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Apr 25, 2007 09:55 AM

Your favorite Tempura Bar, please

Looking for a the best place to host a small group for the real thing in tempura. Cost is not a factor for quality-eats. Has anyone been to the New Otani lately? I tried Komatsu, but it was lunch and was poor in comparison to my memories of Tokyo Kaikan in the old days. I'm hoping something new and stellar has popped up. Maybe even behind the "orange curtain"?

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  1. haven't been to otani tempura bar in several months but for me that is the only game in town for me. i never had a bad meal there...not cheap tho
    don't even know any other around without going to south bay area.

    1. Boy, I really miss that good old Tokyo Kaikan tempura bar, tempura ice cream was the best. I wish I could help here, but you already tried Komatsu.

      1. My first thought was also the tempura bar at Thousand Cranes in the New Otani. What was poor about it?

        I haven't tried it, but there is a small tempura bar on Sawtelle that never seems open when I pass. It might be takeout only though.

        7 Replies
        1. re: TracyS

          "...there is a small tempura bar on Sawtelle..."

          Please -- Where is this? What are its neighboring stores?

          1. re: liu

            I think I know the one - Sawtelle Tempura House. Here's a link from Yelp, but I've never tried it, or at least not in the last 25 years. My mom was a huge tempura fan and we ate a lot when I was a kid.

            1. re: Chowpatty

              Chowpatty -- Do you know what is on either side of it? Is it upstairs? I just can't picture it, and we have walked Sawtelle lots.

              1. re: liu

                I know where that place is. I haven't been there, but I've passed it and have always been curious about it. It's not around any other restaurants. It's across from one of the two (I think two) nursery on Sawtelle. So making a left onto Sawtelle from...Wilshire? (Is that the first exit off the 405 N connecting from the 10 W) it will be on your left side I think about two or three blocks down? It's located on a one level string of shops-that always looked unoccupied to me.

                I hope that helps, I'm sure it doesn't I probably just confused you more. I use to live on the west side, but haven't been on that side of the west side for awhile (that's my disclaimer).

                1. re: bigtums

                  Thanks, bigtums. Your description is good as I have shopped and window-shopped all those wonderful nurseries!

                  I just don't think I have ever noticed this Tempura House, but I will look for it. I'm not really into tempura, but I don't know how I missed seeing this restaurant.

                  1. re: liu

                    I haven't tried the Tempura House but I've driven by a lot. It is on the east side of Sawtelle, more towards Santa Monica Blvd. than Olympic. I seem to recall a sign saying "take-out only" but I could be wrong. Looks a bit divy. Please report back if you try it -- I'm always interested in tasty fried food.

            2. re: liu

              I used to get take out from the Tempura House once in a rare while when I worked over there. At that time it was run by a little old lady who'd slowly turn out simple orders of tempura and rice. I really wanted it to be great, but honestly it never was--very routine food, probably no better than the prepacked tempura you can get at Nijiya. Haven't eaten there since at least 2003, am not even sure it's still open, but would love to hear a more current report.

          2. inaba in torrance (on hawthorne i believe) is a pretty freshy place for tempura bar action.