By Cortez Cruz Serrato
In only a five-minute drive away from East Los Angeles College, Daikokuya offers a ramen that is like no other.
Walking into Daikokuya, you are greeted by one of the waitresses and you instantly feel that you have been transported to a traditional ramen house.
On the outside window there are pictures of every appetizer, ramen and entree with prices.
Daikokuya offers 15 different types of appetizers from edemame to tayoki (octopus filled pastry balls) and sashimi.
Though Daikokuya does offer a variety of satisfactory appetizers, the ramen is what customers often come looking for.
The Daikoku ramen is boiled chijire egg noodles with a decent portion of pork belly, a boiled egg and topped off with bean sprouts, green onions and sesame seeds.
They also have an alternative cold ramen that is exactly the same as the Daikoku ramen except the broth is chilled. The cold Daikoku is available during the warmer months of the year.
The broth is what sets apart Daikokuya’s ramen from other ramen houses in the area.
It is marinated overnight in pig bones and different spices to give the soup a rich and flavorful base, which adds a much better taste.
The noodles are cooked long enough to feel soft but they also have nice crunch, which gives the ramen good texture.
The pork belly gives the ramen hardiness to the ramen bowl that will leave customers satisfied.
The runny egg and chopped onions on top of the ramen plays as the “cherry on top” of the dish, which gives the bowl of ramen another added dimension of flavor.
Customers also have an option of ordering a combination, which includes ramen, a house salad and a small rice bowl.
There are nine different rice bowls that each customer can choose from, but the teriyaki eel bowl and the pork cutlet bowl are the most popular.
Though the food at Daikokuya is worth the trip, the size of the restaurant is very small, which causes an uncomfortable dining experience during a busy time in the day.
The small size of the restaurant also causes extremely long lines, and the wait could sometimes be as long as an hour and half.
There is a bar that single guests or groups of two could sit at, if they do not feel like waiting for a long period of time.
There are only three tables in the entire restaurant, so going in a group larger than four people is not the best idea and it is important to note that the restaurant does not take reservations.
Daikokuya also offers very good happy hour prices during the afternoons from Monday through Thursday.
All draft beers and sakes are half off as well as their appetizers.
The Monterey Park Daikokuya is one of four locations in Los Angeles.
The original Daikokuya is located in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo and is considered a landmark in that area.
Daikokuya is located at 111 N Atlantic Blvd, Ste 241 (2nd Floor) in Monterey Park.