Miyata Menji on Sawtelle
I went to the newly opened Miyata Menji yesterday with the bf (http://la.eater.com/archives/2012/03/...). We ordered both the tonkotsu ramen and the tsukemen. The flavors were not "traditional" but we enjoyed both of them a lot! I liked the contrast between the rich tonkotsu broth and the acidity of the tomato chunks. The tsukemen dipping broth/sauce was very thick and packed lots of flavor - so much so I had to be careful not to bring up too much with my noodles.
The noodles were cooked perfectly and a great chewy consistency, although portion sizes were not big. It was a good size for me (I usually order half-sized bowls of ramen), but my boyfriend was inclined to order another bowl or two. The free bread for dipping makes sense, but their bread was rather dry and flavorless. Service was decent, but they seemed a little surprised at us being there. They asked us a few times how we found out about the place since they just opened.
Tried Menji last night: I loved the tsukemen, which is an absolute umami bomb, and as unusual as advertised--I don't remember having tasted a sauce with quite that combination of Japanese and Italian qualities elsewhere, even at the local yoshoku places like Sawtelle Kitchen and Blue Marlin.
The tonkatsu was good, but for that I'd have to give the nod to Tsujita across the street instead.
Menji also has curry ramen, limited to 20 servings a day; I didn't see anyone ordering it while we were there.
I wonder how long a restaurant can survive on Sawtelle with only 2 -1/2 menu items?
I tried their curry ramen last weekend, so I'll chime in.
No doubt about it, the Japanese curry hits your palate hard and up front. But, it may be a bit too much and drowns out the more subtle qualities I would have liked to appreciate in a bowl of ramen. They might need to tweak it a bit for me (although I can see other people liking it the way it is)...
Stick to the tried-and-true tsukemen at Miyata Menji, which I also loved.