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"Best" Japanese food around Sawtelle?

Ok, first off, I'm a beginner with Chowhound.... so go easy on me.

I know "Best" is different to everyone. So I would just like to hear all the Chowhounder's opinion, on which is their "Best".

There 's Blue Marlin, a interesting bistro.
There's Manpuku, a Yakiniku house.
There's Chabuya, a Ramen house.
There's Hurry Curry, another interesting bistro-style place.

There are countless Japanese restaurant around the Sawtelle neighborhood. Which one is your pick? :-)

Looking forward for everyone's input :-D

p.s. Other than Sawtelle... and J-Town, where else will you travel to just for some good Japanese food?

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    1. There's also:
      Orris with French-Japanese small plates
      Nanbankan (on Santa Monica just west of the 405) - yakitori bar
      If you're willing to travel 5 more minutes, there's Musha on Wilshire between 4th and 5th for Japanese Izakaya (I think that's the word for Japanese pub food, but I'm never really sure!)

      1. Good Japanese food can be found in the South Bay in places like Torrance and Gardena. Tons of Japanese people and lots of tasty restaurants.

        I live in downtown, so I rarely venture out of Little Tokyo for Japanese food, but every once in a while I head to Shin Sen Gumi or Honda-ya in Orange County for some good ole izakaya fun. I'm very excited about the prospect of another izakaya in Little Tokyo, especially one I trust.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MeAndroo

          What's the new izakaya place opening in J-Town?

          1. re: MeAndroo

            There's Taiwanese owned Izakaya in Rowland Height also (it's in the same plaza where Sam Woo and Maxim Cafe is in, at the plaza of Nogalas/Gale) , I tried it there a few times, but then of cuz it's not as awesome as the authentic Japanese style~

          2. For Sawtelle, I'd pick Kiriko. Some really great sushi. Haven't tried their cooked dishes, but plan to go back to taste more of what they have to offer.

            2 Replies
            1. re: slacker

              This one? http://www.kirikosushi.com/

              Cool! Now I have a sushi place on the list to try out around Sawtelle :-)

              1. re: kelvlam

                YES. Go, run, hurry! I did the sushi omakase lunch, and I can't wait to go back.

            2. I also like Furaibo, which a Izakaya style restaurant. It's right across the street from Blue Marlin, 2068 Sawtell Blvd..

              1 Reply
              1. re: puppychao

                I second Furaibo. For lunch it's a limited menu, revolving around chicken wings (teba sake). Fried wings (or other parts) dusted with the most addictive sprinkle of god knows what --slightly sweet, slightly spicy. Get the extra spicy --misleading, because it's Japanese spicy (not very). The korean bbq is tasty too. And I love their miso dressing on the cabbage salad that comes with their lunchs.

                For dinner, the chicken is still on the menu --don't miss it, but they have many delish small plates to share, a couple of my favs are the Halibut (can't remember if it had a special name, it's chunks of lightly fried halibut served in it's whole deep fried skeleton --yum), duck breast salad, tongue, miso or pork eggplant, and the char grilled squid legs, pork nigima... Enjoy!