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Casual but Tasty Japanese in West LA?

Can any recommend any casual Japanese restaurants (not strictly Sushi only) in the West LA area (Sawtelle Ave., Westwood, Century City, Santa Monica?) for a Sunday Lunch/Dinner? My sister is coming from out of state at the end of March; thanks very much!!

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  1. musha, terried sake house, furaibo, sasaya, orris

    have fun!

    1. Kiriko has an excellent combination of sushi and cooked foods. It would be Sunday dinner only. It's not cheap, but it's pretty casual.

      I also second the recommendation for Orris.

      1. I second SaSaYa and Musha:

        Izakaya SaSaYa
        11613 Santa Monica Blvd
        Los Angeles, CA 90025
        (310) 477-4404
        http://www.izakaya-sasaya.com/

        Musha Restaurant
        424 Wilshire Blvd
        Santa Monica, CA 90401
        (310) 576-6330

          1. also Nanban-kan at 11330 Santa Monica Bl

            1. Musha has very good food, although it can be very loud and difficult to have a conversation because of the waiters constantly greeting customers and the other conversations in the room.

              We went to Izakaya Sasaya and found it to be not as good as Musha and not a very good price value. We ordered about 7 dishes for 2 people and were not even close to full, but managed to rack up a bill for over $80.

              I'd recommend Asakuma at Wilshire and Barrington. They have very good seafood - especially the blackened cod - and if you get there between 5pm and 7pm, they have excellent early dinner specials that give you two courses with a lot of food for under $20. Apparently, there is also a second location in MDR, although I have not been to that one.

              1. Agree with all of the above, leaning most towards Musha. The food is yummy and creative without being over-the-top-fusiony, and very conducive to sharing. The staff is friendly and it's got great atmosphere too. A search on the board will turn up all the recs to order. Everyone I've ever taken to Musha has really enjoyed it and taken others.

                If you and your sister would be into izakaya, Furaibo is a fun experience. It's loud, crowded, and smoky which is authentic but might not be how you two want to catch up. Lots of fun to try a bunch of things there.

                1 Reply
                1. re: TracyS

                  ditto on Musha- but if you want real casual,terried or even curry house if you have kids

                2. For more quiet you ought to consider Torafuko on Pico
                  http://www.torafuku-usa.com/about_us.htm
                  I love Musha but it is crowded and LOUD.
                  I love Nanbankan's food and atmo (as well as numerous others listed above) but don't find them all that comfortable for catching up with loved ones.

                  1. Casual/Family owned Japanese restaurant recommendation: ISSHIN in Westwood on Lindbrook, East of Westwood Blvd., next to Denny's. Parking is a bit tricky.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tatertots

                      Glad to here this place is still open. So good. Used to go there with a friend who attended UCLA.

                    2. Terried sake house on sawtelle. I just went there and everything was absolutely delicious and darn cheap. expect to wait. Menus printed on the backs of old sake boxes, the dishes are plastic. get the mushrooms, and the tofu with miso sauce. the lotus root is good too. get the yakitori with shisito. skip the gizzard and the green tea icecream.

                      1. Somehow I like Izakaya for groups. I'd also like to throw in Blue Marlin into the suggestion pile. I find the food to be pretty consistent, affordable and I love their pasta dishes, curry is very good, too!