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Where to eat in Little Tokyo

carly_mizzou Nov 6, 2009 09:52 AM

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

  1. flylice2x May 7, 2011 03:07 AM

    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

    1. t
      tj442x May 6, 2011 10:13 AM

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

      1. g
        Ginger9 May 5, 2011 07:18 AM

        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
          Ogawak May 5, 2011 08:18 AM

          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
            Ginger9 May 7, 2011 01:41 PM

            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. t
          thatgirlcari Dec 2, 2009 08:57 PM

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

          1. p
            pharmnerd Nov 10, 2009 03:12 PM

            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. m
              mc michael Nov 10, 2009 05:12 AM

              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. tenxtone76 Nov 9, 2009 11:51 PM

                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
                  tenxtone76 May 5, 2011 01:45 AM

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

                2. j
                  JamesF Nov 9, 2009 11:15 AM

                  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. Mr Taster Nov 6, 2009 03:11 PM

                    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. Joe Blowe Nov 6, 2009 10:30 AM

                      "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. i
                        ickster Nov 6, 2009 10:26 AM

                        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. JAB Nov 6, 2009 09:58 AM

                          Which 2 do you frequent?

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