The Sawtelle strip in West LA is filled with cute little Japanese restaurants, shops and of course GRs. On a productive trip over there I can eat lunch at Curry House, get a hair cut, stop by GR to get another tofu action figure, and buy a cold coffee drink and Japanese cheesecake at Nijiya. But on this day I was a bit pressed for time than usual. Having rushed over from Culver City/Marina Del Rey for a meeting (in record time of 25 minutes) I had less than 30 minutes to eat! Hmmm. Needed something casual and fast.
I was eyeing Asahi Ramen but I remembered last time I was there the noodle (I forget the name) was not very flavorful. It was something "spicy" that wasn't spicy at all. The Yakisoba was good though. So there was some hesitation there. Plus eating a bowl full of hot noodles would get me hot and sweaty (the bad way) and unpresentable.
Right next door I saw Tofu Ya. I don't ever remember seeing it before but I hadn't been in the area for a while. I thought it was something I had previously overlooked but it had only opened the day before! (back in August. yes i procrastinate. a lot.)
I ordered the Donkatsu, which a breaded pork cutlet. It was thicker than ususal and super crispy. I liked that the katsu sauce came on the side. That way the sauce doesn't get too absorbed into the breading. I scarfed down the iceburg and thousand island salad, which is an ubiquitous item at casual Korean restaurants. It sometimes comes with cabbage which is also good.
The banchan were so-so. The ghim (roasted seaweed) was stale, the pickled radish was weird and the sauteed fishcakes bland. The sauteed mungbean sprouts and kimchi were good but I had to drastically cut down my kimchi intake to avoid any breath issues.
Overall Tofu Ya was okay. With popular Korean items like Soon-Dooboo (spicy soft tofu stew) and Katsus, it's a good place to get a quick meal. But you think its soon-dooboo can beat ktwon ones? Price for my meal was average at $10 including tax and tip.
2021 Sawtelle Blvd.