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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?

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  1. liu RE: Bob Brooks 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.

    Komatsu
    1644 W. Carson Street, Suite B in Torrance
    #310.787-0787
    _ _ _ _ _

    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.

    I-naba
    20920 Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance
    #310.371-6675

    1. b
      bulavinaka RE: Bob Brooks 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.

      -----
      Komatsu
      1644 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

      1 Reply
      1. re: bulavinaka
        liu RE: bulavinaka 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.

        -----
        Komatsu
        1644 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

      2. r
        raizans RE: Bob Brooks 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. monku RE: Bob Brooks 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 RE: monku 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
              o
              Ogawak RE: monku 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. J.L. RE: Bob Brooks Sep 29, 2010 01:15 AM

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

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