Lots of ramen spots in DTLA. So which one to go with? Well, the 3 I like heading to when the stomach is yearning for some would probably be:
But I won’t really get into all 3, this post is all about Daikokuya. I’ve always wanted to go but the long wait just wasn’t something I can do during the multiple attempts in Little Tokyo.
So today, I decided to head early into the area, and have lunch with Belle and Lou. I found myself parking at the Japanese Village Plaza structure, since I know I can get validation at Mikawaya. It was either paying $6 for the parking lot across the restaurant, or paying $5 (minimum) and eating some mochi-lato at the same time. The latter taste good to me =)
Wanting the first dibs for seats, we got there 10–15 minutes before 11am. The line quickly grew a couple of minutes right before they opened. The restaurant filled less than 10-minutes after we got seated. So yah, get there early, or prepare to wait 20–30+ minutes.
For the food, I tried to quickly take photos as everything smells and looks good…
Their gyoza was probably the best one I’ve ever had. Its so good—it got voted in LA Weekly’s “Best of LA” (article here):
Daikokuya’s gyoza are the pan-fried variety, as opposed to the pale, boiled kind, and do not come crimped like little purses as most of them do, but folded into rectangular packets, their edges seared to crisp filigrees, their seasoned interiors dense and pork-heavy, a handful of thinly sliced scallions scattered over the top.
The experience with the ramen can be paraphrased like this:
Oh beautiful golden ramen, what hides underneath your garnishing?
(a couple of scoops later)
Yes—oh yes—just instant nomnomness!
The soup (soy sauce based) was dang tasty; can definitely tell the boiling of the pork bones was planned to keep you sipping for some more. The pork was tender. Man oh man, so good and flavorful. And the egg, I wouldn’t mind more of.
As for the Teriyaki Eel, I could’ve probably just ordered this and be happy for lunch. The portion seemed small at first. But after a couple of bites, I noticed that the eel slices were bigger than ones I have had before. Not only that, but they are delicious.
Overall, this experience was pretty good. I’d for sure head back there— as long as there’s no wait. But what can I tell you, you won’t be disappointed if you do wait.
327 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012