Eating adventures in Sawtelle, formerly known as Little Osaka - for $40!
- Getting from LAX to Sawtelle
- Tsujita Annex
- Millet Crepe
- Artelice Patisserie
- Blockhead Shavery
- Santa Monica
- Getting from Santa Monica to LAX
Getting from LAX to Sawtelle - $1
I decided not to rent a car due to the short 8 hour trip (lines at rental car agencies at LAX usually takes a while!). While I have 30% on Uber, I didn't feel like paying ~$15 to get to Sawtelle, so I opted for the $1 bus!
Google says I should take the LAX connector bus, then the Rapid 6 will take me to Sepulveda & Expo Line, which is a 12 minute walk from Tsujita. This is the bus stops map at LAX arrivals level. I need the free shuttle to Lot C to take me to the LAX transit center - those are marked by the blue dots with LAX on top.
I landed around 10:55am, and looking at the bus schedule, I can actually go to the Green Line station or the LAX transit center - either way I'll be on the 3rd mid-day bus. Since the shuttle to Green Line station came first, I took that one, then connected to the Rapid 6 bus. Not sure where else you can take a bus for $1!!
Tsujita Annex - $17
Tsujita is my favorite tsukemen ramen spot! Despite seeing them in Honolulu and Fukuoka, it makes the most sense to visit them in the original LA store due its proximity to my home in San Francisco. I arrived around noon, just the right time to have a wait for a table. Tsujita at the corner has more tables and more suitable for groups while the annex across the street has a bigger bar area so works better alone, and they have a chill waiting area!
The waitress took my order as I was waiting, which I loved - food came within minutes of me sitting down. I spent those minutes studying the condiments available and checking out the vibe. Conclusion - 2 scoops of garlic. No spicy for me.
At last, my ramen is here. Just the way I remembered. Same awesomeness.
How to eat Tsukemen - dip noodle into soup, then pull out quickly and slup up. There's so much content of meet and veggies in the soup that every bite contained items I fished out the soup. Loved it.
There is an option to let them dilute the soup so you can drink it. Since I got 2 dessert slots after this, I did not opt for this option.
Millet Crepe - $9
I utilized the 35 minutes I had on the bus to yelp my dessert options. Since this spot is across the street from Tsujita annex and had high reviews, I decided to hit it up. They open at 1pm, so I had to wait a few minutes before they open. I've never had creme brluee crepe before, so this was quite exciting! Especially when they burn the top in front of you!
Artelice Patisserie - $4
I had to take a little walk to let all that food sink down, so stopped by this spot because they have Yuzu macroons! Since it's food that I can easily store away and eat later, I opted save space for another dessert slot.
While purchasing.. I saw they have the Rose flavor. Given that the Rose flavor lady M from Hong Kong was amazing, I opted to give that a try too. (Turns out it wasn't great.. too much rose flavor, BUT the yuzu was amazing)
Blockheads Shavery - $6
I had a hard time deciding whether I want shaved ice or boba tea + taiyaki as my 2nd dessert slot. Both has decent reviews, but I wanted something more special, so shaved ice it is! This is the matcha combo (with condensed milk, red bean, and mochi).
This is the real shaved snow where it melts in your mouth with the awesome texture, not the typical shaved ice where it's small chunks of ice. It's a spot I'll be back for, but they have a lot of competition given the other dessert options available!
So I need an activity to burn all the food I just consumed. Since Santa Monica is a close by chill area (with easy bus transport back to LAX), it's the clear winner. I originally planned to take the awesome LA Metro Expo line, but they required purchasing a TAP card for $2 (I left mines at home) +$1.75 for the one way fare. Uber pool was cheaper so I did that instead.
There is no real goal or agenda for Santa Monica. Got off at the 5th St shopping area, checked out some stores, head towards the beach to see the ocean, then back on the bus!
Getting from Santa Monica to LAX
The return trip is on the Santa Monica "Big Blue Bus" Rapid 3 line, which promises a 50 minute ride from downtown Santa Monica to LAX bus center. This one costs slightly more - $1.25. Still a killer deal.
This time I connected via the LAX bus center to the (free) Lot C Shuttle, which dropped me at Terminal 6, where I started the trip.
Bonus - Alaska Airlines Lounge at LAX
This lounge is known for having the sign that does not accept Priority Pass members due to space constraints. Today's my lucky day - the sign's not there! I had about 75 minutes before my flight on Alaska Airlines, so the timing works well. A light snack will do since I'm still kind of full from the earlier eating adventures.