Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Marugame Monzo

329 E. 1st St. Send to Phone
213-346-9762 | Menu
Savor some of the city’s top handmade udon in Little Tokyo. Photo by L.A. Foodie / CC BY 2.0

Lunch & Dinner daily

* Click here for rating key

Marugame Monzo, Los Angeles, CA

Marugame Monzo Restaurant Review

: Despite L.A.’s unyielding ramen-mania, sometimes there’s just nothing like a chewy bowlful of udon --- and this sleek modern spot downtown in Little Tokyo has some of the Southland’s best. It’s usually packed, but the handsome, lively crowd is part of the fun. So is the open kitchen where you can watch (or more likely be mesmerized by) the Sanuki-style udon being pounded, pulled and cut by hand into thick, flavorful noodles. In hot weather, cold udon hits the spot, served with refreshing broth and a variety of additions from plum paste and shiso to cod roe or a pleasing woodsy chop of Japanese mountain vegetable. The kitchen’s signature udons are quite good. Go the traditional route with Champon udon’s savory pork and chicken broth. Or look for a modern fusion with rich uni cream udon. (Other Italian-influenced bowls are a miso carbonara and udon gratin.) Rice bowls are almost as fine as the noodles; priced at only $3 to $4 at lunch, when ordered with udon, they’re good to share. Try the thinly sliced pork belly or fresh ikura versions. Speaking of bargains, you can get a double portion for only $2 more, and side tempura orders run $1 to $2.50, including shrimp, baby octopus, pumpkin and shiso. Service is prompt and friendly, and there’s a notable saké list, too.
Discover LA's best new restaurants
New & Hip Restaurants in LA

Check out these new and trendy LA restaurants, from DTLA to Santa Monica and beyond.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.