could say. No wonder it is the best appetizer of this location. It is not greasy and the stuffing is so fresh and the minced meat along with the veggies shines all the way. I vouch for this!
The notorious Takoyaki. Also, happens to be the next popular appetizer of the location. You get five delicious pieces of this goodness topped with Katsuobushi aka bonito flakes along with green onions and strings of pickled ginger. Drizzled with Ponzu sauce, this fried Octopus ball along with the condiments is straight out of paradise. Such a magical experience accompanied by the cozy ambience is surely worth every buck you spend, or more!
And then for the entree,
The Daikoku Ramen.
How could I resist a bowl of ramen for a midday meal? Never!!
The Tonkotsu broth was filled with flavor and I was soaking it all in while I got the cue to slurp before it cools down.
They make the soup broth in house with their secret blend of soy sauce and I sure am impressed with the thick texture this soup packs.
Then come the toppings with the most tender Pork Belly Chashu that one could imagine of, along with the marinated boiled egg, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts. Finally, the fresh green onions and sesame seeds make their way into this delicious broth as well.
You could add Togarashi to the broth for all those spice craving eaters!
I did add a pinch of it but the flavor is good no matter what you add. The pork along with the handmade noodles infused in the broth is the best ramen I could experience and I was not disappointed a bit.
But wait, I actually ordered their popular combination of Daikoku Ramen and....
The Pork Cutlet Bowl. I can't get over these marvels created with utter simplicity yet the flavors they protrude is bound to make you speechless. Another such example is this small bowl of fried goodness I got along with the ramen.
A panko breaded pork cutlet deep fried and then cooked with eggs and soy sauce, which are finally paired with white rice. I munched on it without any adieu as they look and smell irresistibly good.
Ahh!! They taste that way as well. Love it. The savory eggs along with the breaded pork cutlet is no wonder their best seller. I am fortunate to be part of this culinary exploits at LA downtown and if you happen to be here,
Surely, you don't want to hold back on this place!
327 E 1st St Los Angeles, CA 90012
Value For Money: 8.5/10