tatsu ramen


This review is years overdue. Tatsu Ramen is THE BEST – and my absolute favorite restaurant in the Little Osaka neighborhood.

Both Jon and I have had bouts where we’ve stayed home sick and had Tatsu ramen every day for a week. I’ve taken many a friend and family there for an impressively delicious meal and converted them into fellow Tatsu lovers.

First thing to do when you get to Tatsu: place your order on iPads near the door. Explore the menu, select your broth, level of spiciness, garlic, onion, protein (pork, free-range chicken, or organic tofu), and any add-ons or sides. Then pay, and take your receipt to the wait staff who will seat you before sending your order to the kitchen. Your food is always steaming and fresh. The owner and creator of Tatsu Ramen modeled this after what he experienced in his native Japan where they order on a vending-type machine, and collect a ticket with their order on it to present for their food. I like that Tatsu takes a modern twist on this, and more importantly it’s not pre-packaged ramen broth or anything. It’s all made fresh for Tatsu.

Tatsu might not have the most traditional ramen, but in my opinion, it beats traditional ramen. The fried garlic topping makes for a healthy(ish) and delicious flavor profile along with the 10 other bold ingredients in their Bold Ramen, my favorite item on their menu. The eggs are perfectly seasoned and soft boiled. The yolk, still gushy, provides an even richer mouthful with your noodles and broth.

Their fried rice is also pretty damn good.My 1-year-old niece couldn’t get enough of it. I like to think I have high fried rice standards, but this restaurant meets my demands. Not too greasy, a bit of stickiness to hold it together, plenty of aromatics (green onion), flavorful meat (char siu), and egg (the best part!).

Tatsu is there for your sick days, your hangovers, the precursory night to your hangovers, cold grey weather, lazy Sundays, lazy anydays, really, any occasion. It’s open ’til 2am every night but Th-Sat it’s open until 3am.

UPDATE – Dec. 2015:

The above is for the food ONLY. The service, sorry to say, is subpar. In many recent visits, it’s taken much too long to get seated. I can only say it was “much too long” because there were a few separate occasions in which groups who ordered much later than my group got seated and FINISHED their food before my group was even seated. I was only ever in a group of 2 or 3, so it couldn’t be attributed to needing a big area to seat a large group. Service has been pretty disappointing, but their food is so addicting I still manage to crave it and go! (Getting items to go is pretty much our standard now so we don’t have to deal with the service)

leftover edition: meatloaf

meatloaf wrap


Q: What should I do with leftover meatloaf?

A: Make a wrap!

Might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but we’ve been eating a lot of wraps lately so I wondered how successful a meatloaf wrap could be. One reason wraps are so lovely is because they’re extremely versatile and handy. From prep to transport, they’re a quick and easy alternative to the traditional lunchtime sandwich. And if you’re cutting carbs, a low-carb lavash works great! I also recently discovered some tortillas that are only 6 carbs per tortilla.

For the meatloaf edition, I used tomato sauce to create an aioli and keep all the delicious flavors of meatloaf in wrap form. I also recommend heating it up a bit in the microwave before eating. Just enough to make the cheese a bit melty and warm the greens. It’s like an my wrap imagined what an italian inspired burrito might be. Ok so maybe an Italian burrito would involve pasta of some sort, but we’re talking fusion here.

Meatloaf Wrap:
  • Leftover meatloaf
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 4 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese
  • 2 big handfuls of greens (I used a supergreen mix from Costco. You can use spinach or baby kale too)
  • 2 pieces of lavash bread (note: you can use a tortilla instead, but you may need to adjust the amount of filling to be a bit less so it doesn’t explode on you)
  1. Make sure you have a nicely shaped piece of lavash bread to start. The traditional low-carb lavash can come in very large oblong shapes. If you’re using one of these, it may help to cut it into a rectangle. Any shape will work though it may help the wrapping process to have it wider than it is tall. The size of a cutting board is pretty good and will keep you full all day.
  2. Mix the mayo and tomato sauce to make the aioli, which helps keep the lavash from being too dry. Spread the aioli on the bread. I usually make sure there’s spread on the right 2/3 of the wrap, but you can cover the whole wrap in it if you want!
  3. Place 2 slices of cheese on the wrap along the right edge. You want them to line up against the short side of the wrap. That way, when you roll it (from right to left), there’s cheese in every bite =) If you’re using a tortilla, just make sure half the tortilla is mostly covered with the cheese.
  4. Slice the leftover meatloaf and place the slices on top of the cheese so there’s a vertical line of meat along the right edge of the wrap. It’s ok if you need to cut the slices in half so they’re more narrow/wrapable!
  5. Cover the right edge with lots of greens. Proceed to wrap and roll from right to left, compressing the greens in there to keep the wrap wieldy. Make a nice diagonal cut for flair and enjoy!