In recent months, a stretch of Brand Blvd. in Glendale, California has suddenly been revitalized with outposts of hot foodie spots.
Across from The Americana at Brand, Shake Shack, Philz Coffee, Mainland Poke and Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop have opened up — giving us all more dining options to choose from. Popular breakfast sandwich outlet Eggslut is slated to open at the end of the year.
This past week on November 30, The Americana at Brand continued on its reputation as an Eastside culinary destination, with the opening of Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle, the No. 1 rated ramen restaurant in Los Angeles. This marks its third location in the LA area.
The 2,700 square-foot restaurant — located by the valet stand of the mall — has a 53-person seating capacity and bears a more modern, high-end vibe, unlike the cozier decor found at the other two LA locations.
“We meticulously choose the restaurants we bring to our property. We have an amazing selection of restaurants and we’re very proud of that,” Julie Jauregui, senior general manager of The Americana at Brand, said. “In choosing something for this great position, we wanted to make sure it was a restaurant that was known for their great cuisine and known all over Los Angeles. Tsujita has had much success in Los Angeles and we felt like it was the perfect match here, so it was an obvious choice for us. The minute they reached out to us, we were very excited.”
Takehiro Tsujita, the Tokyo native who began the noodle shop, expanded to the U.S. five years ago on Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles. There’s also Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles Annex down the block, which opened two years later. (He also has Sushi Tsujita, which doesn’t serve ramen.)
“We appreciate the Americana inviting us to open our third ramen shop,” Tsujita said. “We started 13 years ago with a store [in Japan] with only eight seats.”
Tsujita said more ramen shops will be opened in the coming year; areas targeted include Orange County, Las Vegas and Honolulu.
“The reason why we are opening at a slow pace is because we are careful of the detail of every restaurant,” the Japanese chef said via his interpreter Koichi Motegi, vice president of Colliers International.
For those familiar with the Tsujita menu, the location at The Americana at Brand of course offers the ever popular Tonkotsu (pork broth) and Tsukemen (noodles served separately from the soup) bowls. But, diners can expect a more extensive menu with small plate offerings (tapas-style).
“If ppl like my ramen and accept it, that’s the reason why I opened in the U.S.,” Tsujita said. “Since I’m not a business person, it’s up to customers to decide whether they like the ramen or not.”
As temperatures are lowering, there’s perhaps no better way to take a break from shopping and warming up with a generous bowl of ramen. If the popularity of Tsujita on the westside of town can be replicated in Glendale, expect some wait time before getting a table, but taste for yourself, the ramen lives up to its highly esteemed reputation.
“We offer something to the Asian community you might not find anywhere else outside somewhere else that is predominately Asian. We’re very proud of the curated mix of retail and restaurants that really appeal to the Asian demographic,” Jauregui said.
The Tsujita Artisan Noodle is located at 889 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (10:30 p.m. for last call). For more information, please visit http://tsujita-la.com/.