Handmade Traditional Sanuki Udon in Little Tokyo! We strive to serve the best and authentic Japanese udon with quality.
We have our original fusion style Udon like Miso Carbonara, Sea Urchin Cream Udon and more!
We serve variety of sakes, draft Asahi beer imported from Japan and other drinks with creative appetizers!
Came here with my friend on a weekend during lunchtime and although there were quite a few parties before us, their turnover rate was quick and we got seated fairly quickly. Service was also very attentive throughout!
I ordered the cold beef udon, and it exceeded my expectations. The udon was perfectly cooked: chewy and springy. There was a good amount of beef in my dish, and the broth had a perfectly balanced sweet flavor.
I had come here once ages ago and can’t believe I’ve only recently rediscovered this gem! It is in the heart of Little Tokyo so parking can be difficult. Usually, the easiest bet is parking in one of the lots on the streets nearby and paying the $5/6 or so for convenience. I can’t wait to come back and try more of their menu options! MUST TRY!!
Came here for the first time thinking that it was Marugame Udon but unfortunately it was not what we were expecting. Upon walking in, it was not cafeteria-line style so we were confused haha. Despite it not being what we were anticipating, we decided to stay anyways because this place is so highly rated on Yelp, there were a bunch of people waiting (that means it must be good right?), and Marugame Udon was 14 miles away LOL!
For our table of 4, we waited about 30 minutes on a Saturday for lunch. In the meanwhile, we walked over to Little Tokyo’s little shops to stay in the air conditioning. If not, you can just stand outside in the heat to wait until they call your name; luckily they offer ice water. If you do leave, be sure you’re back a little before you expect them to call your name because their policy is if they call your name 3 times and you’re not there, they’ll skip you and call the next person! The restaurant is really small, so being skipped may push your wait back for quite a while.
Note that they have a lunch menu and a dinner menu so you may see something on Yelp that you can’t order. Since it was so hot, I knew I didn’t want to get a soupy hot udon. The idea of cold udon seemed kinda sad, too, so I didn’t opt for that. I ordered the Seafood Tomato Cream Udon ($13.45) and thoroughly enjoyed my meal! It was very creamy and filling because it was so heavy. It is one of the most interesting entrees I’ve ever had; it was like a mixture of spaghetti sauce and alfredo sauce but with udon noodles instead of pasta. I’d give it a 7/10 because it was delicious but I can see how it can be a hit or miss for some people with picky tastebuds!
My friends got the Sea Urchin Cream Udon ($16.95), Miso Carbonara Udon ($12.95) with a Tempura Soft-Boiled Egg ($1.50), Beef Udon ($12.25), Beef Rice Bowl ($3 from lunch special), and Pork Belly Rice Bowl ($3 from lunch special). The ones that got the cream udons also agreed that it was really heavy and felt like they had food babies after finishing. The only other thing to comment on is that the pork belly is not like the typical thick-slab of pork belly; here they slice the pork belly really thin.
Came here for the first time this week with a Japanese friend who’s a connoisseur of Ramen. Now, I love carbs and Ramen/Udon so much, I couldn’t really say no! Monzo is on 1st Street, which is lined with Ramen joints.
Monzo is small and you write your name on the waiting list when you walk in. For a Wednesday, it was mostly full of people, but we got seated immediately anyway at the counter where we could watch staff hand make the ramen!
Our waiter was very attentive, not to mention bilingual when my friend had her questions in Japanese. I noticed the menu has ramen, but predominantly with seafood, more specifically fish eggs, which isn’t my thing. I prefer poultry, personally speaking, so unless I got a vegan/veggie dish, I was out of luck.
I opted for the miso Carbonara Udon for $12.95 which had me at bacon but as carbonara suggests, the sauce is a thick Alfredo type and this dish basically tasted like pasta. I love pasta. But at an Udon place, I wanted something with more of an Asian flavor. Still, quite good. The side of rice was good. The small rice bowls with pork on top for $5.95: good!
Four stars for lack of poultry/options but great service and visually stimulating able to see the kitchen. Doubtful I’ll be back just due to my own personal tastes, but I’m happy for the experience!
Changing my rating of this place because I really enjoy coming here now. The trick is NOT to get the hot udon. I feel like their cold udon is where its at, particularly because cold udon isn’t as commonly served in restaurants.
Monzo has a large variety of cold udons. My favorite thing is the Bukkake Udon (without daikon). It’s almost the most simple thing on the menu. It consists of cold udon noodles, topped with bonito flakes, green onion, crunchy tempura bits, and grated daikon (which I request to remove). Then you pour the dashi broth over the noodles and slurp! The flavor is so simple but so delicious. And it really allows the chewiness of the noodles to shine through. I’ll usually add a tempura fishcake on the side for some variety.
