Killer Noodle opens today, October 16, despite scorching heat on the Westside and already the place is drawing in lunch crowds. The real test will be throughout this first month, where it seems like every Instagram influencer and food journalist visited over the weekend to preview Tsujita’s Japanese-style tan tan ramen spot. That means the lines will be very, very long, and what used to be front patio is already being built out for the queue.
The expansive space might have the most ambitious interior look for Tsujita (with the Sushi spot also in the running), with a Las Vegas-style red-laden decor, plastic chandelier, and massive spice rack behind the bar. According to the Times, chef Takeshi Tsujita worked to craft this original tantanmen recipe for Sawtelle.
Here’s everything to know about Killer Noodle, poised to become LA’s most popular new ramen spot thanks to location and unique spicy ramen offerings:
- The main ramen selection here is called the Tokyo bowl, but it’s a spicy take on Japanese-style tantanmen that resembles Chinese-style dan dan noodles. The soup boasts heavy sesame paste and a pork-based broth, with numbing Sichuan peppercorn chili oil and more providing a spice backbone.
- The secondary selection is called the “Downtown” style, and it’s more clearly a Sichuan-style noodle base, with a tangier, sweeter sauce with more of the numbing “ma la” taste one might expect at a place like Mian or Chengdu Taste.
- The alternative to each category is the soupless variety, which still has the same seasonings. While the soups have a thinner fresh noodle, the soupless bowls have a thicker, tsukemen-like alkaline noodle that fans of Tsujita ANNEX would love. They do a great job of sopping up the spicy sauce.
- They also have an original-style tantanmen that doesn’t quite have the imposing red look of the other two bowls. Much of the “spice” flavor in this one comes from a dusting of ground black pepper instead of chilis. In addition, the bowls come with a hefty dose of tofu. Finally, they’ll provide slices of lemon on the side upon request.
- Soup-based bowls cost $11.45 each while soupless cost $10.95 for the Tokyo and Downtown varieties. The Original costs $10.95 for the soup variety. Remember, it’s cash only, though there’s a handy ATM toward the front of the restaurant.
- Spice levels go from zero to six. The triangular graphic on the menu illustrates this perfectly. The standard level is three, which most people will be able to handle unless they’re very sensitive to spice. Anything beyond four depends completely upon spice tolerance, but it’s safe to say the six will become a favorite of spice hounds (like the kind of people who wait in line at Howlin’ Ray’s).
- They serve chashu pork, soft boiled egg, and cilantro as extra toppings (for a fee).
- There’s an explanatory section that tells first time visitors not to try a five or six level spice, and that they won’t take back any bowls because customers find them too spicy. Also they recommend a yogurt drink for those who seem to be suffering too much from the heat.
- They have full size plastic bibs, so don’t worry about spilling.
- The menu warns one to “take care of your bottoms” in the instructions. One can only construe this to mean that the spicier bowls will have potentially painful ramifications after the meal’s over.
- They’re open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then from 5 to 11 p.m., with the last call at 10:30 a.m. This is decidedly earlier than Tsujita’s other ramen spots, which close at midnight (ANNEX) and 2 a.m. (Artisan Noodle).
2030 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025