Marugame Udon’s Cafeteria-Style Ramen And Tempura! LA’s Sawtelle Japantown Gem!

Who Wants Ramen?

If you live in Los Angeles, you no doubt have your favorite ramen joint – but how about one that offers up delicious Ramen bowls AND Tempura as well?

Welcome To Sawtelle Japantown AKA Little Osaka!

On the westside of Los Angeles, west of the 405 and north of Olympic there is a neighborhood known officially as Sawtelle Japantown, and there are many terrific restaurants lining the street. Many in the area also call it “Little Osaka” as well…either way, there are terrific ramen restaurants including Marugame Udon – which is a terrific Ramen Noodle and Tempura Bar – where everything is served cafeteria style!

I have eaten here a half dozen times, the last one when I had lunch with Cameron Diaz. Well, she stood in front of me when ordering and sat nearby, so it counts.

Yes, it does.

So here is the process that Cameron followed: you wait at the entrance to peruse the menu, then step up to order…

The fresh noodles are cooked right in front of you, then dumped into a bowl where a second Chef adds the rest of your ingredients…since Ms. Diaz ate the same thing I did, she had the sweet beef with the softboiled egg added…

Then you slide your tray, cafeteria-style, past a terrific array of tempura: everything from chicken (Karaage!) to vegetables, asparagus, squid, fishcake and more…

As you can see, lots of options, including lots of vegetables as well…and after loading up on Tempura, you can get some Musubi rice balls as well!

After sliding around to the cashier, you can head over to the condiment bar, where there are fresh herbs, green onions and tempura krispies as well…

So what did I have? I got the udon with sweet beef and a soft-boiled egg added, then got myself some chicken, shrimp and squid tempura – and it was time to dig in…

The verdict? Delicious! The sweet beef Udon is really flavorful, the soft boiled egg gives the broth a yellow-y thickness – and the tempura is perfectly cooked…this is a great meal!

The street is lined with terrific restaurants – yes, I am also a fan of Tsujita’s multiple restaurants as well…and just a few blocks away is another of LA’s legendary food haunts:

Yes, just a mile or so away is The Apple Pan, which has the best apple pie in town!

You can see my entire review of The Apple Pan by clicking here:

Let me know your favorite LA Ramen joint!

Categories: cookbooks, Food, food blog, Food Review, Los Angeles, Pop Culture, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized, Wacky Food

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17 replies

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  2. I have never heard of this. I am clearly over sheltered. I haven’t seen them in the UK or in New Zealand either. I am glad to know that Cameron eats. Not all the stars to as far as I can tell [wink].

  3. My family and I love eating ramen. Delicious.

  4. I had to smile at the ‘Bukkake’ noodles on the menu. I might give that option a miss…
    But the rest looks delicious, especially the beef Udon.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  1. I Ate Amazing “Glow In The Dark” Ramen! A “Neon Noodle” Feast At Legendary Yamashiro Hollywood! – johnrieber

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