When you make plans to catch up with me, we’re always going to eat somewhere. I’m not a coffee person. I can’t hold my liquor. I don’t do “just drinks.” I need to be fed.
A trip to L.A. occasionally includes meeting some old classmates, and this trip was no exception. This time we took a little foodie adventure on Sawtelle Blvd. in West L.A. Read on . . .I would often drive down Sawtelle on my way home from work or school when I lived in L.A., but back then Sawtelle Blvd. was nothing more than various business and a couple of strip malls with chain restaurants. Fast forward to 2017 and my friend tells me that it’s now quite the foodie scene, especially for nearby UCLA students.
My goal here was to have dinner at Tatsu Ramen, a place I had seen on several “Where to Eat in Los Angeles” lists. However, this tiny place was incredibly crowded, and the wait was long, so my friend suggested Beni-Tora Sawtelle, a couple of blocks up the street.
I thought this place was hard to find in the dark, but thankfully my friend knew where to go. He recommended having a ramen bowl, and they come in the white, black, and red (I think) variations. They also have increasing levels of spiciness, so be aware of that when you order. I ordered the black ramen. It was pretty tasty, not too spicy, but I thought it was WAY too salty, so I could only eat about half of it. I think I’ll try out the red version next time.
We also ordered the giant gyoza, and they were DELICIOUS. I really just wanted to order them to say that I had giant gyoza, but they were really good. We polished them off quickly. In all honesty, there was nothing special about the taste of the gyoza — I just really like dumplings in any form, especially ones that are pan fried. The gyoza were not extremely salty either. Yay! The wait staff were awesome also. They always came to refill my water, as I constantly downed it being so parched from the salty ramen.
Back down the street and off for dessert. We stopped at Honeymee, which is a small local chain. I had planned to visit another Honeymee location earlier that same day, but I was too full then from traversing around L.A. eating food. They specialize in soft serve ice cream with honey, but you can also get it with fruit or other toppings. They also serve drinks and waffles.
I like to try the specialty of the house when I go somewhere new, so I picked the Honeymee. It’s basically plain soft serve with a piece of real honeycomb. Honeymee is conscious of the fact that they are taking honeycomb from actual bees, so they limit the sale of this item to only 40 per day (at least at the time I visited). I had also never had natural honeycomb, so I was interested in trying it.
The ice cream itself wasn’t too special; just plain soft serve that tasted the same as any others I’ve tried. The honeycomb was interesting. The honey itself was delicious — not very sweet, ridiculously sticky, but complemented the plain soft-serve well. The “comb” part was a different story. I know nothing about bees, so don’t come after me with some “no duh” comment, but this was the first time I learned that bees make wax. I’ll let you sit on that for a bit.
Overall, Sawtelle Blvd. has definitely changed since I was last an L.A. resident. I will definitely come back and sample some of the other places that have popped up since my departure.
West L.A. residents, what are some of your favorite places to eat on Sawtelle Blvd.?