The latest iteration of an otherwise fine Ramen Chain, in West L.A.
I’m on my usual jaunt through Sawtelle Japantown, something I’m going to be doing a lot more of as time goes on. And one of the places that sits at the far edge of the area is Daikokuya, place I’ve been too, and liked, at it’s location in Little Tokyo. Heck, Daikokuya is everywhere, even in Monterey Park. It’s a popular, know Ramen brand, and popular, no matter where you go.
So what the hell happened here?
So, I’m waiting outside, just like at the Daikokuya in Little Tokyo. It’s a normal process, I guess.
Never mind that I looked inside, and…well…there were seats at the bar. So, I’m not sure what the deal is, or why I’m waiting. Still, it’s Daikokuya…and they know what they’re doing. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Assume the best.
Finally, I get in. My drink and food order is immediately taken. This is going well. Got a Coke, a set of Gyoza and, of course, the Daikokuya Ramen. What more can a man ask for. Water’s served.
In the middle of all that, a young lady was seated at the Ramen bar next to me. All’s good. More the merr–
–uh, why is she getting her Ramen before me? How’s that possible?
And where is my Coke…
…that I’ve now asked for…
If you think about this, especially in light of how I feel about Waitstaff, these are not major “crimes” against the clientele, but…
They keep happening…
By the time my Ramen and Gyoza arrives, well after my neighbor, I’m hopping mad. In fact I’m in a “Better not see a Coke charged to me” kind of mad.
Of course, the Coke arrives…finally…and I’m able to relax a bit. The Waitstaff here are not rude or anything. They’re not…well…necessarily forgetful. But the basic level of organization you’d expect out of the local Denny’s…not happening here.
As for the Ramen? I’m going to reference a lot to my Daikokuya Little Tokyo review, because it mostly still stands.
WHAT SHOULD YOU GET?: You’re kidding, right? You’re going to walk into a top flight, well-regarded Ramen place…and have the nerve to ask what to get? Are you freakin’ kidding me?
For my non-Ramen appetizer, this time I went with the Gyoza this time around. Big and, a bit blended together. You’ll have to do a little work to separate them. Still, they were nice. Not the best I’ve had in town. I might have the Sausage if I ever come in here again.
After that, it was time for the Daikokuya Ramen, the house speciality. It’s still a delicious, silky smooth Tonkotsu broth, which is really tasty and really delicious. I still like it, despite the time I had at this particular location.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: The rules at this Daikokuya are the same ones you find at the location in Little Tokyo. There will usually be a gathering of people waiting outside. Not so much a line, but enough people that may discourage the hungry from attempting to get in on the action.
Getting in is pretty simple all things considered. Walk inside, sign in, and…well…wait. And you’re going to be waiting for a bit. The Waitstaff will call you in and point you to your table.
I’ve had longer waits than at the Sawtelle location. And the system to get you in does work. You just have to be patient.
Also, unlike the Little Tokyo location, this place takes Credit and Debit Cards. The Little Tokyo location is cash only, last I checked.
PARKING: Daikokuya shares space in a Mini-Mall with a Marshals and Michael’s Arts and Crafts and a large Starbucks where I had one of the worst dates of my life.
The parking in the structure is free, but not exactly plentiful. The Westside Mommy brigade rules the place by day, and the Sawtelle Hipster generation tries to take it over at night. Keep in mind that there is a time limit of two hours at this structure, and those trying to park here for free, and boogie on down into the heart of Sawtelle Japantown can find themselves towed, but quick.
But if you dine at Daikokuya, this shouldn’t be a problem. Even with the wait you should be in an out in two hours…
…unless the waitstaff that was there when I did this review is there.
Daikokuya (Sawtelle Japantown)
2208 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel: (310) 575-4999
(Located In One Westside Place Shopping Center)
Daily: 11:00 am – 2:00 am