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Apr 29, 2002 02:48 PM

Japantown outdoor seating?

  • l

Does anyone know of any good casual place - any kind of Japanese food - with outdoor seating right in Japantown? Thanks.

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  1. The area is actually called "Little Tokyo"

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ray

      Some longtime residents in my neighborhood,K-town,refer to it as J-town.Wonder if this is a generational thing? This is a good excuse as any to walk over to the Bounty and research this further.Will report back if anyone is interested.

      1. re: jed

        If what you're saying is only old folks say Japantown or J-town - well that ain't me.

        I forgot that it's called Little Tokyo - as if Tokyo is the only identifiable city in Japan.

        It's like when you ask someone where they're from and they just tell you the country. As if someone from New York City is the same as someone from Salt Lake City.

        I thought it was Japantown because I'm Chinese and all Chinatowns are called Chinatown - even in Paris which I think is weird.

        But what's the Bounty? And yes, please I'm interested. Thanks. Always good to learn from the old folks.

    2. I think you've got me kind of stumped on this one, unless some of the casual restaurants in the plaza drag some tables outside on weekend afternoons.

      However, the Sunday brunch at Thousand Cranes, with the huge windows overlooking the Japanese garden (through which you can stroll if you like) sure FEELS like outdoors ....

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bradbury

        Thanks for the suggestion which sounds lovely.

        I'll have my dog with me so I'll actually need to be outside.

        But thanks again. I may try that brunch sometime when I'm sans chien.

      2. Little Tokyo, very fun area to wander, is somewhat in the grimy part of downtown, but if you like urban al fresco, you can wander through the little plaza between 1st and 2nd st, by the Japanese Museum, there are food shops that put out tables sometimes. You can also find a wonderful variety of take out food, sushi, bento etc at the Japanese Grocery ( used to be Yaohan) store at third and alameda, and picnic on a bus bench.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ciaolette

          Yes, I know the plaza but not the food. Anyplace you'd recommend?

          Otherwise, take out seems like the way to go.

          Thanks again.

          1. re: ciaolette

            They Japanese Grocer is Marukai. Unless you're talking about Ebisu Market which is within the plaza itself - they also sell bento's and such. Marukai is a chain of membership markets which sells Japanese/Japanese-Hawaiian Food and sundries. They do make good and inexpensive bento's and I think is a blessing to Little Tokyo where many Issei/Nisei Seniors still live, mainly because of the prices. We still make a trip to Marukai in either West Covina or Gardenia monthly in order to stock up on those Hawaiian ingredients that I need as well as those Japanese snacks my wife loves.

          2. Rascal's in Little Tokyo has outdoor seating. I wouldn't call the food great, but the chinese chicken salad is spare and tasty, if a bit on the sweet side, and the rice bowls are serviceable. Don't know the exact address, but it's in one of the plazas there, off first street a little to the west of Senor Fish.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Gloomcookie

              Thanks for the tip. Is this one of the Rascal's Hawaiian plate lunch places?

              1. re: Louisa Chu

                I think that "Rascal's" has changed it's name and it's menu slightly during the last year, year and a half. It's basically a Ramen/Bento/, whatever else kind of place - you know you can get Ramen or Teri Chicken Bowl, etc.... But they have "outdoor seating". I'm pretty certain that they've changed ownership or something of that nature, mainly because there's a group of older Issei/Nisei Gentlemen who used to hang out and talk, having a couple of beers, etc...on our last few trips they've been hanging out at the Teriyaki Fast Food place a few doors down. Also, a few doors down, there's another Japanese Fast-Food place that has outdoor seating, it used to be a convienince store, but has since changed and they sell Japanese City Food aka Curries and such.

                1. re: KirkK

                  You are right! I went to the former Rascal's today for lunch, and it's now called Las Galas. Don't ask me, because that sounds Mexican and yet it's still the same ole slightly sweet Chinese chicken salads and rice bowls. It was pretty good, and it was quite pleasant sitting outside.

                  1. re: Gloomcookie

                    Bingo! This sounds like the place for us. Thanks to you all and look for the Chinese girl with a big yellow dog - that's us.

            2. The following is a recently-made map of Little Tokyo--NOT Japantown.

              Unlike other Web sites' maps of Little Tokyo, they are not outdated.