>> Eat the World Los Angeles

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Hummus Yummy

ISRAEL 🇮🇱
Burbank Blvd. facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: The small fast casual restaurant is open for indoor dining and has a couple tables in front as well.

By now the story of Hummus Yummy and its chef who used to run a weekend menu of all things hummus in his backyard are well known in Los Angeles and especially with the Valley's Kosher-eating communities. His passion project evolved briefly into a food truck and then onto a full restaurant at one of the busiest intersections in the Valley's most Kosher neighborhood.

Surrounded by other restaurants and businesses catering to this community, the story might seem too ordinary to keep writing about, but the hummus is even better now if that were possible. And while it may have slipped back under the media's radar, the business is constantly full of local patrons throughout the week until it closes early on Fridays for the weekend.

Full takeout order

Most of the hummus in Southern California anywhere north of Anaheim's Little Arabia that does get written about are in fancy Arts District restaurants, but workaday casual restaurants like this do not require finding a reservation weeks in advance and do just as much to satisfy a craving. And hummus is the main attraction of course, just like it is in the chef's birthplace of Tel Aviv and hometown of Haifa. Like those places, this Valley Village restaurant may be one of the only spots in town where hummus is not a side dish.

In Tel Aviv, breakfast is an essential part of life and dishes like the hummus shak'shuka plate ($14.56, above top left) would please even the most discerning Tel Avivians. A thick swirl of the restaurant's famous hummus is whipped around the exterior of a plate and an egg is cooked firm to fill the middle before overlaying the delicious shak'shuka. Get it spicy, as this adds the extra kick for this beloved tomato dish full of garlic, olive oil, onion, and paprika amongst probably another dozen spices.

Chicken shawarma

Just as the chef cared about each step he made while creating the perfect hummus, since the beginning he has used the same pita that is imported from a bakery in Isreal. It is amazing how something that has traveled such a long distance can remain so wonderful, but this bread is more comforting than a Temper-Pedic pillow. If you were ever hip to one of those semi-private backyard functions or went to the truck for lunches on hot and dry summer days in the Valley that replicate Israeli climate, you will remember these soft flavorful pita almost as much as the hummus.

If you want meat, a shawarma plate ($20.80, above) is a good option and of course comes with more hummus, as well as pita, a small Israeli salad, and fries. This is not a meat-forward restaurant, so there are no spinning spits, but the chicken has an interesting and familiar taste to it that is not normally associated with Middle Eastern preparations. After a moment, you realize it is similar to a Southeast Asian curry spice used on chicken skewers. Somehow, paired with the hummus and pita, it all works so well.

Falafel

Most of the food here is of course vegan though, and the chef goes out of his way to advertise the health benefits. The falafel ($4 for 4, $6 for 8, above) might fly more under the radar but are just as homemade and just as enjoyable and magically grease-less. So tiny that at least a small order of 4 should be part of any trip to the restaurant. Both hummus and falafel are peaceful foods that vegans and meat eaters can enjoy together without missing anything or making compromises.

The menu goes a lot further than this of course, having been expanded quite a bit when the truck was permanently parked and the much larger kitchen here could be used. More salads and an array of vegan and vegetarian sandwiches like the sabich are available, as well as many mezze. But all that should be used to surround your hummus, and the many other hummus plates that come with different preparations and/or vegetables to smother it with.

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I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World Los Angeles is and always has been free. It is a hobby born of passion and never solicits money or free food from restaurants. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better please tell your friends about us and if you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World Los Angeles is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

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Monday, 20 June 2022

Normandie Country Bakery

FRANCE 🇫🇷
Cochran Avenue facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: All of the dining here takes place on an airy covered outdoor patio. Staff are still wearing masks and some tables have plexiglass dividers between them.

You may have driven by Chef Josette's ode to French cooking and baking a hundred times without noticing anything but the High Notes cannabis shop on the corner that grabs the attention. The faded French flag that flies in front of her establishment is just not sharp enough to come into focus while cruising by on Jefferson Blvd. past the gigantic Restaurant Depot.

But this business has been here at the southern edge of West Adams since before people were writing Yelp reviews and George W. Bush and Al Gore were running against each other in 2000. Other restaurants and bakeries have come and gone under her brand, but now the business is concentrated here and in the large kitchen which takes up most of the space, meaning all dining takes place outside.

