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Nov 7, 2010 02:37 PM

In search of... Japanese Whisky for sale in L.A. area

Hi gang,

Happy Holiday season/New Year's to all Hounds out there!

I need to buy Nikka Whisky for a business gift for an associate (any malt, any age will do). Does anyone know where it can be procured? Suntory Whisky clocks in at a distant second choice, but I think I know where I can get that in L.A. As for Nikka, I have no clue...

As always, Thanks in advance!


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  1. try wing hop fung in monterey park

    1 Reply
    1. re: rickym13

      Could be wrong, but pretty sure they don't have it. I've never seen it there at any rate.

      1. re: Joe Blowe

        Thanks! I'll give Wally's a shot!

      2. Vendome Wine & Spirits
        9153 W Olympic Blvd
        Beverly Hills, CA 90212
        (310) 276-9463

        2 Replies
        1. re: RicRios

          Thanks! I'll also take a look!

          1. re: J.L.

            I can promise they wont have it cuz they are no longer there. Wine House is your Huckleberry.

        2. I think the Mitsuwa in Little Tokyo is starting to carry more Japanese whisky now. I believe I saw some Nikka the last time I was there, but I could be wrong. Not sure if it was blended. When you say "any malt", do you mean that either blend or single malt is Ok?

          If you're unable to find what you're looking for locally, I've had good luck with - they carry some Nikka single malts.

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

          4 Replies
          1. re: will47

            Sorry, the Mitsuwa in Little Tokyo has been gone for a while and was replaced by some discount outlet. The store in Torrance is still going strong.
            You might check out the Marukai and Nijiya stores if you are in the Gardena/Torrance area.

            Perhaps someone familiar with the West LA / Sawtelle area knows a good source there ...

            1. re: DiveFan

              IIRC Mitsuwa in Little Tokyo was replaced by a Korean Market. I haven't been by in a few months though

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

              1. re: DiveFan

                Hold up there Dive Fan. It's worth mentioning that the old Little Tokyo Mitsuwa (now Woori Mart) actually has a much improved Japanese liquor selection, including high-quality shochu. When it was Mitsuwa, the liquor shelf was stagnant for years and most everything they had was terrible. They actually have a buyer thinking about things now and you can get bottles like the Beniotome goma-shochu. And of course you can get every possible iteration of Jin-Ro, if you're tastes lean that way.

                I don't think I've ever seen Nikka there, but plenty of Suntory.

                1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                  I thought I saw at least a blended Nikka there maybe 5-6 months ago, but could be making this up. Will investigate again next time I'm over there.

            2. Unless they have recently begun exporting, I don't believe that Nikka is available in the US.

              The only Japanese whiskies available for sale in the US that I know of are all made by Suntory:

              Yamazaki 12
              Yamazaki 18
              Yamazaki 1984
              Hibiki (blend)

              UPDATE: I posted this before seeing Joe Blowe's post about Wally's. I guess they have started to export some, but ouch, pricey!

              2 Replies
              1. re: sku

                Yeah, that's too much for my tastes. I thought the kicker was that it could only be imported if it was a 750mL bottle and not a 700? A stupid rule but that's what I was told on this site when an article about Japanese whisky appeared here. Perhaps an updated rule if Wally's obtains it.

                I'm so glad I pounced on getting Suntory 18 for $80 at the Beverage Warehouse three years ago. It's $100 there now and $130 at Mitsuwa. I'm feeling pretty positive Nijiya and Marukai won't be of any help with Nikka, but I haven't been in town since Labor Day.

                Beverage Warehouse
                4935 McConnell Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                1. re: nakni

                  The 750 rule is still the rule. It's part of the US regs. There has been a discussion of relaxing it, but I'm not aware of any regulatory change. Perhaps Wally's got their hands on a Japanese supplier and isn't exactly familiar with the regs. Who knows.