Pico Teriyaki House?
- PayOrPlay Feb 11, 2003 12:28 PM
There's a mysterious storefront at 10610 Pico in West LA. Ramshackle signs identify it as the Pico Teriyaki House, and the glass doors are covered by a decrepit white shade. If you try to peek in you will see some tabels and a bamboo screen, but it looks dormant and you might suspect that the place has been closed for some time, like the Spanish Kitchen. However, there's a "A" health placard on the door, and sure enough a check of the public health site on the internet reveals that this place received its latest inspection (a 92 rating) on 12/10/2002. And yet . . . I have never seen anyone go into this place, I have never seen anyone come out, I can't even figure out where the entrance is (the front seems blocked and I have walked around to the back without finding a marked door).
For a while, a few years ago, there was a hand-scrawled note on the door that indicated they served some sort of Japanese steak dinner, in the price range of $30-40/person, and required reservations. (Seemed pricey given the decor, but who knows what's really inside?) But that note has been gone for a long time. Maybe they just don't want any customers.
Has anyone been to this mysterious establishment, or have any information about it?
About 2 years ago, I'd go weekly for lunch - pretty good Teri bowls and such - nice for a quick fix. I was actually wondering the same thing though - all of a sudden they fell of the face of the earth - or so it seems. what's going on at this place now? I'm in that area often and I always look over as I'm driving down Pico. The place always seems closed during the day, but the interior lights are on night. Very strange. Anybody know what's up?
Your post got me to drive by tonight, and you're right, the lights were on. So I parked in front and peered in through the cracks in the blinds-and sure enough, there were indeed people eating. BUT, the front door was locked tight, and when I drove around to the back alley there was no identifiable door and no cars parked back there either. I elected not to pound on the door, but maybe that is the only way to solve the mystery! I wonder if it's like a speakeasy where you have to know the password? Sure hope someone will have the key.
Reminds me of Ginza which started on Wilshire(86?) before Rodeo. Maddona is there ordering Sushi I'm at the door trying to get a seat so I can spend 200+ for lunch and the answer is, were closed and don't have a phone #, I went back the next day, Killer Sushi.
Ok-now I am curious as well. I called and got a voicemail entirely in Japanese, just asking to leave your name and number first, message second. I did leave my name, number, and question on what time they close and if they are open for dinner (in that order) so hopefully they will call me back, I think I sounded authentic enough, but we'll see!!!
Will post upon learning more about this mystery.
I actually was invited to that place over the summer by my dad's high-class friends.
The inside wasn't anything fancy but the food was GODLY. They served a steak sampling meal where you cook the meat yourself on a charcoal grill. We also had a gold dusted abalone appetizer and a delicious lobster salad. Even the plain old tomatoes they gave us (and i hate tomatoes) were some ridiculously delicious species and i couldn't eat enough. the final course was a spicy crab udon soup mixture. the crab was HUGE. we estimated that the cost per person was about $300-$400 for the whole dinner. Apparently you have to be personal friends with the owner to even get a reservation. AMAZING! It has a real name, by the way...I forget but it's something like totoraku.
Yes it is called Totoraku and the first time you go, you must go with a regular. Totoraku is not an exclusive club, but Kaz is very sensitive to the fact that not everyone will love it. Therefore, once you have come with a regular and obviously enjoy what he is doing, you are more than welcome to return.
Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it is bare bones decor. Yes, it is essentially just beef. But, it is fun and unique and something you share with good friends. It is not Providence, it is not Urasawa, it is not Spago, it is not Melisse, it is not Sona. You eat what Kaz “cooks” and Ashima, his wife so aptly serves. But, if you just enjoy yourself, let Kaz do his thing and bring good wine, you will have a wonderful time.