So here I am, ready to deliver a three-star review to this ramen spot, Tatsu, when my partner-in-crime stops me and says… no. She demands I put five stars up so we settle for four and I’ll tell you why. She’s strictly judging the ramen, which is one of her favorites in LA. I’m judging the overall experience, which is always going to be lackluster on Sawtelle.
This place is PACKED to the point that it’s more than competitive with Tsujita. You get a lot more of the younger West LA crowd (middle/jr/high school) waiting outside here, so it’s hard to weave your way through even if it’s not your destination. This of course means wait times, so good luck dining in. I’ve only ever gotten take out and delivery. I give Tatsu credit for delivering the same product at their multiple locations. That consistency builds them a strong following because you know what to expect.
As for the product, they deliver fresh ingredients in a powerfully- flavored broth that might be a bit too abrasive for some. That’s a harsh word, but it has this very biting quality to it that I can’t identify. It could be too much salt or some strange preservatives, but it does add to the flavor. I also give them a lot of credit for being different. Little things like the cartoons on their bags and carefully packed take-out shows that they care about their product. Many times, when you order a vegetarian ramen, it lacks flavor and just tastes like vegetable broth–not the case here! Tatsu’s Hippie Ramen is off the chain good! The texture of their noodles is also spot-on.
Options for meat and veggie eaters, reasonable prices, and flavorful food make this one of our favorite ramen chains, just don’t expect to be seated at this location if you walk right to the door during peak hours. As always, stay hungry and fit!