May 8, 2009
Daikokuya, Little Tokyo
I would say I crave Daikokuya at least twice a month. I discovered this place after hearing about it from a co-worker and since my first visit, I have been addicted. Daikokuya is wedged in the middle of a block packed with Japanese restaurants, but one look and you'll noticed, it is the thriving business on the block. The restaurant is first-come first-served and they have a clip board for patrons to sign in. There are usually people standing outside waiting to get in for a bowl of the highly desired ramen. This visit, we waited less than 30 minutes and were seated at the counter.
Complimentary with purchase of combination
Ordering a combination is the way to go. You get the same size bowl of soup which is 8.50, plus your choice of a delicious side such as fried rice and various teriyaki bowls and a cabbage salad, which is my favorite. The sliced cabbage, carrots and green onions are topped with a creamy dressing packed with flavor. It always leaves me wanting more. This is the best side salad I have had at a ramen restaurant.
Daikoku Ramen Kotteri with small Chicken Teriyaki
We were seated at the counter and we were fortunate enough to witness the cooking and assembly of the noodles. The noodles are cooked for 1 minute and 45 seconds in boiling water. Once the noodles are ready, they are poured into large bowls and topped with broth, kotteri (extra pork fat), slices of pork, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, boiled egg, green onions and a few shakes of sesame seeds. This combination creates one of the most delicious ramens dishes I have tasted. The broth is full of flavor and while sitting at the counter, we noticed a carton of soy milk being poured into the large vat of broth. The pork is sweet, tender, incredibly flavorful and melts right in your mouth. Although a huge bowl of ramen, I always find myself finishing every last drop. We discovered that there is a larger bowl option for those who aren't quite satisfied with the regular size.
Perhaps next time?
Although the main attraction at Daikokuya is their ramen, everything else is also very good. The chicken teriyaki is not over sauced like some places, the chicken is cooked perfectly and the rice is just right. I will definitely order this again.
Daikokuya is one of my favorite ramen houses in Los Angeles county. I've never had a disappointing meal and always leave more than satisfied. There is usually a wait and it can become quite long depending on the time and day you go, but definitely worth a 30-45 minute wait. Bring good friends and the time will pass quickly. If you do go, don't skip over the kotteri option for the ramen.
327 E 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
There is very limited street parking, but plenty of parking in near by lots.