In my last quick review, I never mentioned that the Udon is actually made fresh here. I don’t mean they just cook it in front of you, I mean they make the actual Udon here. In case you don’t believe me, I took a picture of the guy actually cutting the Udon with this gigantic machine.
On this trip, I tried the large Curry Udon ($8.50) and unlike my last trip, at least the Udon was cooked properly. However, for my taste, the Curry was too thick and there was not enough broth. In fact, there was no broth. Just curry.
What was strange was just like 6 months ago when I visited when they first opened, they still had problems at the cash register. In fact, the cashier didn’t seem to know how to operate the register at all and made 2 mistakes on one transaction and had to manually calculate how much change to give me. Very strange.
Not satisfied, on the next trip, I ordered the large Bukake with Ume. At least that’s what I ordered. I’m not sure that’s what I got because my receipt says “Wakame Udon Regular – $4.75.” So once again, there is some confusion at the cash register. Did I get a large and pay for a regular? Or did they give me a regular even though I asked for large? Who knows. I’m not even sure I got the Bukake, although they did put the Ume on there.
What was more disturbing was that they didn’t have tongs to put the toppings on my Udon and had to go have some washed on the spot so that she could finish preparing my dish. Because the kitchen is completely visible, I saw the entire episode. Even though it’s dead, you would think that they would have tongs ready. I blame the manager for not training their employees correctly.
As you can see, the presentation has something to be desired and is a little messy. You’d think that because you have to get your own food, then after you’re finished, bring back your tray and dishes to the kitchen area, the prices would be a lower than a regular restaurant. Not so. A bottle of tea was $2.50 and a pre-made rice ball was also $2.50.
Updated August 9, 2013:
For completeness, I decided to go one last time and order the Ume Udon shown below. Once again, I ordered the large and got charged for regular. Frankly, this time, the Udon was slightly undercooked, which is better than being overcooked. For my taste, there was too much green onions but otherwise, it was acceptable.
All in all, although the actual Udon is tasty and cooked properly, the price seems high considering you are serving yourself. If you want extremely fast prepared Udon, this might be your cup of tea. Otherwise, there are tons of better places to go. Also, be sure to check or double check what you are actually getting charged for.
333 S. Alameda Street, 3rd Floor, Los Angeles, California 90013