Menya Tigre – Sawtelle

From the people behind Anzu, the Japanese fried chicken purveyor, comes Menya Tigre, roaring onto Sawtelle. This ramen shop specializes in curry noodles, featuring their house blend curry.

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On a rare rainy day in LA, a bowl of curry noodles seemed like the perfect food with which to keep warm and cozy. I ordered online and got my order to go. Everything was packaged well, with broths separate from the ramen, and I was pleased to see that there was a generous serving of noodles. Their curry noodles came with a sizeable piece of chashu pork, bean sprouts, cabbage, green onion and garlic oil. Menya Tigre uses chicken broth as a soup base for blending with their curry, as opposed to pork, which made for a lighter broth.

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In comparison, the curry tsukemen offered a more flavorful experience, with a dipping sauce made of the chicken broth, curry and bonito. The tsukemen also came with a piece of chashu pork, nori sheet and lime for squeezing over the noodles. Normally I prefer my ramen in broth, but those chewy noodles dipped into that fishy broth made for a pleasurable bite.

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As much as I enjoyed the tsukemen, my favorite was the keema noodle. Unlike the other two, this one was a mazemen, so the noodles were served without soup. Instead, they were topped with a dry keema pork curry, pico de gallo (onion, tomato, cilantro), green onion, corn and shredded chili peppers. I had my hesitations ordering this since it sounded more like a Mexican dish, but after mixing all the ingredients together and tasting it, I was sold. Though the menu said the curry was dry, it permeated the entire dish, shellacking the ramen in its deliciousness – a total flavor bomb. The only thing that would have made it better is if it came with a tiny scoop of steamed rice to soak up the leftover sauce. Even though I don’t like raw onions, I was desperately fishing out each curry-soaked one at the bottom.

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A couple of rice bowls (chashu and keema) and sides (fried shrimp and tonkatsu) rounds out their limited menu. Menya Tigre takes over a spot that had housed two other ramen concepts which failed. I’m hoping their curry noodles will be just the thing to spice up the competition and ensure their success.

Location –  2012 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Website – http://www.tigre-la.com
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – No
Gluten-Free Options – Yes

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