Saturday, March 19, 2011

Daikokuya Review: Ramen Worth the Wait?

No matter what time of day, Daikokuya in Little Tokyo always has long lines of people out the door waiting for their famous ramen and other dishes. I've never had the patience to wait before, but having tried most other ramen places in LA, I decided to wait last Sunday. Forty minutes later, we were seated at the bar and all ordered Daikokuya combos: the house specialty Daikokuya ramen with various rice bowls and a green salad to start. I thought the thick porky ramen was good but not particularly special or exciting; I still prefer the ramen at Ramen Mottainai, Santouka and Ippudo in NYC as the variety, quality and richness of ingredients seem better. I think people go to Daikokuya for the value; the combinations are really good deals at around $10 each and with huge portions, all of us took home the entire rice bowl parts of our meals, enough for lunch for the next day. I don't think Daikokuya is worth the wait, but I'm glad I got to check out what all the hype was about.
Cabbage salad part of the combo: waaaay too much mayo dressing, gross
Daikokuya ramen: thick pork ramen with thinly sliced very fatty pieces of pork belly (which I rather liked)
Gyoza: pretty good but I prefer my gyoza to be a little thinner-skinned
Unagi don
Pork rice bowl
Fried rice

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