Chapter 13 – Tsujita つじ田


Ramen adventure v2.0 is here! And we’re starting off the new chapter with the best ramen across the Americas in my opinion – “Tsujita”. While I’m still sad about having left Japan 2 months ago and not being able to indulge myself with the rich variety of ramens in Tokyo, I’m also happy to be back in Silicon Valley, chasing my dream of financial freedom. I do still plan to move back to Japan/Taiwan in 5 years or maybe shorter if I can achieve my dream early.

Anyway, friends and family here have been pestering me with questions on where to get authentic ramens here in the US. And I have to break out the sad news to you: out of all ones I tried (mostly in California), Tsujita is really the only authentic ramen. So if you don’t live in LA, tough luck. I do know there’s an Ippudo in New York City, but didn’t try it when I was there two years ago. They are however, opening a branch in Berkeley soon, which is a good news if you live in the Bay Area. Don’t get me wrong though- you can definitely still find decent ramens in the US, but they are just slightly modified to suit Americans’ taste buds and don’t come close to the authentic ramens in Japan in my opinion.

The first time I went to Tsujita was four years ago already, after I returned from my study abroad at Waseda University, aka the best year in my 24 years of life. As a die-hard ramen fanatic, I was really craving for some real creamy, rich, oily and fat tonkotsu broth then. But just like most of my professional ramen eater friends who had the real deal in Japan, nothing in LA could really satisfy me anymore. Out of some pure coincidence, my friend from UCLA, Mr.B, brought me there, and my life has changed ever since.

“OMFG!” was my first thought when I had Tsujita. I had the regular Ajitama Ramen (Ramen with egg). Everything was just so perfect – from the extra thick chashu, huge portion of bean sprouts, addicting shredded garlic, super rich and oily tonkotsu broth to that perfectly soft boiled egg with yolk that melts right through your heart… I literally had multiple foodgasm with every sip and bite. This place Tsujita ain’t no joke. They’re literally a ramen restaurant moved here directly from Japan. It’s like a little piece of Waseda teleported over through Dokodemo Door (Anywhere Door from Doraemon). When I drank every sip of the rich broth and bit down on every bit of that juicy as f*ck chashu, I felt as though I was back in my Waseda days again, where I used to have ramen for lunch everyday.

I researched Tsujita a little just now. They’re a chain from Japan, with branches now in LA and New Jersey, but also planning to expand worldwide. They now have three branches on the same street, Sawtelle, in LA, two of which are ramens and the other one is a sushi restaurant. Even though I don’t live in LA anymore, every time I visit LA (or actually I went this time on the way back from San Diego two months ago), I’d always make sure to stop by. I don’t get that homesick, sentimental feeling as much as I did the first time at Tsujita anymore, but it is still the number one among my US ramens, and will probably remain so for some time to come. Definitely stop by if you find yourself in LA!











Ramen with seasoned soft boiled egg 味玉ラーメン USD$10.95

2050 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA 90025


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