By Celine Park ’21
Nestled in the heart of Little Tokyo on First street, Marugame Monzo attracts customers with its one-of-a kind fusion Japanese delicacies. Crowds of people wait for one of the servers to seat them, and this can take up to an hour. Monzo is a tiny place, but the coziness of the eatery is its subtle charm; any seat provides an open view of fresh noodles being hand-pulled by cooks through a glass window.
The ikura rice bowl consists of rice with seaweed strips and salmon roe decoratively placed on a leaf. The distinct taste of the salty and fishy liquid that comes out of the ikura nicely complements the soft, warm and slightly sticky rice. The beef rice bowl, a popular dish was extremely tender and juicy. The strong aroma of the red ginger envelops the beef, giving it a unique flavor.
While waiting, customers can watch the entire process of their noodles being made. The chef behind the clear glass brandishes a dowel, and very much like pizza, kneads and folds the noodles until he is satisfied with the thick dough. We ordered one “kake” hot udon and one “zaru” cold udon. A classic, the kake udon is a great start for people that are new to eating Japanese food. The popular dish consists of thick, chewy noodles, with seasoned bean curd, green onions and fish broth. The zaru udon was placed in a traditional wooden bento box with the green onions, tempura flakes and cold fish broth on the side.
Overall, Marugame Monzo is remarkable. For amazing service and mouthwatering food, the price range is a bit lower than other udon shops, prices ranging from $7.25 to $12.75. Marugame Monzo undoubtedly takes udon to the next level, and continues to satisfy.