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)

spicy pork sandwich from seoul sausage company

spicy pork sandwichSeoul Sausage Company started as a food truck – I remember first encountering it years ago in K-town at a food festival in a small parking lot. I somehow managed to have too many tickets to redeem for food and ended up eating TWO sausages from these guys, on top of full meals from other trucks. Incredibly, they were still enjoyable.

Now they have a more permanent location in Little Osaka: a storefront off Sawtelle that’s poppin’ even on weekdays. They’re a down to earth spot with great staff; even though I’ve only been inside once (so far!) I remember how nice the guy was behind the counter when we couldn’t decide what to get. I’m pretty sure he gave us free drinks when we realized we forgot to order them.

seoul sausage coJon brought me take-out from Seoul Sausage Company last night – a Spicy Pork Sandwich. He’d eaten there and ordered the Poutine, which he described as a creamy french fry dish.

The sandwich buns threw me back to earlier childhood days, when burgers were a simpler affair. My first bite was actually quite spicy – much hotter than any other bite into the sandwich. I think I may have bitten into a rouge and substantial chili or something since none of the other bites had the same amount of heat. In fact, aside from the echo of that first spice, “sweet” is how I’d describe this sandwich.

The apple cabbage slaw provided a creamy respite to the heat of that first bite, but I’m not the biggest mayo person, so as I continued to eat, it was a bit much. The patty is the star of the show here, and I made sure that for my last bite, I savored it alone—sans bun or slaw!

I’d recommend it as a new blend of flavors to try, but think that next time I’d like to try one of their balls instead =D

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