Tsujita Annex's Jiro-Style Ramen In L.A.

Tsujita Annex's tonkotsu is a force to be reckoned with

It's not easy to top yourself when you're already considered the best ramen shop in Los Angeles.

But after trying Tsujita L.A. Artisan Noodle's new expansion restaurant, we can authoritatively state that this Japanese import has struck gold twice.

The recently opened Tsujita Annex slings ramen all day, unlike its lunch-only sister establishment, and specializes in a distinct preparation of ramen known as "Jiro-style," a cult favorite among Tokyo's "manliest" noodle-heads.

True to form, the Annex's magnificent ramen ($9) isn't for the faint of heart. Pork bones are simmered for 60 hours until they produce a luscious broth characterized by the tiny fat globules bobbing along the surface. Blended with a bit of soy sauce, the liquid becomes an irresistible gut-punch of umami. Drinking more than a bowlful should require a doctor's approval, or at least a Lipitor prescription.

The noodles are as thick and chewy as Chinese lo mein, and the toppings are restricted to a pile of pepper-dusted bean sprouts, chashu pork and a gooey, soft-boiled egg. You are beckoned to further intensify your bowl with heaping spoonfuls of raw garlic, red-hot onikasu chile spice or, heaven forbid, an extra splash of fatback.

It's less a meal than a culinary test-your-strength carnival game.

Do you feel hungry, punk?