Kokekkoko or Suehiro?
My mother and I have tickets to see something downtown, and I thought that going to Little Tokyo for dinner would be a great idea.
But, alas, I cannot decide whether we should go to Kokekkoko or Suehiro. We've already been to the wonderful sushi gen, and inhaled the ramen at Daikokuya, so no other suggestions please. Just which place leaves you satsified and happy?
Kokekkoko is 'nicer' Suehiro is more of a whole in the wall. I would go to Kokekkoko before and Suehiro after... ;)
I agree with Dommy. Both are very, very different. Suehiro is a good Japanese cafe/diner-type place. Lots of good homestyle cooking choices. Will probably run about $20-30 for two. Kokekoko is more about about the experience. The food is heavier (yakitori), but also very good (in a different way, though). Kokekoko wil probably run you about $40-60 for two.
With tax and tip try $80 for two. For chicken.
It's outragous. I much prefer Shin Sen Gumi in Gardena, which gives you much more bang for your buck (fully 1/2 the price of Kokkekoko), and FAR less attitude (it was clear to us that there was a 'pecking order' in how the chef served the crowd)
The yakitori is excellent.
Also, the rice soups/porridges on the menu at the end of the meal are yummy.
It's a nice balance to all that "fire" food.
I was actually inspired by reading the Chowhound boards to try both Suehiro (for comfort food) and Kokekkoko (for the yakitori) today.
Went to Suehiro for lunch - wouldn't count this as a hole in the wall. If it wasn't for the Japanese writing I would think I was in a decent American diner. Had the:
Ohitashi (spinach with bonito flakes) - very few bonito flakes. Spinach was good.
Agedashi tofu (fried tofu in broth) - disappointing. Fried tofu wasn't very flavorful nor crispy on the outside, but the broth was decent.
Chicken Kaarage (fried chicken) - very greasy. Wasn't crispy.
Hamburger Steak - sauce was tomato based with mushrooms and onions and was too sweet. Hamburger patty itself was pretty forgettable. Comes with a side of coleslaw and potato salad, miso soup, and rice.
Went to Kokekkoko for dinner - 2 people on a Friday night around 7pm is about a 30 minute wait. Had to share a table with another couple. The worst service I have gotten in a long time. Our waiter took our drink order, came back 15 minutes later and asked us if we wanted drinks. We told him we had ordered and were still WAITING FOR OUR DRINKS. Felt like a number rather than a customer. Averaged about 10 minutes for each skewer to come out one at a time (we ordered the $25 One Course which comes with small appetizer, small cup of broth, salad and 10 different skewers - breast, heart, gizzard, thigh, wing, okra+chicken, eggplant+chicken, skin, liver, meatball). Some of the chicken was pretty good (namely the breast/thigh/meatball), but nothing mindblowing. Incredibly smoky and smelly and such slow, bad service. 1.5 hours from the time we sat down to the time we got our 10th skewer. There's also a minimum order requirement of 5 skewers per person.
If you're hoping for great food (which I was), I don't think either of these places really qualifies. Definitely friendly to the wallet. I can imagine each place is good for that late night chow crowd or knocking back drinks with buddies experience.
Suehiro is one of our regular spots in LT... if you link different type of japanese comfort food, this is the spot. They're open very late as well. I love natto and mountain yam so this is by far one of my all time faves. The newly opened Ebisu is excellent as well and open until 1am.