A small, Japanese artisan noodle restaurant by Takehiro Tsujita has emerged on Sawtelle Blvd in Los Angeles where the food and design are equally great. At Tsujita, everything is a labor of love. And with only a few choices available on the menu, there is not much to scratch your head about, unless you don't eat pork.

Noodles are served during lunch hours, and you can choose ramen or tsukemen.
The ramen arrives in a pork broth that simmers slowly for 60 hours to guarantee richness of flavor. The topping choices are limited to pork, or extra pork. Good thing I'm not kosher. The white meat is juicy and fatty and the green onions add bite. And I could have eaten 10 more nori.

I recommend trying the tsukemen sometime also, since the experience evolves in 3 stages. A larger noodle than the ramen arrives in a bowl separate from the broth. This broth simmers for 12 hours, with rich flavors of bonito and dried sardines coming together with pork bone, chicken bone and assorted vegetables to create what the menu describes as "a succulent fragrance of the sea that is powerful and beyond compare!"

Here are the recommended tsukemen dining instructions:
1. Begin by dipping noodles into accompanied soup broth until you have enjoyed 1/3 of noodles.

2. Then mix in the black shichimi (black seven flavor chili pepper) and enjoy another 1/3 of soup.

3. Finally squeeze lime juice into noodles and mix well, enjoying the last of the noodles and soup.

I have yet to try the dinner menu but I am sure Tsujita takes great pride in the tartars, uni shooters and tofu dishes they serve. The food (and sake) are not the only things carefully selected at Tsujita. The decor has also been beautifully designed.

Takeshi Sano put an installation on the ceiling using thousands of wooden sticks to create the illusion of billowing clouds swirling above your head. Here is a gallery of photos if you would like a more complete impression of this spectacular ceiling installation.
Tsujita has four restaurants in Tokyo, one in Beijing, and another in Bangkok. This Los Angeles location is his first foray into America and is the realization of his childhood dreams.