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Tokyo 7-7 is closing on the 18th of December

If you always wanted to try Tokyo 7-7 (the Japanese style coffee shop in Culver City) or if you have been meaning to go back, do it this week.

They close their doors for good on December 18th.

It's a true hole in the wall, but it's good if you want that Japanese style breakfast and don't feel like driving to Gardena or some coffee shop food.

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Tokyo 7-7
3839B Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

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  1. That is sad! The food may not be great or special, but the people are. In an affectionate way it almost reminds me of base food in Japan. wow bummer.

    10 Replies
    1. re: AAQjr

      AAQjr -- When you say "base food in Japan" what are you referring to? Does Tokyo 7-7 serve that impossibly thick white toast and small salads along with strong coffee? Curious about this place...

      1. re: Tripeler

        lol! Everything from patty melts to yakisoba to gyoza. Except served by an Obachan. Great place to read the newspaper have a light meal. Feels like a bit of a time warp. I think it'd be a great location for pop up restuarant.

        1. re: AAQjr

          Thanks for the quick reply. I still don't get what you mean by "base food" -- do you mean food on a military base or, rather just "basic" food? Here in Japan I often get served yakisoba and gyoza by Obachan types -- however, a proper patty melt is certainly a rare item.

          1. re: AAQjr

            Definitely some of the nicest folks around. I used to eat there pretty regularly. They'd never turn away any hungry souls down on their luck. Compassion runs deep there and I wish them the best.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              The impression we got is that they just decided to retire.

              But it was too busy for them to really talk to us.

              Sad.

          2. re: Tripeler

            It's just an American diner run by a Japanese family. Not anything "base" about it, really. They do offer some Japanese comfort food dishes, but I'd rather just get the big breakfast dishes. The links below give a good idea of what it's like there.

            http://kentanakalovesyou.blogspot.com...
            http://whatstoeatla.blogspot.com/2008...
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/59445098...

            I'm fairly certain that the family that has run this place is feeling quite satisfied to be leaving the business. In full disclosure, I'm childhood friends with that family. I think the thick white toast and small salad thing became part of the standard Japanese breakfast after our families came over from Japan in the 60s, so I don't think it's in the repertoire here.

            1. re: E Eto

              E Eto (are you sure your name isn't Sato? Can't help but think that after seeing the orange elephant!) -- thanks for the insight and the links. Reminds me a LOT of a little place at 10th and V in Sacramento -- thoroughly Japanese-American. The thick white toast and small salad is from the Japanese coffee shop "Morning Set" and not the standard Japanese breakfast, which would be rice, grilled fish, nori, egg, miso soup and perhaps natto.

              Too bad they are closing -- I wonder why nobody could take over the Tokyo 7 - 7 operation?

              1. re: E Eto

                I certainly wasn't trying to denigrate Tokyo 7-7 . It's that mix of small town american food and rustic Japanese cuisine that always reminded me of living in Japan as a teenager. Bases that i've been on evoke a small town america that I never really new growing up in L.A. (FWIW I was not a military kid, but the son of a contractor)

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                Tokyo 7-7
                3839B Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

                1. re: E Eto

                  A final comment:

                  From L.A. Weekly:

                  "The family-run business has been operating without a lease for some time. After the property owner raised the rent, Ozawa, 76, couldn't afford the space and decided to pack up.

                  Rumor is the owners plane to raze the building, build something bigger on that patch of land and develop it into something more lucrative, but this little piece of old Culver City will stay in our hearts long after the building is gone."

                  http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...

            2. wow, i remember this place but for some reason never got around to trying it, it's the joint that's in themiddle of an alley right? do you got an address on it?

              thanks a bunch.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kevin

                Yup! Right behind bottlerock on Main Street. Park on the structure on Cardiff and you'll be right there. I found the food good overall... Especially when sticking with the Japanese items. I also LOVED that you can get an order of perfectly sauteed mushrooms as a side to top everything from your bowls, to your curries...

                http://yfrog.com/h0tz90j

                http://yfrog.com/g4w6boj

                http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

                --Dommy!

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                Main Street Cafe
                12939 Main St, Garden Grove, CA 92840

                1. re: kevin

                  Dommy beat me too it, Kevin. Her response is correct.

                2. I haven't been for years, but when I worked in CC fresh out of college, this was my de facto place for lunch. Cheap, tasty, and always welcoming. Sad to see them go.

                  1. I'm really gonna miss this place. The Royales they serve are amazing. But there is a place that is very similar on Jefferson Blvd. called George's Coffee Shop that is run by Koreans and serves a small selection of Korean food. Plus, its just as cheap as Tokyo 77.

                    http://losangelicioustimes.com/2010/1...

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                    George's Coffee Shop
                    5439 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: losangelicioustimes

                      George's is OK, too. (It's actually on Sepulveda, not Jefferson.) Solid, inexpensive coffee shop food. The vibe is pretty different, though. George's is almost always sedate, quiet. Tokyo 7-7 is/was hustle bustle.

                      Rutt's is also in the neighborhood and they have the Royales, too. I eat at all of them.

                      I regret not going to T 7-7 more often -- I just assumed it would always be there.

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                      Tokyo 7-7
                      3839B Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

                    2. Another mom & pop institution shuts down. La Ballona restaurant is also closing. Small independent restaurants can't keep up with skyrocketing rents, rising food costs, etc. An expensive hipster place will take over with overpriced, lackluster food. Do we really need another Umami burger? Sad.

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                      La Ballona Restaurant
                      3843 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: meg3325

                        It's sad I know, but being a native Angeleno, one thing I've gotten used to is the fact most things don't stay the same for very long. And that's why places considered institutions in LA are rare.

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          Even more importantly, that's why we have to make time to patronize places like Pann's or the Apple Pan or even Tito's - so that they DON'T depart the scene leaving us all that much poorer for those unique spots that bring the entire community together (making us all richer for the experience of standing in line with folks from across the spectrum).

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                          Apple Pan
                          10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                          Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop
                          6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                          Tito's Tacos
                          11222 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA 90230

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Some old neighbors are currently in town (three neighbors I grew up with who've all moved out of the area) and the first place they headed together was Johnnie's Pastrami for old time's sake. The second? Tito's. No belligerent Hound remarks could keep them from going to either place.

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                            Johnnie's Pastrami
                            4017 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230