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Best Tempura in L.A.

Bob Brooks Sep 28, 2010 05:11 PM

I'm thinking back a long while to places downtown like Tokyo Kai Kan and the Tempura bar at the Bonaventure. What are the best places for tempura these days?

  1. J.L. Sep 29, 2010 01:15 AM

    Is Tempura House on Sawtelle in the conversation? Is it even still in business?

    1. monku Sep 28, 2010 07:05 PM

      Before reading your post Tokyo Kaikan came to mind when I read the title.
      I don't think there's anything like it. I remember getting 12 shrimp tempura and the amazing chrysanthemum tempura.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monku
        liu Sep 28, 2010 07:33 PM

        Not Tokyo, monku...but, the tempura chef/owner at Komatsu does seem to specialize in seasonal veggies. During our last visit, the restaurant was not very crowded, so we spoke with the owner about his process; I think he might be open to trying something like chrysanthemum tempura.

        1. re: monku
          Ogawak Sep 28, 2010 11:23 PM

          Tokyo Kaikan certainly was ahead of its time. I loved their tempura bar; The first time I ever had deep fried ice cream.

        2. r
          raizans Sep 28, 2010 06:42 PM

          komatsu and i-naba are rather middling, "it's not bad" places for tempura. on the other hand, i don't know of any great tempura restaurants in LA, so those two will have to do for now. slight edge to i-naba for value.

          1. b
            bulavinaka Sep 28, 2010 05:55 PM

            +2 on liu's recs. Komatsu has semi-private booths but the dining area is kinda worn. I-naba has a more formal slightly dressed-up dining room compared to Komatsu. Komatsu offers three different salts with their tempura - one of which liu adores - the maccha-infused salt. :) I can't remember if I-naba offers salts with their tempura, but they otherwise do a very good job as well.

            1644 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

            1 Reply
            1. re: bulavinaka
              liu Sep 28, 2010 07:39 PM

              Yes, I do love the matcha salt...bulavinaka, how did you remember? !!
              I also enjoy that every bite, depending on your salt dip, can offer a "new" flavor sensation. It just makes the meal more fun and interesting!

              Bulavinaka, I certainly agree with you that Komatsu is not a pretty place. For this reason, and for a more intimate tempura experience, I suggest sitting at the bar.

              1644 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

            2. liu Sep 28, 2010 05:24 PM

              We like Komatsu in Torrance. It is a tempura bar and I would recommend sitting at the bar. The various dipping salts offer a flavor party and you can select from a variety of vegetables and fish items.

              1644 W. Carson Street, Suite B in Torrance
              _ _ _ _ _

              I-naba is also in Torrance. Their menu is far more extensive than Komatsu's menu. I-naba is very good, too, although I prefer Komatsu. Komatsu seems to focus on tempura.

              20920 Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance

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