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Where to eat in Little Tokyo

So this seems a simple enough question, but when I do a search I get nothing relevant. I go to little tokyo all the time, but usually stick with the same two restaurants out of fear of accidentally ordering something spooky. I love most japanese food, sushi included, but stay away from the weird meats like intestinal tracts, fish flakes/broth. I'm looking for something not expensive, and in the area of that outdoor-ish mini mall market. Any ideas? Any recommendations of a restaurant and what to get there would be appreciated.


Little Tokyo Restaurant
150 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773

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  1. Which 2 do you frequent?

    1. There is a lot written on the board about the following places:

      Suehiro Cafe on 1st Street has a large menu and a good sampling of cooked japanese food. I like the various dishes over rice, (pork katsy don) the shumai and gyoza and the koika on the specials board, although thats fried seafood. I dont go there for noodles as they are just so so or sushi which they dont serve.

      Sushi Gen is known for their fish and their lunch specials.

      Kokekoko does grilled chicken on skewers.

      Izayoi has some interesting cooked dishes and I think good lunch specials.

      132 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

      Suehiro Cafe
      337 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

      1. "So this seems a simple enough question, but when I do a search I get nothing relevant."

        Then you're not conducting a proper search. Over the last 5 years, there are nearly 1,500 threads on the L.A. board that mention "Little Tokyo" -- you can sort the results by date, relevance, etc...

        Click: http://search.chow.com/search?query=%...

        1. Hi Carly,

          Wondering if you ever broke out of the Columbia Chinese buffet mentality and have explored the glories of the Chinese food in the San Gabriel Valley


          Faves in Little Tokyo:
          1. Daikokuya for their tonkatsu ramen (if you still think of ramen as $0.25 dehydrated packages of noodles, you have to try the real stuff). Also their gyoza are phenomenal, but Tokyo Cafe around the corner sells excellent ones for cheaper. Get your gyoza appetizer there while you wait for a table a Daikokuya.
          2. Sushi Gen for lunch - $16 gets you a really nice quality sashimi lunch. This would be $30-50 in other restaurants. (this deal is not available if you sit at the sushi bar
          )3. Sushi Go 55 in the top floor of the mall on Alameda and 3rd. Also really good quality fish for a bargain price, and 10% off if you use this coupon

          Mr Taster

          327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

          Sushi Go 55
          333 S Alameda St Ste 317, Los Angeles, CA 90013

          1. I work just outside Little Tokyo so I eat there a lot. I think the hole-in-the-wall kind of places are sometimes good at some things, but pretty bad at others. I'll recommend the vegetarian lunch at Usui (on first st.). The people at Aoi (also on first) are pretty great, even if the food's only OK. They're what I'd want my Japanese grandfather and grandmother to be like if I were Japanese and had grandparents. Shojin, the vegan place in the shopping center at 3rd and Alameda is also good, but the portions were a bit Tokyo-sized as of the last time I went.

            You can also go to Senor Fish! (Given its location, before I went there I thought it was some kind of weird Mexican/Japanese fusion restaurant.)

            333 S Alameda St Ste 310, Los Angeles, CA 90013

            Usui Restaurant
            343 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            1. Homegirl Cafe, Wurstkuche, Daikokuya, Curry House, King Taco, Lien Hoa Deli are a few primo options in or near Little Tokyo (I work there so I've done a good amount of lunchtime eating).

              327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

              800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

              1 Reply
              1. re: tenxtone76

                also chicken joint (ground beef dish over rice), honda ya (asparagus, fish, chicken), and curry house (pastas, curry, croquettes) in weller ct

              2. There's a Korean BBQ place on First St. in the area you mention. The name escapes me (might be something clever like Korean BBQ). Their lunch specials are pretty self explanatory and you get a lot of grub.

                1. Second the Sushi Gen rec. The deluxe sashimi or nigiri sushi lunch special for $16 is the best deal in Little Tokyo.

                  Joymart, in the Village is a regular lunch stop for me. Food is just ok, funky rolls & bowls/donburis, but a great deal nevertheless. Best deal is the 2 or 3 item lunch combos. TOT (same parent company as Joymart) around the corner, is decent too.

                  Of course Daikokuya for ramen. Great pork bowl too.

                  I think the Korean BBQ joint on 1st St is HK BBQ. It's ok for the price, not great, but still a regular stop for me though.

                  Curry House To Go on ground level of Onizuka plaza. Fast, cheap Japanese-style curry +/- chicken or tonkatsu, hits the spot when I have a craving.

                  Not a huge fan of Suehiro.

                  1. Sushi Gen for sure. And for cheaper I go for Koraku. The Kirin on tap is super cold.

                    1. Also try Far East / Far Bar for very good Asian-style gastropub combination of innovative Asian cuisine and a huge beer list. I was skeptical at first, but was pleasantly surprised by their food when I was there two weeks ago. And, they have a good selection of Hitachino beers.

                      Far East Cafe
                      347 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Ginger9

                        Curious, Ginger, Far East was known as a chop suey Chinese joint and of great historic importance in J-Town. Has there been some major overhaul? What menu items did you particularly enjoy?

                        Far East Cafe
                        347 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA

                        1. re: Ogawak

                          Yes, the place is no longer a chop suey restaurant, though they've kept the retro feel - even the old massive chop suey neon storefront sign is still there. The front portion is now a lounge, and the side and rear are bar/gastropub with a nice outdoor patio. I think their Asian-inspired tacos are excellent - with braised beef shortribs or shichimi rubbed shrimp and a third style with pork, but I forget how the pork is done. They also have a good selection of sushi. They also have roti pizzas, and a very good vegan curry over rice. Sounds a litlle strange mixing Asian cooking with other styles, but it also comes out very tasty.

                      2. My easy option is Go 55. In, eat, out, good deal, not too crowded.

                        1. HANA-ICHIMONME
                          333 S. Alameda St., #303
                          los Angeles, CA 90013
                          (Little Tokyo Square, 3F)
                          Telephone No.: (213) 626-3514
                          Business Hours: Lunch & Dinner
                          11:15am - 8:00pm
                          11:15am - 3:00pm (Wed)
                          Went there last weekend..still good been around for a while..

                          Joy Mart
                          (213) 680-9868
                          137 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Get directions
                          Cross Streets: Between E 1st St and E 2nd St
                          If you go during the week they have the combo lunch specials for $8