2002 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
After a strong feeling of disappointment was literally trapped in the pit of my stomach, I decided to walk across the street to see if Chabuya had a cure. Okay, I didn't really go in the same day (I've learned my lesson since my Daikokuya-Mr. Ramen encounter), but maybe I should have. Chabuya is probably the nicest ramen-ya I've ever set foot in. I think I was more impressed with the decor than the actual food. Anyway, Chabuya's ramen is famous in Japan (not sure if it still is but who's keeping track). Friend's that live in the area claim that it has the best ramen on the westside. Is that really true? With Chabuya being the last of the big four in the area that I've visited, perhaps I can assist in making a final judgement.
The Classic: A shoyu-tonkotsu ramen that is definitely one-of-a-kind. It's look and presentation is elegant and cocky with what appears to have the endurance and stamina to last a 15-round prize fight, but unfortunately its lack of strength fails to deliver that knockout punch. The ramen wasn't bad, but the flavor was not all there. The noodles were thin, straight and firm like a quick jab to the throat with every slurp. Sadly, they reminded me of an instant ramen I once had that was even more flavorful. The toppings (chashu, menma, egg, negi, and glazed scallions) were interesting at most. The chashu tasted surprisingly more like thinly-sliced roast beef than pork. I guess in the end, I would have to say that the ramen battle on the westside is a draw. I can't decide. If I had to choose one though. I might just stick with the sleeper--Ramenya.
Gyoza: Despite a slightly pasty aftertaste, this gyoza was delicious and 100 times better than Asahi's. The thin, light-tasting skin gave way to a succulent, moist pork filling. Chabuyaaaahhhh.