Before each home game this season, ClipperBlog will run “ClipperBlog Eats,” a restaurant recommendation from its resident restaurant reviewer, Ben Mesirow. Below is today’s suggestion:
When you step out of the drizzle and into the tiny, warmly lit dining room at the legendary ramen-ya Daikokuya, you are first greeted by the gentle clatter of fellow broth-ophiles chatting and slurping convivially. It is a powerfully soothing moment, that initial immersion in the din, and paired with the unmistakable aroma of Daikokuya’s luscious tonkotsu broth makes for a near-mystical experience.
Sure, you probably stood, hungry and anxious, for upwards of an hour on the Little Tokyo sidewalk for this opportunity (or, if you were so inspired, dipped into nearby Far Bar for a fine brew), but there’s a reason the line is always so damn long—it’s worth it. That tonkotsu broth, their specialty, is completely absurd, rich enough to coat your tongue and thick with pure porcine essence, an elemental pleasure. The chashu pork belly that comes with it is perfect, tender and fatty, and the noodles can be cooked to your specifications (we prefer them hard, though opinions vary). Best of all, if a massive bowl of pork and noodles sounds a bit intimidating as a pre-game meal, Daikokuya is open until midnight; after the game the lines should be a bit more manageable and the soup that much more comforting, and if you do have to wait at least you’ll have a game to break down on the sidewalk.
327 E 1st St., Los Angeles, 90012; http://www.daikoku-ten.com