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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Daikokuya Original Noodle & Rice-Bowl - Monterey Park

Daikokuya Original Noodle and Rice Bowl - Monterey Park 1

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.

Daikokuya Original Noodle and Rice Bowl - Monterey Park 2

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?

Daikokuya Original Noodle and Rice Bowl - Monterey Park 3

A full size order of ramen was $8.50, half order was $5.95.

Daikokuya Original Noodle and Rice Bowl - Monterey Park 4

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.

Daikokuya Original Noodle and Rice Bowl - Monterey Park 5

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.

Daikokuya Original Noodle and Rice Bowl - Monterey Park 6

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.


  1. What the....??

    You didn't take me here? Hey, I was going to come here, but they were "closed" on Sunday. So sad.

    Darn, now I wanna go. Bring some back for me please!

  2. This is much closer compared to Little Tokyo. Need to visit someday!
    Everything looks great, especially the color from the broth! Must have tasted great with that type of color!

  3. There seems to be sooo much to eat and sooo little time, unfinished business in Cali. The broth from the ramen noodles looks like it is just blistering with flavor. Yummy, well said.

  4. mmmm that fried rice looks good. i could eat 2 full orders!

  5. Wait, you were eating at SSG on Sunday too? That was our fall-back plan after discovering Daikokuya wasn't open for lunch either. Ramen dinner is calling...

  6. Hey there!

    There is something for you at Pink Bites, come and get it!


  7. Well that's a relief. You SGV folks are lucky...Asian restaurants there seem to up their attention to quality since people there are so food crazy and the competition is fierce.

    OC's Asian places seem to suffer from complacency.

    Great post, as usual!

  8. WTF Mexican chicken boy am I sorely disappointed.

  9. That ramen looks so yummy! I wish we could have such a high standard noodle bar in Basel, Switzerland.

  10. That ramen looks absolutely amazing. I'm so hungry right now looking at that, and I just ate a whole bowl of bun rieu.

  11. That ramen does look goooooood. Mmm. And that fried rice... yum! The Mexican chicken... hahaha, I woulda been confused about the name as well XD

  12. The current hours of my favorite ramenya are:
    5:30pm to 12pm (midnight), closed on Sunday.

    I also heard that they are planning to open for lunch sometime in the future. There are some additional different menu items than the original location and some absences as well. I went there three times in the span of 10 days... O_o

  13. Hmm, I am pretty sure I left a comment on here before thanking you for being my FoodBuzz inspiration... Blogger has problems sometimes. Also, I just gave you an award, so please pick it up!

  14. I'm so relieved to hear that the broth was rich and porky, just as it should be. I wonder what's going on with the consistency of the J-Town location? It makes me nervous about recommending the place if the stock is sometimes "bland." Already got one complaint about that too.

  15. I'm drooling. Ooo..that piece of pork belly.... It's a crime your pictures look so yummy !! .LOL.

  16. PepsiMonster,
    How about I'll take you here if you pay for me. ;)

    Oh yes, that milky color can only be achieved after boiling for a long time. So flavorful.

    SoCal is such a great eating city. You'll have to just keep a running list of every place you want to try.

    We had 1.5 orders. :)

    Not Sunday. They're closed Sundays.

    Thanks sweetie!

    The broth was so bland at the original location on my last visit that I even removed it from my "fave" list! So I was really glad this location lived up to its promise.

    Haha. I wanted something fusion-y and cool.

    You've got skiing in the Alps lady! Can't complain.

    We'll have to meet up for ramen for sure!

    It's all about the ramen and fried rice for me. No Mexican chicken next time. Haha.

    Thanks cousin! I'll make edits to the post.

    Thanks lady!

    I don't know but my last visit was so disappointing so I'm glad that was just an exception.

    My College Kitchen,
    Pork belly is wonderful here. Fall-apart tender.

  17. Hi WC - It's good to know that Daikokuya in Monterey Park is up to snuff. I was so disappointed in the Costa Mesa ramen from the Costa Mesa location.

  18. Kirk,
    I think it's as Elmo says, more competition up here so they gotta step up.

  19. I was curious about the seaweed and cream cheese too, so I took the plunge and ordered it once. It was literally squares of nori served with a side of cream cheese cubes. I feel dumb. Although it was tasty (salty, crunch, creamy), I could have made it at home... I still laugh at myself to this day for ordering it.

  20. Yum Cha Girl,
    Bwahaha! I'm glad you did it and not me. They didn't even wrap the nori around the cream cheese for you?


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