The Battle of the Cheap Eats…Where? You’ll Be Surprised.

Lately, with the economy the way it is, we here at theMET have decided that it's time to focus on cheap eats! Sure I still have a few hot spots I'd like to check out (Apple, XIV, Providence, Urasawa, Osteria Mozza) but I've always been a firm believer that good food can come from anywhere. Lately, we've been heading to a supermarket for our food. Supermarket? Yes! Some of the best, most tastiest food can be found in your local Japanese market. Mitsuwa in Los Angeles has this food court that is jam packed with people. Why? Because their ramen and udon are the talk of the town. For less than $10 you can get your fill of Japanese or Chinese food without breaking the bank.

First up? Santouka. Santouka serves mostly classic ramen dishes (miso or pork based) with sides like chicken/egg with rice (oyoko don) and salmon roe with rice. In LA, you can also try out Asahi Ramen but for something cheap, easy and convenient, with no line…check out Santouka.

However..if you want a special cold udon dish with kimchi, hop on over to Sanuki Sandou.

Which one did hubster pick? Sanuki Sandou.

Here is his chosen dish.

The real deal with a side of chicken and egg over rice.

Sam, getting ready to devour his dish.

A happy and full husband. Overall?: If you like the taste of kimchi, this udon dish is fantastic. I've never been a fan of cold udon but this dish is light and refreshing with just the perfect level of spiciness. We've gone back now about four times and each time I'm impressed with how delicious their kimchi is (and this from a die-hard Korean). The light broth satisfies without being too heavy. I had the miso ramen at Santouka and I have to say that it is some of the best ramen I've ever had. Noodles are perfectly cooked, it's a little oily but I prefer tasty over tasteless any day. Who wins? It's a draw. Both are fantastic! Who Should Go: People who crave Japanese food but don't want the hassle of going to a restaurant. You walk up, order, and then when they call your number you pick it up. The market workers bus your dish so it's quick and easy. Tips: The restaurants close at 7:30p so make sure you get there before closing. Parking can be a hassle because there's a CVS next door and because Mitsuwa's a busy market, so just expect that. Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Santouka Ramen (Yelp) & Sanuki Sandou (Yelp) 3760 S Centinela Ave Los Angeles, CA 90066 (310) 391-1101

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