Outdoor dining on the covered patio

While you sit at a table, it is likely someone will walk in to buy a single baguette to return home with. The only things missing are the Paris street scene, a beret, and maybe a cigarette in their mouth. The coffee is also good but unfortunately is served in a paper to go cup, reminding you even more that you are far from France despite the attempts.

But forget all that and take a look at the pastries before sitting down and imagine what your dessert will look like after a breakfast or lunch on the patio. Chef Josette also vacuum packs many of her favorite dinner items like duck confit and sells them in individual portions to take home and reheat. Sometimes you might find boudin blanc, a white sausage that made with chicken, truffles, eggs, and milk.

Onion soup

A big cup of onion soup ($10.40, above) is a good move, usually made with meat stock but here tasting as if it could cater to vegetarians. The rich, peppery broth is covered by croutons and plenty of melted Swiss that creates unbreakable strings when pulled from the cup. A bread basket will arrive with some sliced sections of the chef's delicious baguette, perfect for dipping into the onion broth.

If you have not indulged in breakfast pastries like the very tasty croissants with or without chocolate inside, there may be more room than just for soup, in which case you should look for the specialties section of the menu and enjoy the unreal French toast or quiche lorraine.

Croque monsieur

The kitchen also puts out a mean croque monsieur ($16.64, above), a sandwich that can definitely not be picked up. Their is ham and Swiss cheese between layers of bread, but what weighs this down and makes it special is the béchamel sauce on top, slightly charred during baking.

The ham inside the croque monsieur and in other items like the crêpes may appear visually like the packaged stuff you can grab from the nearest Food 4 Less, but when you have it in your mouth a full smoky flavor proves it is much more special than that.

La Normande crêpe

In the United States, Bretagne is known for the place that crêpes come from, but nextdoor Normandie eats them just as much and of course there are rivalries. Chef Josette offers a crêpe (or "galette" as the savory versions are known in France) named for both provinces, but since she is from Normandie and that name is on the awning, start with La Normande ($16.64, above).

Galettes use buckwheat flour rather than regular flour which works better for sweet crêpes. The buckwheat combines well with La Normande, made with more of that smoky ham and Swiss cheese, which is hard to get enough of during visits here.

La Normande Crêpe with ham and swiss (interior view)

Mill-feuille with crème brûlée top?

When it is time for pastries, there are plenty of options, both traditional and more modern takes like this mille-feuille that seems to be topped by a crisp baked crème brûlée. You can also take many of the items home if there is no room, like small sleeves of macarons ($6.24, below), which are absolutely unmissable for fans of the dessert.

While not enjoyed during this visit, do not miss the chef's country-style pâté, which she has been making since her days as a teenage in Normandie, long before she ever thought about being in the United States. Her brand has a pâté label that has existed since 1986, but you can also get it in a simple sandwich that includes mustard and cornichons. Pretty much anything you might be craving from the French part of the world is done in some form at this little French oasis in West Adams.

Macarons

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I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World Los Angeles is and always has been free. It is a hobby born of passion and never solicits money or free food from restaurants. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better please tell your friends about us and if you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World Los Angeles is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

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Friday, 17 June 2022

My Fish Stop

UNITED STATES 🇺🇸
(MISSISSIPPI)
The back door entrance from parking lot

(A second location has just opened in North Hollywood)

COVID-19 UPDATE: The restaurant is open for indoor dining. There are more tables in front than inside if you prefer to dine outside.

Since the last half of 2016, My Fish Stop has been a mainstay at the busy intersection of Burbank Blvd. and Kester Avenue, which has rows of shops and restaurants on three of its four corners. Most customers will enter the restaurant through the back door to the parking lot (above), but eventually make their way to the street at the front and one of a few shaded tables.

The fish in question at this stop, or more accurately the preparation style, is born in Mississippi. And for southerners of that state who have relocated west or any travelers that have taken the Blues Highway along the Mississippi River towards the delta in Louisiana, this fish stop is going to turn into their fish stop. In a state where most freshwater sources carry plenty of catfish, this is the name of the game here as well, bringing back memories of the greasy spoons in every small Mississippi town that serves fried fish meals.

Mural on interior wall

A large colorful wall along a high counter opposite the register shows an underwater world and sets the tone for the tastes that are about to be enjoyed. While there are tacos ("The Truth" tacos) and salads, what you are here for at least on the first visit is fillets of fish either flash fried or pan seared and full of southern flavor, sold as dinners with well-made sides.

