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May 22, 2009 04:10 PM

Non-Sushi Japanese Restaurants

As little as I know about China and Chinese food - I know a fair amount about Japanese food (and my husband speaks some Japanese). As people have pointed out from time to time in this forum - Japanese restaurants in Japan tend to be exclusive in the types of food they serve. There are sushi restaurants - tempura restaurants - soba restaurants - udon restaurants - etc. - etc. Does any such thing exist in Los Angeles - a really good restaurant that serves a type of Japanese cuisine that is not sushi. Or one that serves a variety of non-sushi cuisine? Robyn

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  1. There are many ramen restaurants to choose from. There are three that I keep in my rotation. Daikokuya and Orochon in Little Tokyo and Santouka in West LA. Nearby in Little Tokyo is also Izayoi which is an izakaya, a Japanese restaurant serving a variety of small dishes to try and share (think tapas) which also includes sushi at dinner.

    327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    132 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Orochon Ramen
    123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St Ste 303, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

    1 Reply
    1. There are quite a few robata places, like Nanbankan in west L.A.

      1. Daichan in studio city (next door to "No"zawa), Noodles, Donburi, Curries, and so much more!

        1 Reply
        1. re: FranklinJefferson

          I'll second this. I really like this.

          Also try some of the izakaya -- beer and small plates, like Japanese tapas.

        2. Check out the extensive reports by Exilekiss on this subject. Seems like a lot of the good ones are clustered in the Torrance/Gardena vicinity.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Akitist

            I've never been to Torrance/Gardena - but looked at a map. The only thing I noticed on the map was what is apparently the national headquarters of the American Honda Motor Company. That would explain (at least in part) the restaurant scene. Robyn

            1. re: pvgirl

              Toyota's just down the street. That is exactly why the Japanese restaurant scene is so good there.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Toyota, Honda, and Nissan were all based here for a long time. Nissan moved their HQ to Tennessee two years ago, but Toyota and Honda are still here.

          2. My 1st thought is Ita Cho on Beverly but I have not been there for three yrs. They had excellent sashimi but no sushi. Their claim to fame is a wide array of small plates of interesting traditional Japanese food. Kind of like Japanese Tapas.
            The original Ita Cho location rocked! It was in a Hollywood strip mall next to an adult book store. It had real character and tables with long wooden benches and valet parking of course.
            Many places have since opened copying their menu concept but Ita Cho is definately worth checking out!

            Little Tokyo has many good places and is always changing but these old places worth checking out are:

            The Tempura Bar inside Thousand Cranes restaurant

            Tha charcol grilled chicken yakitori place near the corner of 2nd & Central (i think those are the streets-someone please help me out b/c can't remember name)

            and (also can't remember the name) the japanese diner type place with a counter and booths on 1st st-it's open till 1-2 am Fri-Sat and with a line

            The Shabu Shabu restaurant

            Good Luck!