Quickly replacing the space formerly occupied by pizza slinger Slicetruck (which has since relocated to the nearby corner of Bundy & Ohio), Kyoto ramen specialist TenTenYu hopes to fill a niche previously unseen in Sawtelle Japantown: Chicken-based ramen.
The chicken-based ramen broth is work and time-intensive. It supposedly takes 10 hours and 110 pounds of chicken to create 100 bowls of the broth served at TenTenYu.
The main draw is their signature Tori Paitan (chicken broth ramen). The TenTenyu broth is every bit as thick and rich in consistency as your typical pork broth, yet instead of pork, it is redolent of chicken. The optional chashu (pork) served is fairly average. There is actually a pork-based ramen here as well, but I was here for their standard-bearer.
A chicken-broth tsukemen also appears on the menu, and it is quite good, albeit a tad plain if one doesn’t order some extra garnishes along with it. The dipping soup here, again, is every bit as unctuous as what’s offered at Tsujita down the street, yet the taste was completely different. There is a layer of chili powder that comes with the tsukemen; the slight spiciness imparted more than makes up for the complexity lost by using chicken instead of pork in the broth.
There are two standouts side items at TenTenYu: (1) The perfectly executed ajitama (soft egg), and (2) their menma (marinated bamboo shoot). That menma is just wonderfully flavored, reminiscent of the forest, possessing perfect crunch versus “give” - probably the best menma of any ramen-ya in town. When I asked my server about it, he said it the menma is imported directly from Japan.
So if you are pork-averse, or simply looking for a change from the pork-dominated ramen scene without wanting to trade in porky richness in your broth, TenTenYu presents a very tasty option.
2010 Sawtelle Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90025