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Feb 20, 2011 12:43 PM

Best of Little Tokyo?

Thinking of discovering Little Tokyo in LA. What are the best of the best? Sushi? etc.... Up for any fun AND yummy suggestions.

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

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  1. KaGaYa for shabu shabu.
    Raku for late night izakaya.

    No pick for ramen. (vacant throne)
    No pick for sushi. (vacant throne)

    Raku Restaurant
    11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

    1 Reply
    1. re: J.L.

      Kagaya is a gem. Never disappoints. Was there last night and as usual, packed. They were turning away customers who had showed up sans reservation. Regular beef is now $47pp, wagyu $128. One thing I noticed last night that I hadn't noticed before is that I'm pretty sure the creme brulee is more of a panna cotta than a true creme brulee (ie, gelatin-set rather than egg-set in a bain marie). I'd always wondered how they got it so perfectly silky w/ not even one tiny bubble or tiny curdled custard around the base. I'd wondered how, for all those 20+ creme brulees I've had there over the years, they managed never to scorch it even one iota. It is bound to happen sooner or later even to the most expert baker. Now I'm almost certain that it's a panna cotta w/ a bruleed topping (or branded in their case). Not that I'm complaining or anything... I love it... it's the perfect amount or dessert after the feast they serve up and always delicious & consistent. It was just an observation.

      418 E. 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

      1. Here are a few of my faves:
        Sushi - Sushi Gen and Sushi Go 55 both serve fresh fish at reasonable prices.
        Izakaya (beer/sake and nibbles) - Honda-ya for a big group; Haru-Ulala for dates/smaller groups. The latter has a great happy hour, too.
        Noodles - Daikokuya for classic ramen; Chin-Ma-Ya for spicy sesame noodles; Koraku for slightly greasy, good-when-you're-drunk food.
        Comfort food - Suehiro does decent versions of basic dishes like rice bowls, curry and teriyaki. I'm into their chazuke (rice porridge) which is pretty much the best thing in the world when you have an upset stomach but still need to eat something. Not sure if that's what you're after.
        Dessert - Mochi ice cream (or, uh, "mochilato") at Mikawaya.

        Have fun! Are you planning on just spending a day there, or discovering it little by little?

        327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        Suehiro Cafe
        337 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        118 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        Sushi Go 55
        333 S Alameda St Ste 317, Los Angeles, CA 90013

        314 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        8420 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

        2 Replies
        1. re: thestratbrat

          pretty much agree with the entire post.

          1. re: thestratbrat

            ditto to andy -- stratbrat has it down.

          2. I like Komasa and Toshi for sushi.

            15489 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

            1 Reply
            1. re: ipsedixit

              second Toshi for sushi
              add Izayoi for izakaya

              132 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            2. Komasa and Oomasa for sushi.
              Lazy Ox Canteen for overall food.

              7 Replies
              1. re: A5 KOBE

                As overrated as Lazy Ox might be, it's next-door sister restaurant, Toranoko, is probaby worse.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Thank you! I was starting to think I was the only Lazy Ox if I could just find one other person that doesn't like Animal...

                  1. re: Porthos

                    I didn't like Animal!!!

                    I really don't get what all the hype is about. Thought it was a very average to meh meal.

                  2. re: ipsedixit

                    Oh, I've had some great meals at Lazy Ox! Seriously, their bone marrow farro is heaven to me. Haven't tried Toranoko though.

                  3. re: A5 KOBE

                    Yikes, really? Oomasa and Komasa? Those are two of the most mediocre places I've tried in Little Tokyo. Really, you can find better nearby.

                    1. re: E Eto

                      Oomasa is downright awful. I think it's gone downhill b/c i used to like it but the last few times it was so bad i will never return. i like Komasa the one time i was there. seemed fresh enough for me! what about Hama? stopped going there for no apparent reason only to prefer gen and go 55 (great lunch deals) and honda ya and haru. I remember Hama being good but i haven't been in years. Also, red bean cakes in the village, and beard papa in the alameda mall is quite good!

                      100 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                      1. re: Clyde

                        Oomasa is no where on the same level as Komasa. Oomasa survives b/c of its convenient location in the shopping plaza.

                        Hama is fine. But I prefer Komasa and/or Toshi.

                        100 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                        15489 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403