Hey there, folks!
Since returning to Los Angeles from my eight-month stint in Europe, I have surprised myself by going out quite often around the city, mainly for food. Seriously, I had been missing lots of different types of food while abroad, from the umami-filled Japanese tsukemen (dipping noodles) to the local and absolutely-amazing ice cream shop just a hop-and-skip away from my house. In other words, I missed the diversity of food from my hometown.
I have already written about my Los Angeles food adventures in Part 1 and Part 2, and am now gearing up for Part 3. Without further ado, here’s another week of eating my way through the City of Angels!
Started off the week with take-out for lunch: it was fried chicken-on-fried chicken, considering that my mom wanted some lip-smacking Korean fried chicken (which she got), but also some classic, American KFC. Ended up getting both, and it was a grease-laden feast, to say the least! Tons of protein were ingested, but gave away to heavy, but satisfied bellies. 😛
On Wednesday, I went out with a friend to Sawtelle, aka “Japantown,” which is an area in West LA known for tons of good Japanese and Korean eateries; it’s also not too far from the UCLA campus, and so it’s a popular hub for college students to hang out at. We got there early to snag a spot at Tsujita LA, a small artisan restaurant famous for it’s incredible tsukemen (dipping noodle). It’s an extremely-popular joint, and so when we arrived, all of the seats inside were already taken- luckily, we arrived early enough to sit outside, and so we did. Within fifteen minutes of sitting down, the whole outside patio was packed!
Of course, we ordered tsukemen, and it did not disappoint! The dish actually comes in two dishes: one that contains the noodles and the other containing the broth in which to dip the noodles. Different from the usual, one-bowl method, but cool nonetheless! The broth was super rich and flavorful, and the noodles were chewy. Pork slices were tender and perfectly marbled with fat, and the soft-boiled egg nicely rounded out the whole meal. You can even request to have the broth watered down in the end, so that you can drink it and get your money’s worth. You can be certain that my friend and I were super full afterwards! 😛
Afterwards, we got shaved ice at a shop just around the corner from the restaurant. I always get the green tea shaved ice with red bean and mochi toppings- can’t go wrong with that!
Had lunch with my mom again at The Cheesecake Factory later in the weekday; we didn’t have too much for the main course, as we wanted to save our stomachs for the restaurant’s famous cheesecake! I ordered a salted caramel one, and I have to say that it was uber-sweet and filling…and I loved it! Granted, it was extremely heavy, but my love for dessert trumps diet! 😛
Went out with my parents to lunch once more on Saturday, this time to the pier-area by the beach. It was one of those rather-pricey seafood restaurants, but I managed to get a 50% discount on drinks, being that it was my first time trying the place. The cucumber mojito that I ordered was quite refreshing- and I could definitely taste the alcohol (a good thing, in my book!). The lobster roll was left to be desired, but overall, not a bad experience.
Had some more Japanese food on Sunday (another lunch with Mom!), and again the following day, once more at Sawtelle although this time with my entire family. Originally, we planned for Tsujita LA, since my family hadn’t tried it before, but the place was already PACKED when we arrived…and only ten minutes after the place *presumably* opened! Instead, we opted for a nearby ramen joint just a block or two away. Food wasn’t bad, service was attentive, but didn’t blow me away.
Afterwards, though, we did go get shaved ice at the same place where I had gotten it with my friend the week before. I decided to go for the Black Sesame shaved ice, which was all right, but was expecting more black sesame flavor. Perhaps I’ll just stick to my green tea shaved ice next time!
Overall, the past week was pretty much a slew of Japanese food…and I ain’t complainin’! After eating a lot of it, I have come to learn (and enjoy) the diversity of Japanese plates that aren’t only limited to ramen or sushi.
Many more food adventures to come in the following weeks, so stay tuned! Bon appétit!
— The Finicky Cynic
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