Who doesn’t love freshly made pasta, noodle or udon? Marugame Monzo in Little Tokyo is the only place in LA that you can enjoy a bowl of udon just right after it was made and watch the chef handmade your order with so much love, sweat, and muscle. If you can, request the seat by the bar so you can see the making of udon. If you plan to come here, please expect to wait at least 45 minutes. I never had any luck to wait for less than that. So please don’t come here where you are so hungry. There is little Tokyo shopping street nearby where you can get some snacks while waiting but it will kill your appetite.
For the appetizers, we ordered the Tataki Beef – seared beef, baby octopus, and soft-boiled egg tempura. The Tataki beef was very refreshing, mild taste with a highlight of Sansho peppercorn and pickle dressing.The Baby octopus ($2/each) and soft-boiled egg tempura ($1.5/each) were so good, crispy outside, soft and juicy inside. I would just go there for that tempura.
For the main course, I ordered the Duck Nanban Udon. I really love it. The broth tastes clean and full of duck flavor. The duck breast was cooked to perfection, slightly roasted outside but still a bit pink, juicy and tender inside. With the light broth, I could taste the fresh udon flavor. $13.25My friend ordered the Sea Urchin Cream Udon – Uni Udon, which was very rich and full of uni flavor. If you love uni, it is a dish for you. $16.95
We really loved our meal at Marugame Monzo but we just wish the line was shorter. It wasn’t a pleasure to wait on the sidewalk for almost an hour with an empty stomach in a cold windy night. So if you want to try this place, please plan ahead and have a better experience than mine.