329 E. 1st Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90012
After ordering the uni udon from Marugame Monzo during my first visit, I’ve always wanted to revisit the restaurant. The uni udon is normally not on their menu but they will make it for you if you order it. They also have a Japanese chef who makes udon in the store, so your udon is pretty much entirely made to order!
When we went back yesterday, we finally got to try the egg tempura, beef bowl, the mentai squid butter udon, seafood tomato cream udon and the plum shiso bukkake udon. Also, they serve Sanuki-udon, which is a little chewier, giving it a little more texture. Their different types of udons are kind of like a Japanese food meets Italian. It’s almost like pasta, especially with some of the udon options like Carbonara Udon. It might sound strange but here are a couple of items you can try.
Happy Eating List:
The beef bowl is a must-try. Unlike most other places that just serve the regular gyu-don (or the beef bowl), Marugame Monzo sears it a little, along with a little bit of pepper for seasoning. I believe I fell in love with Monzo’s beef bowl and it will be hard for me to find the other gyu-dons good now.
This was the reason my friend and I decided to go to Marugame Monzo originally–the uni udon. It’s not common to find uni paired with udon, especially with a cream-based broth. It was pretty heavy so I would recommend sharing it with a friend but it’s pretty unique and I would suggest that you give it a try. I have always been reluctant to order uni just anywhere because when uni is not fresh, the odor is pretty bad and just tastes gross. Monzo’s uni was pretty sweet. 🙂
Plum Shiso Bukkake Udon:
I liked the plum shiso bukkake udon quite a lot. It’s perfect for a hot summer day in LA, since it’s more of a cold udon with a light broth. Other than that though, it’s not too special.
I’ve always been impressed with the egg tempura. They have to boil it to perfection so the yolk will ooze out when you poke a hole in the egg. Besides from boiling it, the chef had to have great handling skills to not break the egg when rolling it in the tempura batter and frying it. Wow.
Not So Happy List:
Mentai Squid Butter Udon:
I wasn’t too sure what this was but since I’m a big fan of mentaiko pasta, I realized that I would love the udon as well. It was pretty much a disappointment to me. The mentai floating around in the seafood-flavored broth an the few pieces of squid was not a very appealing sight as well as taste. It was just very ordinary and I’m sure other options on their menu are much better.
Marugame Monzo is a restaurant that I will definitely go back to and try even more of the other udons and rice bowls. For first-timers, I would recommend the Uni Udon and the Beef Bowl.
Joey Wong ♥