We came seeking Santouka and left with a belly full of Tsujita's dipping noodles. A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the closure of Tamaya in the Mar Vista location of Mitsuwa. Last night, we found a tiny ramen pop-up named Tanaka in its place, serving three different types of ramen, one each on separate two to three day runs. It turns out that Tanaka is both a pop-up and the training ground for Nidaime Tsujita, the Sawtelle version of the Japanese ramen house that we recently chided for not having its ramen in place.
Staff members say Tanaka and Tsujita are currently one and the same inside of Mitsuwa. The pop-up opened on October 15th and will be at Mitsuwa only until October 22nd. For the first three days, the pop-up served chuka soba, while we caught them in the middle of their tsukemen dipping noodle trial. When dipped, the room temperature squiggles quickly cooled down the ramen broth, a rich, smoky blend made from pork, fish, and chicken that drops serious umami while raising our hopes for Tsujita's success. Starting today, the stand, which claims to be an outpost of Kyushu's popular Hakata Nagahama Ramen Shop, will start serving its tonkotsu ramen for the next three days. The tonkotsu ramen apparently won this shop first place three years in a row in a ramen competition.
As for Tsujita, staff members inside of Tanaka tell us they're very hopeful the restaurant's ramen will start being served on Sawtelle on October 26th, though possible delays are not completely beyond expectation. In any case, with three days left, we advise you to get it while you can.
Tanaka Ramen, at Mitsuawa, 3760 South Centinela Ave. Mar Vista.