While a local online publication might proclaim that the catfish is imported from Mississippi, the reality might be hinted by an employee: the nearby Restaurant Depot. Either way, that is not a knock because restaurants demand quality when they shop there, and the skill in the fry is quite high. Using a fork to break apart the fillet is as easy as using a hot knife through whipped cream.

"The Delta" combo: 2 fried catfish fillets and 2 sides

A little refrigerated case by the register shows off the "fresh catch" ready for the day, cuts of catfish next to red snapper and cod as well as whole shrimp ready to be cooked. And while all of these fish are eaten in Mississippi, it is the catfish that needs to be tried first. The Delta ($16.99, above) is a combo plate that is the perfect entry to My Fish Stop, with two beautifully fried fillets of catfish and the choice of two sides.

As mentioned, the catfish is soft and seems to break apart even before your fork is actually into the meat. A side of tartar sauce comes along with the fish, but you will probably find yourself wanting to enjoy the flavors of the fish and a spiced breading that creates the thin fried shell. While these are dipped into a deep fryer, it is almost as if a cast iron pan full of frying oil is used here just like in the south.

Lobster mac

The condiment that you will want, if any, is that runny cayenne pepper sauce that comes in packets here but would be in squeeze bottles at every diner along the Mississippi River. Each dish here has at least a little heat, including the vibrant collard greens which seem to have a whole grinder full of black pepper in a serving.

The lobster mac (above) should not be ordered for the crustacean, but is still a very worthy version of cheesy goodness and goes perfect with fish and a vegetable side. The fries look tasty, and paired with that cod probably go pretty far towards being the tastiest fish and chips in the city.

Gordy's 'nana pudding

The refrigerated case also has a stack of Gordy's nana pudding ($8.99, above), which uses the chef's nickname. Prices are going up for everything across the board, but there is a bit of sticker shock with this dessert since it only gives about five bites from the small and very shallow container. Thankfully those five bites are delicious.

It looks like the chef has bigger plans for his new location in North Hollywood, with Sunday brunches and other events held in a bit more formal setting. While a lot of the southern and soul food kitchens in Los Angeles are in South LA and the South Bay and Harbor areas, My Fish Stop looks to become the go to spot for people in the Valley.

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World Los Angeles is and always has been free. It is a hobby born of passion and never solicits money or free food from restaurants. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better please tell your friends about us and if you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World Los Angeles is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

Thank you!
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Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Lalibela

ETHIOPIA 🇪🇹
Fairfax Avenue facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: The restaurant is fully open for indoor dining and has a couple tables in front as well. As always, tables are well-spaced and staff are still masked.

Surprisingly only six years old now, Lalibela seemed to slip into the categories of "Classic Los Angeles" and "Must Eat" immediately after it opened in Fairfax Avenue's Little Ethiopia in 2016. Its chef was of course well-known in the East African circles of the city and cooked at multiple restaurants on the street before striking a path for her family to be independent.

For anyone that is from Ethiopia or traveled to the country, Lalibela is one of the most recognized places because of the subterranean churches carved out of rock and still a pilgrimage site for Coptic Christians to this day. Images from this area are on the walls with different fabrics, about the only things that sparsely decorate the space. Music on any given night might range from traditional to Ethiopian living legends like Aster Aweke.

Ethiopian iced tea and beer

With these amharic voices filling the interior, when you walk in you have the option between standard tables and chairs or lower upholstered Ethiopian furniture. The latter works a bit better for eating with your hands as a large group as would be customary. Spaces between tables have always been wide even before the pandemic, so families and friends can make the room they need together.

Make sure to cover the table with drinks ranging from spiced Ethiopian teas available both hot and cold, beers from back home if they are available (and Stella if not), and of course honey wine. A meal can begin with a shareable pastry known in East Africa as sambusa ($4.50, below), filled with lentils, onions, and spices.

Sambusa

Whether you enjoy the sambusa or not, the spicy cilantro sauce that comes alongside the pastry makes the rest of the meal better. You can ask for some even without the appetizer, but do approach it with caution as it does bring the heat.

Many of the tables here will be enjoying meals made completely with vegetables and injera to pick it all up. Indeed, Ethiopian food is a good excuse for meat eaters to take a break. Many people in that country love their beef, but dishes full of lentils and other hearty options are so well cooked and spiced that eating a meal without red meat is just as satisfying.

