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Daikokuya (Los Angeles, CA) – A Party of One

March 25, 2010

Most people don’t like eating alone. I’m one of them.

As much as I try to avoid it, I find myself eating alone more often than I’d like to admit. Not only do I eat alone, 90% of the time I forget to bring a book and end up sitting around watching everyone around me chow down while I sit……at a table…doing nothing…by myself. (Yeaaaaah. Sounds lame, I know. I promise you – I have friends! And social skills!)

That said, there are a very small handful of places where I will willingly eat alone as the happiness I get from that meal exceeds any discomfort of being a party of one. Of that very small handful of places, there is only one restaurant that I will willingly wait an hour – BY MYSELF – for a meal that will only take half of that time to consume.

Daikokuya.

I’ve come to realize Daikokuya doesn’t care if you’re a party of one or four – you’re going to be seated based on where your name falls on THE LIST (i.e. their wait list, which is secured on a clipboard and sits on a lone chair smack in the middle of their front entrance). See that empty space by the counter, perfect for me, myself and I? Unless you’re next on the list, it’s going to stay empty until the couple next to it leaves, when it will be then used for a party of three instead.

For me, no matter how long I find myself waiting, Daikokuya is worth the wait. The dressing on their cabbage starter salad is simply addicting. Its rich, milky tonkotsu broth washes away the troubles of the day with each warm sip. The noodles are just to my liking – not too soft, cooked just enough so it doesn’t feel like they were tossed into the bowl as an afterthought.

I can go no matter if I’m having a good day or a bad one, whether I’m with friends or by myself – it always hits the spot.

(Read my original review on Yelp.)

Daikokuya
327 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-1680
Website: http://www.daikoku-ten.com/
Twitter: @daikokuyaramen

Daikokuya on Urbanspoon

Ippudo (Manhattan, NY) – Noodling in NY

December 26, 2009

(Did the above catch your attention? Good.)

I love my ramen broth rich. None of that salt-based stuff for me, I love slurping pure liquid porkiness.

However Ippudo’s akamaru modern ramen, with its tonkotsu broth made from boiling pig parts (mmm…pig parts), is more than liquid porkiness – it has a different dimension that I haven’t tasted in a bowl from Los Angeles yet.

Perhaps it’s the addition of the miso paste and garlic oil that makes Ippudo’s broth so tasty. Or, maybe it’s the braised chunks of pork belly (a supplemental topping) that made this bowl of ramen seem so fatty and delicious.

All I know is that I dread craving Ippudo. Busy season’s coming up and there’s no time to fly to NYC for another bowl…

Ippudo NY
65 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 388-0088
Website: http://www.ippudo.com/ny/

Ippudo on Urbanspoon

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