Friday, May 13, 2005

Got Me A Part Time Lover: Daikokuya

Last night, I went to rekindle an old flame. I've been acting kind of stand-offish with my longtime favorite ramen restaurant, Daikokuya, lately. It's been too busy for me. It hasn't made time to fit me into its hectic schedule. So that's why I have been having a bit of a ramen affair: last week, I sought out some new love at Kyushu Ramen, and boy did it rock my ramen world. But then I asked myself, "Is it me?" Is it my own impatience that causes me to turn the other way and deny myself some of Daikokuya's ramen pleasures? What if I'm not being understanding enough? Well as you know, all good lovers keep you coming back for more, so last night I went running back to Daikokuya, but this time on my terms.

That's right, no more of that 8pm on a Friday night or 1pm on a Saturday stuff. I'm sick of dealing with the cattiness of other diners fawning over a table. Yup, from now on I'm going at 6pm on a regular weekday when people are just getting off of work and not thinking about dinner yet. That way, I get it all to myself. (Well, practically)

Hey whatdya know, it worked. We were reunited at about 6:15 last night when I walked through the door and was immediately embraced by available seats. Its limited seating, 6 booths and about 20 or so seats at the counter, is almost always filled up, and its waiting list is always about 5 groups of people deep. Not tonight. I got a booth right away. Hmm, what a nice change.

Greeting me with open arms: empty seats!

A little obligatory small talk at the beginning, a few glances at the menu to see if I'd want anything else (a donburi rice bowl, some gyoza, maybe?), but I was only there for one thing. All this time I'd been yearning inside for a bowl of Daikoku Ramen and for good reason. Hot, steamy, its tonkotsu broth, made by boiling pork bones for almost a full day, is seductive. Its deep, rich flavor and velvety texture pull you in and don't let you go until you slurp up every last bit of chewy ramen noodle, crisp bamboo shoot and bean sprout, and briny soy-sauce boiled egg. And you know I like a little meat on my men, so of course there's the pork--three hunks of melt-in-your-mouth kurobuta pork sporting a thin layer of luscious fat floating on top of my liquid love. When I was finally done with the big black ceramic bowl, it was utter ramen euphoria. Total satisfaction.

Ramen Euphoria

Oh, and whenever I'm down for a little more action, Daikokuya will do it harder. All you have to do is ask--they'll make your broth extra rich by adding an additional ladle of pork fat to your bowl.

This is going to work out, this going to Daikokuya on my terms. I have lots of faith in this relationship. But I don't think I'm gonna call it quits with my boyfriend in the Valley, Kyushu Ramen either. That one shows me a really good time too. Yeah, that's it. I'll just be a ramen player--got me one in the Valley and one Downtown.

As a woman (actually as a diner in this case), you gotta know what you want and know how to get it. No waiting games, no playing second. Yup, call your own shots and set your limits. Trust me, in the end, it'll all be worth it.

327 E. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-1680


Anonymous said...

i'm glad you and daikokuya are back together again. great write-up.

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