Whenever cousin Q's older brother's friend comes into town, he always invites me to hang with the guys. Yippee! I get to play with the boys. My brother sometimes pulls the "guys only" thing on me, but cousin Q's older brother's friend never does. He's nice like that. :)
Do you want to eat or drink, I asked?
Not terribly hungry?
We could do yakitori and beer at Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori Shabu Shabu? His friend perked up at the mention of yakitori so that's where we ended up. Except the little skewers of meat weren't really filling him up that night. Hey! He said he wasn't hungry.
So when cousin Q strolled in later and mentioned that Daikokuya Original Noodle and Rice Bowl had literally just opened up in the same strip mall where we were already dining, I had never seen the guys guzzle their beers so fast.
We walked on over and were told they were completely out of ramen that night. :(
We ended up at JJ Hong Kong Cafe instead.
The next day, cousin Q called me up to see if I wanted to try again for lunch.
Only to find...
...they're only open for dinner.
*Cue sad face again and violin music.*
So a few days later, cousin Q's older brother's friend came back and we were ready to try again. A few months back, he was driving around the San Gabriel Valley and called me to ask for ramen suggestions for lunch. I said if he's willing to drive, he should just go to the Daikokuya in Little Tokyo. He did and loved it.
But when I visited the original location recently with cousin T and her husband, even though they thought it was excellent (and far better than anything that could be found in Portland), I found the broth quite bland. Oh no! I've heard others say the broth has been inconsistent but that was the first time I experienced it myself.
So would this newest location equal the original? Or would it bomb like Elmo of Monster Munching's experience with the Costa Mesa Daikokuya?
Cousin Q's older brother's friend had called for reservations since there were seven of us. I didn't even know they did that. Heh. Evidently, that means writing your name down on the wait list. Luckily for us, by the time we got there, we were next on the list.
This location is pretty small. About half a dozen two-person tables and a dozen counter spots. It can be a little hard to find. Enter through the driveway on the Atlantic Boulevard side and it'll be on your left side on the ground level.
We ordered the fried rice, of course. This was the half-order and was quickly scarfed up. We promptly asked for another, a full order this time, which was two scoops of this. I think a full order was $7.50?
A full size order of ramen was $8.50, half order was $5.95.
Look at that beautiful porky goodness. So tender and flavorful. It was a good night. The broth was rich without being heavy, deeply porky in all the good ways. Ah, Daikokuya, I fell in love with you all over again.
Out of curiosity, we ordered the Mexican chicken for $4.95. I know! What's a Japanese ramen joint doing with Mexican chicken on the menu? Turns out, it was grilled chicken topped with avocado and tomatoes. Oh.
There's also a cream cheese and seaweed item on the menu that makes me curious...
Considering this location is much closer to me and has better parking than downtown, I'll have to visit more often. Or until word gets out, and then it might be just as long of a wait as the Little Tokyo location.
Also in this strip mall:
Empress Harbor Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Monterey Park
Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori Shabu Shabu - Monterey Park
Other ramen posts:
Aji Man Japanese Restaurant - San Gabriel
Daikokuya Original Noodle & Rice-Bowl - Los Angeles (Little Tokyo)
Foo Foo Tei Noodle House - Monterey Park (Closed)
Santouka - Costa Mesa
Santouka - Los Angeles
Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen - Gardena
Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen - Rosemead
Daikokuya Original Noodle & Rice-Bowl
Atlantic Place Shopping Center
111 N. Atlantic Blvd., #241
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Monday to Saturdays 11 a.m. to midnight
Sundays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
1 year ago today, I started a month of mostly photos with Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry).
2 years ago today, my basic marinade for Vietnamese chicken or pork.