Chapter 13 – Tsujita つじ田

下面有中文。日本語は下記。

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!


めでたい米国ラーメンアドベンチャー第一弾が本日から開催いたしまするっ!なんか英語版だけを書き終わったら、もうこんな長文になっちゃって申し訳ない気もするけど、第一弾だからまあいいか?この最初の最初にアメリカで食べたラーメンの中で一番好きなやつをご紹介したいと思います。ロサンゼルスにある「Tsujita」です!

こっちに住んでいる親戚や知り合いに本場らしいラーメンどこにあるかってよく聞かれるけど、残念ながらアメリカにはそんなにないと思う。NYには一風堂あるけど、食べたことがないから、日本の味と一緒かわからない。とはいえ、Tsujitaは唯一胸を張って日本の味そのままだと言える店で、日本にあっても人気がでると断言できるのだ。

最初この店に出会ったのは2012年日本の留学を終えて、LAに帰ってきて本場らしいラーメンがものすごく恋しい時だ。色々な店を試したんだけど、ちょうど諦めそうになるところで、運命が訪れた。ある日にUCLAに通ってたBさんにTsujitaに連れてってもらった。ずっとうまいうまいと言ってたけど、ラーメン激戦区の早稲田に甘やかされたオレには半信半疑だった。店の外から程よく豚骨の匂いもしてたけど、高い期待をしてたら、失望感も倍になるから、期待を抑えて普通に店に入って普通に味玉ラーメンを頼んだ。

この瞬間、奇跡が起きた。一口を食べた瞬間に、早稲田時代の自分に戻れて、酸いも甘いも目の前に思い浮かんだ。もうラーメンの全て、スープからはじめ、もやし、味玉、ぶ厚いチャーシュー、にんにくのそぼろまで、全部ビッタリで日本に出しても人気がありそう。って言うより、もはや日本のラーメン屋さんをそのままロサンゼルスに移してきたみたいだ。

さっき少し調べたのだが、元々日本のチェンで、今はロスにもニュージャーにも出店して、これからどんどん世界進出を企んでるそうだ。自分のクレープ屋が成功したら、次ラーメン屋でもやろうかなってふと思っちゃうねw。まあ、もしロスに訪ねる機会があれば、是非Tsujitaをお試しになってください!


本週開始將會介紹美國的拉麵!因為是值得慶祝的第一篇,我想介紹我個人在美國的第一名,在洛杉磯的超濃豚骨拉麵的「Tsujita」。雖然寫了英文跟日文就已經超級長了,但我還是加油點把中文也寫出來吧。說真的其實可以的話,我還蠻不想離開在日本能每天吃拉麵過人生的日子,但為了追尋經濟自由的夢想,短期內還是得先回加州,打拼自己的事業。

自從開始了這個拉麵部落格後,有不少的親朋好友問我說美國哪裡有比較道地的拉麵。很遺憾的我得告訴你,在美國眾多的拉麵店裡,像日本那樣道地的真的不多。雖說味道不太一樣,但是還是不錯吃的。但可能是豬的背油或是大蒜沒放那麼多而已。想當初會拜訪「Tsujita」其實也是因為大四剛從日本留學回來很想念當地的拉麵,找了很久後才因緣際會的在朋友B先生的介紹下找到這顆鑽石。

因為已經走訪很多家店,也失望了很多次,因此排隊時我並沒有抱太大的期望。雖然是新開的店,但在外面其實等了有一陣子才得已進去。那天我點了招牌的溏心蛋拉麵。拉麵端上來時說真的我有點嚇到。大蒜有點多的誇張。湯底的背油又是濃到五秒內就會在上面結一層的那種。就外觀來說這絕對有達到日本當地的水準,但以防萬一我還是想說外觀歸外觀,最終還是要看味道。結果才喝下第一口湯,就大大的出乎我的意料,湯的濃度油度鹹度好吃度真的是道地的不行。我不禁在心中吶喊「哇哩咧,我的媽呀!」真的是顛覆了大一到大四在加州所吃過的所有拉麵的印象。

「Tsujita」就彷彿是一家東京的店直接用多拉A夢的道具把它完完整整得搬了過來一般,實在是太屌了。這僅僅一碗的拉麵裡卻穎藏了浩大奇蹟。不管是濃郁的豚骨湯頭,還是煮的半熟爆漿的溏心蛋,或者是特厚的叉燒,還是稍微有點硬但Q度卻剛剛好的粗麵,這拉麵從頭到尾真的只能用完美兩個字能形容。想著當時吃著吃著,就連我在早稻田一整年酸甜苦辣的回憶都慢慢湧現出來,真的除了好吃以外還深深的感動到我的。

雖然現在去吃已經不會像第一次吃時那麼震撼了,但每次下南加玩時還是會當成例行公事一樣去拜訪。說真的,其實這麵有點濃得誇張,可能對口味較淡的朋友不太適合,或許你不會像我一樣感動。但就算是重口味的朋友我也建議一個月一次適當就好。不然可能不久後你就要去洗腎了。

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

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

http://tsujita-la.com/

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