Green Tea Udon

Photo by Meghan Camarena

I was born and raised in Los Angeles but never really ventured deep into Little Tokyo until about 4 years ago. The first food place I tried in that area was an udon restaurant called Tsurumaru Udon Honpo, located in the Little Tokyo Galleria. It immediately became a lasting favorite of mine! Udon has since become one of my favorite Japanese foods, and I have yet to find an udon place to match Tsurumaru.

Photo by Lina Madrid

Recently I received an email newsletter from them… yes, I’m on the mailing list… I also have a stamp card with them. Gotta get those stamps to earn that FREE UDON BABY… Heh, anyways, in this email they promoted their brand new matcha (green tea) udon noodles and I thought to myself, “That’s insane! I HAVE TO TRY IT!”

Photo by Meghan Camarena

Tsurumaru Udon Honpo has been open for 4 ½ years now, it originally started in Japan and is a chain restaurant over there with about 50 locations. They strive for authentic Japanese flavors, and I have been told that it’s a favorite of Japanese tourist when they visit America. I visited Japan for about 2 weeks and nothing has come closer to what I experienced there than Tsurumaru and their udon. They make their noodles fresh every day. The actual noodle-making process takes 2 days because of how long they let the dough rest. The recipe they use is actually the same recipe used in the Japan locations! The udon they make is the kind you find in western Japanese cities like Osaka, and has a softer taste compared to eastern cities like Tokyo, that have more of a soy sauce flavor to their udon.

Photo by Meghan Camarena

Photo by Lina Madrid

But udon is not the only thing they serve, their menu also offers curry, tempura, onigiri and many different sides. When I went to check out the matcha udon with Meghan and our friend Brenna, they let us know that we could substitute any of their udon with the matcha noodles for just $1 extra. My favorite item on their menu is the niku (beef) udon so I decided to try that with the special noodles. Meghan ordered their featured cold match udon with lemon zest with the matcha noodles and Brenna decided on their pork cutlet curry (which I love whenever I’m not in the udon mood).

Photo by Meghan Camarena

Photo by Meghan Camarena

The niku udon I ordered is made with their own dashi recipe, (soup base made of fish and kale), and marinated beef. The matcha udon noodles were cooked to perfection, and the taste of the noodles really took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting the matcha flavor to work, but the subtle sweetness mixed with just a hint of bitterness complemented the flavor of the savory soup base. The difference between the flavors of the matcha and regular udon noodles is honestly very subtle, but I’m the kind of person who thought eating that green colored ketchup as a kid was fun though, so this was perfect for me!

Photo by Meghan Camarena

Photo by Meghan Camarena

Meghan’s dish was the one advertised as their main matcha udon dish. It is a cold udon mixed with lemon zest in a dashi concentrate and topped with radish and bonito (fish) flakes. I tried some of Meghan’s (for scientific purposes of course) and really enjoyed the refreshing flavors of it. The lemon and dashi combo was delicious and I would definitely order this next time. The only thing we would change next time is possibly order less of the bonito flakes. Tsurumaru did say they strive for traditional Japanese flavors, and bonito flakes are definitely put on a majority of dishes in Japan. Our American palates were just slightly overwhelmed by the amount on this cold udon dish.

Photo by Meghan Camarena

The great thing about this place is the amount of variety offered. They will be adding a new menu next week, which will let you create your own combo! Happy hour is all day Monday as well as Tuesday-Friday from 3pm-closing. They also have a second location over in the Arcadia Westfield mall so if you’re close to any of these two locations I highly recommend you stop by! So what do you think? Would you be adventurous and try their matcha udon? Let me know down below in the comments!

=^^= Lina

Share:
  • Mason

    Omg I wanna try it so baddd😭😭😭I for certain don’t live anywhere near it, Because i live I’m a small town, but I always crave some Japanese food! Thanks for the blog Lina and also why does Megan take such good food picture😂I just ate and it’s still making me hungry.