Veggie combo with fish

In addition to meat and vegetable combos available on their own, a slight compromise can be made with the veggie combo with fish ($31.95, above), an assortment that includes a fried whole white trout. On a sheet of injera, seven different vegetable dishes are laid out including yellow split peas, green and red lentils, collards, cabbage, and potatoes with carrots. The little salad is nice and crisp compared to the stewed vegetables and the entire spread is completely vegan.

Depending on your tastes, the fish could be slightly disappointing as it is completely untouched by spice or even salt before or after frying. The good news is that the rest of your meal is so thoroughly spiced that a little spritz of lemon and bites of the fish with some of the items from the combo plate make for good eating. And do not forget the cilantro sauce.

Fried fish given with combo platter

While less than 100 kilometers from the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and not much more than that from the broader Indian Ocean, Ethiopia is cut off from these bodies of water by Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia, leaving the fishing industry to be entirely freshwater. For these reasons, demand is not as great and takes place in certain lake regions and seasonally during lent.

If the meat cravings are too much to resist, Lalibela does lamb and chicken well, and a wide variety of beef dishes are probably the spotlight of many carnivorous meals. On a street with so many options, Lalibela is constantly standing out and always consistent, like dining in the home of the family that is cooking for you.

🇪🇹🇪🇹🇪🇹

I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World Los Angeles is and always has been free. It is a hobby born of passion and never solicits money or free food from restaurants. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better please tell your friends about us and if you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World Los Angeles is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

Thank you!
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Friday, 10 June 2022

Mandalay Eats Burmese Kitchen

MYANMAR 🇲🇲
A full takeout order

COVID-19 UPDATE: This is a commercial kitchen space, orders can be placed for delivery through various apps or for pickup. Give them a call to order directly and avoid fees for business.

Commercial kitchen spaces are starting to hit all parts of the city as of mid-2022, not just the ones most served by Postmates and Uber Eats. Everyone in all parts of Greater Los Angeles loves some delivered food fast, so it is no surprise that decent food, available in quantity and variety from the same location, is becoming more and more of a thing especially as many people are still apprehensive about indoor dining settings.

Back in mid-March, Mandalay Eats Burmese Kitchen became the second Burmese ghost kitchen to open in Greater Los Angeles in 2022, the first of which has already expanded into a real restaurant space. Hopefully Mandalay Eats can do the same, because their food is much better than their predecessor, and is not afraid to use the ingredients that are unfamiliar to western palates and make Burmese food unique.

Burmese tea leaf salad

The unfortunate part of not being able to eat Burmese food fresh, especially the various salads, is that they do not hold up super well to travel. But the chef here is making them right, the Burmese tea leaf salad ($9.95, above) uses plenty of the namesake fermented tea leaves. The only lettuce found in the container is a piece underneath everything, thank goodness.

The spring ginger salad ($8.95, below) is just as good with similar ingredients except for the swap of tea leaves for finely chopped ginger. Unfortunately the avocado chickpea tofu salad ($9.95, top photo, top right) is a little on the soft and sad side, cut too thin and a bit too soupy. The flavors of the sauce are right, but the tofu itself is almost flavorless.

Spring ginger salad

Noodle dishes like Mandalay nan pya and Mandalay nan gyi ($12.95 each, top photo along bottom) hold up decently well to travel, and because much of Burmese food is eaten at room temperature, these make sense for an order. They also let you taste noodle salads that have their origins in the city of Mandalay.

If you were eating it from a vendor there, the pre-cooked noodles would be mixed with the other ingredients, sauce, and chicken in front of you when ordered and served on a small plate for immediate consumption. These restaurant portions are a little bigger, but the sooner you get to them the better.

Mohinga

The dishes that hold up best are the curries and mohinga ($11.95, above), a fish stew eaten in the early mornings as people wake up and make their way to work or get ready for their day. The version here is very nice, fabulously murky and earthy from its fish. Add some more lime juice than the little wedge they give you and spike it with some dried red pepper like they do in Myanmar if you have that around.

Many travelers come home from Myanmar thinking the food is much too oily for their palates, but unfortunately they are just dead wrong as proven by the wondrously oily classic chicken curry ($11.95, below). While you will not get all the banchan-like vegetables and goodies that go with a sit down meal in Myanmar, the tastes and textures of this curry will bring you right back there if only for a moment.