I’ve also tried other flavors through my friends who’ve ordered them – Mentai Squid Butter Udon, See Urchin Cream Udon, and Mad Tiger Udon. These were all very good and I’d recommend them, but I personally just stick to my Bukkake Udon because I’m basic like that.
In a town that’s now over saturated by ramen spots (not a bad thing at all, mind you) it’s great to see a Japanese udon noodle shop with the quality and authenticity as Monzo.
Come here on a weekend for lunch and you’ll see a line going down 1st street, especially if you’re trying to get a first seating. Come during the week at 5 and it’s fairly empty but by the time you’re done eating at 6, it’s once again packed with a line queued up for a table.
Their udon menu has a lot of options. We got the classic beef udon in clear broth. There are many tasty looking cream soup udons but unfortunately that’s not in my eating regimen at the moment so I got the always classic beef udon. Good size bowl, nice chewy typically hearty udon noodles and the beef was good. Soup maybe a tad under flavored compared to what I’ve had elsewhere but as I mentioned there are many other thicker and more flavorful soups to choose from.
For me tho the real star was the bolognese udon which is basically their take on a spaghetti bolognese. Hearty sauce, not too salty with a gentle flavor that has beef Ragu with some chopped mushrooms and eggplant (?), but the bits are nice and small so you don’t get that overpowering chunky vegetable taste which isn’t my favorite texture nor flavoring. Big bowl that you’ll want to scoop out the remaining sauce with the large wooden ladle spoon they provide. Excellent dish and I hope it stays on the menu as it’s a “special item” for time being.
Also of note is their braised pork belly appetizer which is 7 large chunks of braised pork belly in a mellow shoyu based soup. Very hearty and very filling, it’s a much larger appetizer dish than I expected but every bite was sumptuous. Big chunks of pork tenderly cooked in a great tasting broth. Oh yea def a fan of this restaurant.
Umm hi hello, where have you been all my life! I’m not lying when I say, THIS IS THE BEST RESTAURANT IN LA. There was a line outside the door before the place even opened. The person in line next to me joked that this place better be as good as yelp claims and boy, it was better!
I’ve never thought to combine Italian and Japanese udon, but this is what makes America, America! Our blend of culture to bring these amazing fusions. Four words, Sea Urchin Cream Udon!
I was worried about the strong briny ocean taste of sea urchin and hesitated ordering the sea urchin cream udon. This is not the case at all, the sea urchin blends so well in the cream. It adds amazing flavor without being overbearing. If you really can’t get over the idea of eating uni (even with all our reviews swearing up and down that this is the item to order lol), the Miso Carbonara Udon is also an excellent choice!
Its nestled across the street from Little Tokyo mall and can be easily missed as the sign only reads “Monzo”. Check out the pictures of the store front on yelp before visiting so you know what to look out for.
Disclaimer: I held off on writing this review because I can’t heart more people learning of this gem and causing even longer lines haha I kid, everyone must try Marugame Monzo!
Amazing! Best Ramen I’ve ever had! Seriously worth the substantial wait. I will come back many times until they ban me for being a pig in their place and eating all their ramen up and not sharing with the other customers. I feel like Slimer in Ghost Busters when I am here. Remember the part where he is just being a total glutton and trying to pour food down his throat? That’s what I want to do here at Marugame Monzo. Seriously, I don’t even care if you judge me, because I can’t think of anything but the home made noodles and sea urchin Ramen.
I don’t care. About anything. I-just-want-more-ramen when I get in this place. Seriously. The rest of the world can just hit the freaking pause button because I’m into my food here. So get over whatever it is, I’m eating.
Marugame Monzo ramen is truly that good. The place is clean but crowded. Of course it is crowded, it is so good there is a line out the door! You can literally sit and watch them make the fresh noodles right in front of you. The flavors are both delicate and addicting. I love the Sea Urchin ramen, but everybody in my group had something different and loved it.
Usually, I don’t like to wait in a long line to get food, but this was WELL WORTH the wait. Just know ahead of time that you will be waiting for a good spell before your time comes. I grabbed a coffee and chatted with friends and family outside while we waited. Time passed quickly like that and the next thing I knew, I was in Udon heaven.
If you love ramen and udon, this is a MUST TRY restaurant. I will be back here many times in the future, and am even willing to drive the 2.5 hours it takes to get there just for more of this stuff. Seriously worth the effort.