DTLA: Ramen and Chirashi at 3rd Generation Sake Bar
Ramen is slowly taking over my life. My latest adventure was at 3rd Generation Sake Bar which opened about two months ago in Downtown Los Angeles. Their menu is fairly simple. Do you want ramen, sushi hand rolls or chirashi? Or add in sashimi and/or appetizers.
They serve tonkotsu ramen, pork-based broth that everyone is currently obsessed with. I found it satisfying for a quickie DTLA lunch though if I had more time, I probably would wander over to Chinatown for a bowl from Ramen Champ or stand in those awful long lines for Daikokuya.
We were debating the appetizers; miso soup, soybeans or seaweed salad when our server suggested getting the hand rolls to share as an appetizer. She said she could have them cut in half for us.
The rolls at 3rd Generation are quite different from KazuNori‘s so I am not counting out either as a good DTLA lunch choice. But perhaps you might get into 3rd Generation more easily. The only thing is you don’t get the rolls served individually and the server asked us to eat them quickly before the seaweed wrappers got too soggy or chewy.
You have a choice of 3, 4 or 5 rolls combinations.
- 3 rolls – avocado, spicy tuna, salmon
- 4 rolls – spicy tuna, salmon, spicy yellowtail, baked crab
- 5 rolls – spicy tuna, salmon, spicy yellowtail, baked crab, toro
The spicy tuna and spicy yellowtail weren’t too spicy. I liked the baked crab which comes wrapped in soy paper rather than seaweed. There are also a few a la carte rolls not part of the combos including baked lobster, blue crab and eel avocado.
I tried the chirashi bowl for lunch. I love getting chirashi bowls because you get a little bit of everything. At 3rd Generation, you can go with a mixed bowl or all ikura (salmon roe). For $22, the mixed bowl seemed to make a lot of sense. It had tuna, salmon, yellowtail, albacore, spicy tuna, uni, ikura and amaebi (sweet shrimp). My bowl that day also included scallops. The standouts were the albacore and spicy tuna.
For a ramen lunch that doesn’t involve going to Little Tokyo, I’d pick 3rd Generation’s. The soup was nice and the egg was good. I wonder if I can talk them into do an all salmon or all albacore chirashi bowl. But I suppose you can always just do sashimi and a side of rice.