Classic chicken curry

Another dish that will elicit every memory and one specific to one place in the world is the pork and mango pickle ($13.95, top photo far right), a curry with very unique ingredients. Pickled green mangoes are not visible but pervade every bite, a sour answer to the savory and slightly sweet curry. This is a must try if you have never had the dish before, or even if you have. Highly recommended.

So once again, it must be yelled from the rooftops: Please find success and an eventual permanent space so that all of Los Angeles can come and enjoy the foods of Mandalay Eats Burmese Kitchen. Unfortunately the wonderful Yoma Myanmar is not easily accessible for everyone, and another talented chef based in the South Bay could change that story for Burmese food.

🇲🇲🇲🇲🇲🇲

I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World Los Angeles is and always has been free. It is a hobby born of passion and never solicits money or free food from restaurants. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better please tell your friends about us and if you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World Los Angeles is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

Thank you!
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Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Cafe Cuba & Cakes

CUBA 🇨🇺
Hawthorne Blvd. facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: The restaurant is fully open for indoor dining.

Whether it has been vandalized or oxidized, the signage on fast-paced Hawthorne Blvd. is almost impossible to read, allowing this long-running Hawthorne favorite to hide in plain sight. You probably would not get a whiff of the glorious breads being made in the back while at full speed down the boulevard either unfortunately. It takes a friend's suggestion to find your way here, and one look at the families and groups that you will see eating together is proof of that.

If you take your meal at one of the well-spaced tables inside, you will see people walking out with multiple bags of 40 cent bolillos, Cuba's staple bread loaf, and if you peek into the back kitchen you will see rolling bakery carts with many trays of breads and sweets. If you do not make your own cubanos at home, make sure to save some space for dessert or just come for coffee and a pastry since it is obvious the bakery is doing so well.

Media noche sandwich

This is also all the more reason to order one of their many sandwiches, of which they have all the favorite Cuban options like pan con bistec, milanesa, lechon and of course the cubano itself. If you prefer the medianoche ($11.95, above), the same sandwich ingredients as a cubano but on a sweet egg-y soft bread, you will be impressed by the one here. This is pressed in the toaster just like the others, creating a crispy top and making sure the insides are nice and close.

What makes this one of the best Cuban sandwiches in town is the perfect ratio of ingredients and pickly-ness. If someone compares this to a ham and cheese sandwich, they deserve a slap in the face. Despite having both of those items, the keys to a delicious cubano or medianoche are the juicy pernil, which is excellent here, and a layer of crisp pickles.

Boliche (Cuban pot roast) served with moro and tostones

Moving on from the bread and bakery related dishes, having full meals here is rewarding simply because they make a very delicious sofrito. More than a spice or a sauce, sofrito is the foundation of a Cuban home kitchen and is an assortment of always aromatic ingredients and spices that are sauteed together with cooking oils to use as a base. Many of the platos here (served with rice and beans, plantains, and bread) have meats served with sofrito, so whether you are in the mood for oxtails, pork, beef or chicken, plan to enjoy every bite.

While you are likely to find ropa vieja at any restaurant calling itself Cuban, the beef pot roast of this island nation called boliche ($18.95, above) is much more rare because it requires a very talented chef. Thick slices of eye round look dry and tough at first glance but are perfectly tender and juicy. Some slices are stuffed with olives and chorizo in the center like you often see with this dish, but the good cuts of beef and wonderful sofrito would be enough to satisfy on their own.

Costillas de puerco served with black beans, white rice, and maduros

All the platos have a choice between white rice and black beans and moro, as well as tostones or maduros, so get two options to have all four of these things simultaneously. There is no weak link. You also get a half piece of toasted bolillo with these as well, especially useful to make sure no drop of sofrito goes wasted on the bottom of a plate.

The costillas de puerco ($16.95, above) are just as satisfying as the boliche, big pork ribs also living in the sofrito. These are again cooked by someone who knows very well what they are doing and have the comforting taste of many decades of experience somehow. Every bite of these and the pork-y black beans that are a must order are a full taste of Cuba.

Pastelito de guayaba y queso

Hopefully you have room for one of their delicious pastelitos before you leave, but even if you have stuffed yourself silly take some home for later or tomorrow morning with your coffee. The pastelito de guayaba y queso ($1.35, above) has the perfect ratios of guava paste (which you can also buy a block of!) and cheese. The flaky bread around it all is made with skill as expected.

