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Issen Joki - good Japanese entrees

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Hey all,

Just went to this place in the Little Tokyo Mall (?) which is formerly known as Yaohan Plaza (Alameda and 3rd). On the third floor of this waning shopping center, this is the place for "the other Japanese food" meaning things other than sushi. they have all kinds of noodles, curry rice, "dons," donkatsu and set menus (teishokus).

We were greeted the traditional "ira-shyai-mase!" upon entry and promptly seated. We were served hot cups of green/genmai tea - no charge. My wife had the soba and tempura and I had the saba teishoku (mackerel entree) with natto (fermented soy beans, sliced green onions and a raw egg) for my rice.

The soba and tempura were good. My mackerel entree came with rice, salad, spaghetti salad, grated radish and some dark, stringy substance that tasted good but I have no idea what it is. They gave me a large side of the mackeral, nicely charred on the outside, moist and flaky inside. Everything was good. My only complaint was the natto and raw egg were so cold it made my rice cold as well when I mixed it in. (in case you don't know, natto is very sticky and is mixed with some sauce, karashi-similar to wasabi, and mixed in with rice)

This place reminded me of what I believe are the equivalents of diners in Japan--simple, homestyle foods at very reasonable prices. The whole meal was very good and came out to $37 (including tip, edamame and a 7-up). We're definitely going back to try other things that sound interesting on the menu.

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  1. It's on the 3rd floor of the Little Tokyo Shopping Center above Mitsuwa Marketplace.

    Not to be confused with the Little Tokyo Mall next to Japanese Village Plaza.

    1. I've been here a couple times as well, and it's great. Simple homestyle food and a great deal for the $. I had 4 huge shrimp(ddep fried w/panko), with soup and salad for under $10.