It might be time to consider changing the name of Little Osaka to "Ramen Row." This week, West L.A.'s Sawtelle Boulevard welcomes two new ramen restaurants to its changing face, opening on the heels of newcomers Tsujita and Miyata Menji, and joining old-timers like Asahi and nearby Ramen-Ya. Welcome Ramen Jinya and Tatsu as your new ramen targets sitting slightly west of the 405.
Following Ramen Jinya's false promise of an opening in May, Eater reports on today's Sawtelle debut of this proliferating chain that blogger Rameniac first helped uncover as a number-one stunner in Studio City, shortly before the Japan-bred Ramen Jinya brand grew to Mid-City and Costa Mesa, and a Robata Jinya came to West Hollywood's Third Street.
Jinya confirms with us that it opened at 11:00 A.M. this morning and will be serving until 10:00 P.M. tonight. We can instantly think of one guy who's set to be stoked about this news...if we can tear him away from Tatsu, Sawtelle's other new ramen spot, that is.
Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch jumped on the recent opening of Tatsu Ramen, which along with okonomiyaki-pros Gottsui, is helping to fill in Little Osaka's mostly mediocre strip mall across from Nijiya Market. With low expectations, Brooks was astounded to find he really likes this place, declaring the greatness of its wiggly, curvy noodles and falling in love with its naked ramen, despite a few hiccups in these early days.
While we know Tsujita is safe and the widely admired Jinya will not go ignored on this street, Brooks answers a question increasingly on our minds, telling us that Tastu offers, "a great first impression, especially for being on a street that is rapidly feeling like it can't take another ramen option." So far, it sounds like there's still a little room left for more ramen in West L.A.