Cubans and Cuban cuisine lovers in Hawthorne are very lucky to have a place like this nearby, but honestly it is also worth driving to from wherever you live if the cravings creep up. From coffee and a bolillo in the morning to a large round of platos fuertos at lunch and dinner to the end of the night with that medianoche, this restaurant is doing everything right.

🇨🇺🇨🇺🇨🇺

I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World Los Angeles is and always has been free. It is a hobby born of passion and never solicits money or free food from restaurants. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better please tell your friends about us and if you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World Los Angeles is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

Thank you!
VENMO: @JAREDCOHEE
CASH APP: $JaredCohee
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Friday, 3 June 2022

Mazesoba Hero

JAPAN 🇯🇵
Grand Avenue facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: The restaurant is fully open for indoor dining. Staff and most customers are wearing masks.

There were almost 70 years between the first bowl of Taiwanese-inspired mazesoba being made in Nagoya, Japan and its arrival in Southern California thanks to Menya Hanabi. That chain, originally forming in Japan in 2008 opened up a location in Arcadia in 2019 and until now has cornered the market. Much further east in the San Gabriel Valley, Mazesoba Hero opened up in the middle of autumn 2021.

As you walk into the new space, the large wall on the opposite side of the restaurant is dominated by a mural of a fighter simultaneously chasing a dragon whose body consists of noodles and slicing an egg perfectly in half with a large sword. These two ingredients are the most important in a bowl of mazesoba, from which the dragon's noodle body emerges. Do not stare too long, it makes less sense the more you try to decode!

Ika sansai seaweed salad

Since mazesoba is a soup-less noodle bowl and comes coated with egg and plenty of starchy goodness, bowls can be thick and it makes sense to look through the appetizers and get at least one salad or green to the table. A simple seaweed salad or edamame with sea salt will do the trick, but the move here is to enjoy the ika sansai seaweed salad ($5.50, above), with thin slices of chewy squid laid over the fresh sea greens.

Hot appetizers like karaage and shrimp tempura are also available before the mains come out, or this takoyaki ($6, below). The small pieces of octopus buried within the creamy pancake ball are almost difficult to find sometimes, but the dish is enjoyable nonetheless as a vehicle for takoyaki sauce and Japanese mayo.

6 pieces of takoyaki

Classic mazesoba (spicy)

You may have noticed by this time the words "Saucy Ramen House" outside under the name or on the menu, probably added to make people feel comfortable coming in even if they have never heard of mazesoba. Lovers of dry ramen dishes like mazemen will remember that maze means "mix" and always alludes to a lack of soup, but once that mixing takes place these bowls are indeed saucy (see below).

The thick and chewy noodles underneath all the chosen toppings will remind you of those used for tsukemen dipping ramen, and indeed these noodles are made of wheat flour and not buckwheat like most soba. The classic mazesoba ($12, above and below) is a good introduction to the restaurant and is available in either non-spicy or spicy (seen here) versions. The poached egg is laid on top of a bed of ground pork right before serving, all to be mixed with the shredded seaweed, onions, and garlic.

Classic mazesoba (close on mixed noodles)

There are technicalities that keep mazesoba from being called ramen, but that discussion is probably a dissertation on its own. Lovers of either will most likely enjoy their meals here, and it is at least worth a try especially for a region of the city that is mostly populated by run-of-the-mill bowls of tonkotsu ramen.

There is a list of 21 add-ons that range from $1 to $4 and are available for any of their various bowls of mazesoba. This makes the amount of variety here enough to keep you busy for quite some time if the style ends up being to your liking. Corn, cheese, black garlic oil, chashu, creamy crab sticks, and even marinated pork ribs (the $4 item) can be thrown on top.

Saikoro mazesoba

A list of four signature mazesoba creations are on the back of the menu, which include many of those 21 topping options, but the saikoro mazesoba ($13, above) looked more tempting on this day. This is limited to a certain number of bowls per day and probably more available for lunch, substituting braised pork belly for the ground pork and adding crisp red cabbage.

While the thick starchiness is not perfect for warming up later, these "mixed" soba noodles are pretty addictive in person. If nothing more, it is something very new to try in a town that has almost everything.

🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵

I COULD USE YOUR HELP
Eat the World Los Angeles is and always has been free. It is a hobby born of passion and never solicits money or free food from restaurants. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better please tell your friends about us and if you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World Los Angeles is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

Thank you!
VENMO: @JAREDCOHEE
CASH APP: $JaredCohee
PAYPAL: (no account necessary, use link)