While I was gallavanting about LA, my friend Ashley took to me a frequent lunch haunt of hers, Tsujita (LA Artisan Noodle, is the full name), for one of the joint’s specialties, ajitama tsukemen with char siu. I added a plus order of bamboo shoots (cuz dey deliciousss) for good measure, and off I went to an elaborate land of delight.
The noodles and char siu came in a separate bowl, with some seaweed and a slice of lime (which, per Ashley, you squeeze onto the last remaining third of the noodles when you reach that point in your Japanese journey). The dipping sauce was thick and savory, and I added a good dollop of spicy pickled mustard leaf and sesame seeds. I really liked the consistency of the hard-boiled egg (not pictured), particularly the gooey richness of the egg yolk.
As a side note, Sawtelle was a oft-frequented spot of mine during my LA days (in particular Furaibo, an izakaya of sorts, across the street from Tsujita), when the neighborhood was in a bit of transitional phase from the lowkey collection of hardware stores and bungalows to the spattering of food outlets and supermarkets. It was well on its way to the crowded development of shiny restaurants and condominiums it is now. I suppose it is only a natural progression, especially when the food is this good and rightfully draws a crowd. But other than the food, there’s a little bit of love lost, or at least charm lost, in stepping out on those same sidewalks.