Do I really need to say anything after this photo? I mean really. Can't you tell the pork will be so tender it melts in your mouth? The ramen noodles will be soft and chewy? The broth will be so flavorful that you'll literally slurp the whole bowl?
I wasn't feeling very hungry, but when cousin Q invited me out for ramen at Daikokuya Original Noodle & Rice-Bowl in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo, there was no way I was gonna say no. I'd been hearing him rave about it for so long you see. After our lunch at Shin-Sen-Gumi in Rosemead way back in November, he couldn't stop comparing it to Daikokuya's meltingly tender pork, flavorful broth, and very generous portions.
So we headed into Little Tokyo. You might recognize the tower from Showdown in Little Tokyo, starring you know, the very Japanese Brandon Lee and Tia Carrere. Heh. :P
While he went inside to put his name on the waitlist, I got a look around.
Here, you can just read what the restaurant says makes their ramen so special.
After maybe a half hour wait or so? I had wandered down the street for some very cute mochi that I'll show you tomorrow, we went back and waited inside for our table. Daikokuya is very small. Just six booths (there's another booth to my right) and a dozen spots at the counter.
Of course we all got the special ramen for $7.50. My cousin asked for extra pork, which was $2 for two more slices. I opted for a ramen and tempura combo for $10.95.
First out was our hot green tea.
My combo included thinly sliced cabbage salad.
On the table were small containers of pickled ginger, pureed garlic, and togarashi (Japanese chili).
My tempura was nicely crispy with a good selection of vegetables. I was saving it to dip in the ramen broth though.
OK, OK. I know this is what you've all been waiting for. Just look at that bowl and see how rich the broth is. That comes from cooking the pork bones with soy sauce for a full day.
Cousin Q had to lift up his slices of pork just so I could see what he means. So tender, it just started falling apart. My cousin literally made humming, yummy noises as he slurped his bowl. And when the noodles were all gone, he supped as much of the broth as possible, getting excited each time he found a small piece of pork in the broth.
I'll admit, I was equally excited. This was good stuff. Really good stuff. Really, really good stuff.
Here's another look at that bowl after I doctored it up with ginger and togarashi. This was seriously rave-worthy ramen. I thought the hard-boiled egg added a nice touch. I broke it apart, ate the white part that had been seasoned from the broth, and then mashed the egg yolks into the broth. The pork, the broth, the noodles, the generous portions. Everything was perfect. Well, OK, I wouldn't mind more pieces of pork and bamboo shoots. :)
Daikokuya was so tasty I went back a couple of days later with lil' sis. We shared a bowl of ramen. Mmm. And ordered the fried spicy tuna for $4.95. The spicy tuna was wrapped in shiso leaf, dipped in tempura batter, and fried. There was a little saucer of sea salt to dip with this. I liked the shiso leaf fried, it was a nice alternative to the usual sushi way of eating spicy tuna.
We got the ramen with fried rice combo. Wow! That marvelous black pig that so flavored the broth was used in the fried rice. It was so good lil' sis declared this the best fried rice she's ever had.
I had a coupon but totally forgot to use it so I guess I'll have to go back again. :P
Who else at at Daikokuya?
Henry Chan of Henry Chan's Food Videos also loves Daikokuya.
Elmo of Monster Munching had a rather disappointing experience.
My other ramen posts:
Aji Man Japanese Restaurant - San GabrielDaikokuya Original Noodle & Rice-Bowl - Monterey ParkFoo Foo Tei Noodle House - Monterey Park (Closed)
Santouka - Costa MesaSantouka - Los AngelesShin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen - GardenaShin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen - RosemeadDaikokuya Original Noodle & Rice-Bowl
327 E. First St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. - Midnight
Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 a.m.
Sunday noon - until soup is gone