L.A. Restaurants - Top Spots on Hotter-Than-Ever Sawtelle Boulevard

L.A. Restaurants - Top Spots on Hotter-Than-Ever Sawtelle Boulevard

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Ramen, soy milk hot pot, $2.75 sushi, soup dumplings, burgers, panko-crusted katsu pork ... here's the best of old and new on Sawtelle Boulevard.

12 Places
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    Its across-the-street annex serves both ramen and tsukemen at a 12-seat bar, along with spare, elegant rice bowls and slightly weird vegetable juices.
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    His signature house-smoked salmon sushi is a shining example. And the sushi here has long been considered a good value for top-notch fish.
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    Stepping inside is somewhat surreal, with a host's stand that looks like a border-crossing station, guarded by a mannequin dressed as a security guard.
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    For beers and burgers, along with smoky fried chicken and short rib pot roast with bone marrow turnover, its patioed corner spot draws crowds.
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    There's Sunday brunch to be enjoyed on the patio.
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    You might not have known about its very good chicken ramen, but now you do.
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    Soup dumplings on the Westside! Are they as good as Din Tai Fung's? Maybe not quite as good but still pretty delicious, with juicy pork filling and delicate dumpling skins.
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    The katsu comes in varieties such as black pepper-seasoned and even cheese-filled.
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    The sausages are only slightly less over the top, such as the Korean BBQ beef sausage with garlic jalapeño aioli and kimchi relish. Also: Spam musubi.
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    Its signature dish might be the soy milk hot pot, a single serving (you might be able to share if you order other dishes) of Japanese nabe, or stew, brought to the table on a special stand equipped with its own burner.
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    Specialty sushi (some of which costs more) include flame-seared salmon belly, crispy rice topped with spicy tuna and blue crab hand roll.
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    The red Diedrich roaster at the front of the shop signals the seriousness with which they take their coffee, but it's not too serious — you can have your espresso with a little foam, raw sugar and a cinnamon stick.
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