October 11, 2013

Udon I Can't Shut Up About

Recently, a new udon restaurant by the name of Marugame Monzo opened up in the Little Tokyo district of Downtown LA. It's conveniently located on 1st St. just a couple doors down from Daikokuya (some of you know this as the ramen place with the super long line). So if you're feeling like noodles but tired of ramen or waiting, GO HERE. I've been hearing buzz about this place for months, but Kevin and I just haven't had the chance to try it. We tried to go a couple of weeks ago after an opening at Q Pop, but we got so caught up with talking to friends that by the time we got there it was 15 minutes before closing and there were already two more parties waiting to be seated. So we decided to wait to try it on a weeknight when it's less crowded and it's easier to find free street parking. Yesterday, (as Thursday is like the new Friday) we finally treated ourselves to some yummy udon.

First of all, their udon noodles are PERFECT. Why? Because they're handmade on the premises and you can taste the huge difference between them and your typical supermarket stuff. They're just the perfect balance of chewy and doughy.

I got the Mentai Squid Butter Udon which had generous portions of tender pieces of squid (not the chewy, rubbery stuff you get from cheaper places). And the mentai (cod roe) didn't make it too salty either! Kevin ordered the Uni (sea urchin) Cream Udon which was AMAZING. What I got was already really good, but I kept picking at his dish because it was even better!
Mentai Squid Butter Udon
The only disappointment in my first trip to Marugame Monzo was in myself…somehow I totally forgot to order a tempura soft-boiled egg. YES, you read that correct! They offer tempura fried soft-boiled eggs! Here's the proof:

But FYI, it is a little pricier than ramen/pho/other noodle dish of choice, but it's totally worth it! What I ordered ran about $13 and I left feeling full & satisfied, but not too full to the point where I felt gross. So if you're ever in Downtown LA, I HIGHLY recommend going here.

If you want to read a real food critic's opinion, here's Jonathan Gold's review of the place. 

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