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ISO Fake, Americanized, but YUMMY Japanese food

esquimeaux May 17, 2008 11:09 AM

Fellow ex-San Diegans will know what I'm talking about! From my experience while attending college down there, little shops like Chopstix, Niban, Ichiban, etc, were really popular for cheap, delicious food. I miss those places a lot, they really hit the spot especially with a peach iced tea to wash it all down. Not exactly gourmet or authentic but totally crave-able curries, rolls, noodles, rice bowls, and all that great stuff. Fast, cheap, delectable.

I'm sure there are similar places in LA, I just don't know where! Little Tokyo is a little far for me, if there's anything you love in the central or west LA area, enlighten me please!

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  1. Servorg RE: esquimeaux May 17, 2008 11:24 AM

    You would probably enjoy Sakura in Mar Vista. Don't know about peach iced tea but they ought to have the food part down. Very popular place.


    1. monku RE: esquimeaux May 17, 2008 11:58 AM

      In Mitsuwa Market in Little Tokyo & Torrance there is a Sakura fast food counter that has all that stuff. It's pretty authentic and cheap. Only open 9:30am-6:00pm.

      1. d
        dtud RE: esquimeaux May 17, 2008 12:39 PM

        there is a second "little tokyo" on the westside - sawtelle blvd. b/w tennessee and santa monica blvd. you can find lots of little places on both sides of the street.

        1. b
          Bjartmarr RE: esquimeaux May 17, 2008 03:21 PM

          I don't know if it's exactly what you're looking for, but you could try Tokyo Fast Food on Santa Monica at Brockton (next to Monte Alban). They have teriyaki chicken&beef over rice, tempura, sushi, ramen, udon, a curry, plus a few grilled fish dishes. Items run about $4-10. I've been going there since I was in high school. Try the grilled saba (mackerel), or the chicken bowl, or if you're hungry get the Tokyo Special (chicken, Cal. roll, tempura, salad, and green tea ice cream). Avoid the yakisoba.

          1. trishyb RE: esquimeaux May 17, 2008 09:36 PM

            New Japan on Santa Monica Blvd at Sawtelle in the strip mall with a 7-11. The food is very affordable, good-sized portions, and fresh. Cash only.

            New Japan Take Out
            11283 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

            4 Replies
            1. re: trishyb
              Das Ubergeek RE: trishyb May 17, 2008 09:44 PM

              Second this. I lived on this while I lived at UCLA.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                zruilong RE: Das Ubergeek May 18, 2008 12:26 AM

                Seriously, Uber, I third this place for the same reason as you....lived on it while at UCLA. Actually, reading your posts, what you eat and where you eat at, I need to double check that you are not my clone (or vise-versa)! I have to have eaten at one of your restaurants at the same time as you over the years. Its a little creepy, really! :-)

                1. re: zruilong
                  andytseng RE: zruilong May 19, 2008 01:01 PM

                  didn't go to UCLA, but whenever I went out there to visit a friend, we would always go there. It wasn't great, but it's solid.

              2. re: trishyb
                wilafur RE: trishyb May 19, 2008 01:22 PM

                third. i lived off new japan (and yoshinoya...egads!!) during my days at ucla as well. =)

              3. ipsedixit RE: esquimeaux May 18, 2008 12:14 AM

                Tawada Cafe
                4601 West Pico Blvd
                (323) 964-8199

                1. Peripatetic RE: esquimeaux May 18, 2008 12:30 AM

                  There's an interesting history of this cuisine here:


                  I too would welcome updated reports of good, "authentic" yoshoku restaurants in greater LA. (NB: I don't think Italian Tomato at the Mitsuwa in Torrance qualifies.)

                  1. b
                    bulavinaka RE: esquimeaux May 18, 2008 08:38 AM

                    How about "fake, Japanafied, but YUMMY American and Chinese food"? China Table in the Mitsuwa food court on Centinela and Venice in Mar Vista does it quite well. Most folks go directly to the "hamburg" combos - it's a salsbury steak-thing that tastes great. They offer a fair number of combos with it. I usually get it with gyoza. Their fried chicken is quite nice as well - might be slightly off of what one typically expects for fried chicken - tender, not crispy... shoyu-infused batter that is slightly sweet.

                    If you order extra rice (or order it to go and have your own rice waiting at home), it easily extends the meal. The savoriness of the hamburg lends itself to Japanese-style shoveling large amounts of rice down the gullet with each bite...

                    1. SauceSupreme RE: esquimeaux May 18, 2008 09:59 AM

                      I really want to say Italian Tomato, but I guess that's more of an example of Nipponified cuisine as opposed to Americanized.

                      1. DanaB RE: esquimeaux May 18, 2008 04:56 PM

                        I don't know if its affiliated, but there's a Japanese place in Glendale called Ichiban:

                        (818) 242-9966
                        120 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204

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