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Jan 3, 2011 01:09 PM

Popularity of Santouka

I'm just wondering if what I had witnessed today is the norm or is this a recent phenomena (perhaps due to a media story that was run about them lately)

I don't recall it ever being this busy

I stopped in at 1pm and the line had to be at least 25 people deep to place an order at Santouka.
It stretched from their counter out towards the last checkout stand of the grocery store by the front entrance.

I also noticed people with their food were jockeying around waiting for open tables.

I grabbed a bento to go and was on my merry way but I would like to know if this is the norm for prime lunch hours now.

If I make recommendations to friends about Santouka I want to know if I need to stipulate a time to go as well.


3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

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  1. I usually get there around 11:30 and there are at most 2-3 people. By the time I leave, there is usually a 20+ deep line.

    1. here is your problem

      "I stopped in at 1pm"

      1 Reply
      1. re: ns1

        Cool thanks for the replies guys...

        I usually go early myself to grab groceries sometimes I'm so early Santouka is not even open yet.

        3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

      2. I suspect this is the exception rather than the norm. Yesterday, like many other people on a rainy, cold day in L.A., I thought that it'd be a good day for a bowl of piping hot Santouka ramen.

        I showed up at Santouka in the afternoon, only to see it closed, with a sign that said "Closed due to technical reasons. Sorry for the inconvenience."

        Ever persistent, I made a mental note to definitely return this to Santouka week sometime. Judging by your recounting of events on Jan. 03, I suspect I was not the only one.

        3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

        1. C'est normal. And they're so finicky about what they'll send out that the crowd waiting for food is as big as the crowd waiting to order.

          It IS worth the wait, though I like to go at off-times. If you get there by noon you'll be fine.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Early evening is also a very good time to go.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              The calm before the storm...

              I've been there countless times but I'm a early bird I'm usually done by 11:30.
              At the times I go I find it peaceful.

              I would have never imagined that prime lunch hour was such mayhem.