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May 26, 2013 10:20 PM

Daikokuya To Sawtelle

Following up on a tip from Chris Hei, I stopped by the abandoned Ramen Jinya location on Sawtelle, and based on a hand drawn sign in the door, Daikokuya is taking over that space. No indication of the ETA.

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  1. Sad to see Jinya go. It was a good location. If there is no tweaking of their bowl at this new location, Daikokuya (as it currently stands) would be ranked in my book just above Tatsu as second-to-last place in the ramen wars of Little Osaka.

    17 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      What would your ranking be? I'm assuming (but maybe I shouldn't) that Tsujita would be top?

      1. re: PeterCC

        You both should specify your favorite. I would presume that tsujita annex would be tops.

        1. re: kevin

          In reality I've only been to two ramen places in Little Osaka: Tsujita and Tsujita ANNEX, but I would say of the two I prefer the annex better.

          1. re: PeterCC

            There isn't really a war in Little Osaka - more like a two-pronged bloodbath by Tsujita.

            1. re: chrishei


              What are the other non-contenders ? Asahi, Tatsu, Ramen-ya, am I missing any ?

              But you guys would also prefer Tsujita (in either of its incarnations) over Santouka on Centinela, right ?

              1. re: kevin

                Ramenya isn't technically in Little Osaka, is it? If we count it, do we count Hayatemaru and Kotoya?

                I wouldn't kick Santouka out that easily. I do really love the Jiro-style seabura-chacha ramen that the Annex does, but it's so heavy that I would still choose Santouka's shio over it when I'm in the mood for something lighter.

                1. re: PeterCC

                  You are right. But I still included it since I thought it was close enough. Little Osaka roughly translates to the Sawtelle corridor between SM Blvd and Pico. (I used to think it stopped at Olympic).

                  1. re: PeterCC

                    My current top 5 (not just Little Osaka):

                    1) Tsujita Annex
                    2) Tsujita
                    3) Santouka
                    4) Jinya (Studio City)
                    5) Hayatemaru

                    Yamadaya used to be on it, but I've had meh bowls there the last few times.

                    1. re: chrishei

                      I do like their chicken/fish broth at yamadaya in culver city.

                    2. re: PeterCC

                      And the extended hours at annex is pretty key.

                      for anyone that knows, is ramen usually only considered a lunch dish rather than a dish for dinner time ( a la american breakfast which people usually eat only at breakfast hours).

                      1. re: kevin

                        Yes, I am very happy that the Annex is open to midnight every night (and that Hayatemaru is open to 1:30 AM on Sat/Sun), when I get those late-night cravings...

                        1. re: PeterCC

                          Although and it must be said, heavy-duty, deeply rich and fatty broth is not what one should usually eat before going nighty night.

                          i probably would not be able to sleep unless i popped a bottle of lipitor and chased it with some mcCalen 25.

                          1. re: kevin

                            If high-end Scotch is nowhere in sight, I'd chase it with some gulps of Dawn dish detergent, neat...

          2. re: J.L.

            I didn't like this location of Jinya (and I was really looking forward to it too), and it doesn't help that it's south of Olympic, missing out on most of the Sawtelle foot traffic. But yeah, not really looking forward to Daikokuya, but I'll definitely try it at least a couple of times.

            1. re: chrishei

              Never tried the other branches of Jinya, but with all the hype, the Sawtelle locaton was a big disappointment.

              1. re: chrishei

                But it had the 2nd location of Sushi Stop next to it to help generate business. =P

                Seriously, though, was business that bad at this location? I went there 1-2 times, and it was pretty busy each time I went. Although I also do remember service being fairly slow. The kind of lackadaisical service that they have (had?) at the Studio City location probably would be more problematic than the location...

                1. re: ilysla

                  Someone in the Japanese restaurant business had mentioned some issue/lawsuit of not paying their workers overtime and that there would be closing of some branch(s). I was unable to verify that info in print though. Just passing it along.

            2. Ouch, Jinya to Daikokuya is a definite downgrade

              1 Reply
              1. re: BrewNChow

                Definitely agreed. I wish it was something besides Daikokuya. :sad:

                1. Following up here, had a pretty good experience yesterday with the rectangular but meaty gyoza and the takoyaki (still hot and soft inside; hold that mayo) taking the blue medal. the spicy miso ramen not as good jinyas used to be, but the noodles were toothy and all and all pretty good. im missing a dense gloopy bowl of spicy ramen, and as much as i like santouka's salt ramens, there's doesn't deliver that sort of peanutbuttery goodness that i prefer. my friends rice bowls looked tasty and were devoured....sort of a weird interior and service but it's the food that counts, right??

                  I've been down on Tsujita for its consistent inability to serve a hot bowl of soup and but i wouldn't go here just for the ramen -- go if you like the octopus balls and tasty gyoza and other stuff (ie cutlets).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jessejames

                    Try the red ramen at Kotoya for that dense spicy broth. Their chashu has gone downhill (but still decent) but the red broth is still damn satisfying. Level 2 suits me perfectly on most days

                    1. re: soniabegonia

                      thanks sonia -- will have to do that up...kotoya has my favorite gyoza