Los Angeles's Sawtelle Boulevard
On a street of ramen parlors, this is the sole specialist in soba (handmade buckwheat noodles), served either cold or in a dense bonito broth. 2006 Sawtelle Blvd.; 310-479-1200.
Seoul Sausage Co.
The Season 3 winners of The Great Food Truck Race grill up delicious Korean short-rib sausages with kimchi. 11313 Mississippi Ave.; seoulsausage.com.
You will wait, but you will be rewarded with what is probably the best ramen in the United States at the moment, in the pork-intensive tonkotsu style. There’s also a great version of tsukemen, or dip ramen, with the reduced broth served as a dipping sauce on the side. 2057 Sawtelle Blvd.; tsujita-la.com.
Ken Namba is one of L.A.’s best sushi chefs, almost Astaire-like in his nonchalance. He gets creative with items like smoked Copper River salmon sushi with fresh mango. 11301 W. Olympic Blvd. #102; kirikosushi.com.
No discussion of Sawtelle would be complete without mention of Giant Robot, which sells Japanese toys, T-shirts and comics, and its sister store and gallery, GR2. 2015 Sawtelle Blvd.; giantrobot.com.
Style Stop: GR2 (left) helped to popularize Japanese pop art in the US.