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Sawtwlle blvd restaurants

yolidog Jul 12, 2012 11:42 PM

Can someone enlighten me about some good restaurants on Sawtelle Blvd and some oftheir good dishes?

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  1. Servorg RE: yolidog Jul 13, 2012 05:35 AM

    Some info here:




    1. wienermobile RE: yolidog Jul 13, 2012 07:47 AM

      Plan Check and their Pastrami Nosh (double smoked pastrami, melty swiss cheese, kimchi mustard, pickles, sunny fried egg) and their smokey fried chicken ( jidori chicken, smoked milk gravy, yam preserves, spicy pickled okra) ...... So good.

      6 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile
        latindancer RE: wienermobile Jul 13, 2012 08:24 AM


        Short Rib Pot Roast, Sweet potato waffle fries and the delectable Cruller Donuts.

        1. re: latindancer
          medrite RE: latindancer Jul 13, 2012 08:30 AM

          +1 for the fried chicken, especially with a High 'n' Low cocktail. Then walk down the street to Yogurtland for dessert.

          The Japanese curry places on the western side of the street just off of Olympic are also good.

          1. re: medrite
            Dirtywextraolives RE: medrite Jul 13, 2012 06:01 PM

            +2 and the butter lettuce salad is killer.

        2. re: wienermobile
          PaulF RE: wienermobile Jul 13, 2012 09:03 AM

          I agree wm about the pastrami.

          But, I have to say, it's by far the best thing I've eaten or tasted there. Much better than the burger, which was sort of middle of the road for a gastropub burger.

          I need to try the chicken, I guess, because I was starting to think that PC was (for me) a one dish restaurant. I do crave that pastrami sandwich though.

          I would like to know the best way to eat it. The sunny side egg makes it tough to eat like a sandwich. Once I even flipped over the bread to get the egg inside, but then I had to deal with that mustard on my fingers. It's really a knife and fork sandwich.

          1. re: PaulF
            latindancer RE: PaulF Jul 13, 2012 10:05 AM

            <I need to try the chicken>

            IMO some of the best chicken I've tried anywhere in LA....order it with the Butter Lettuce Salad.
            Very unique & delicious. The portion sizes are what keeps me coming back, along with the taste of the food.

            1. re: latindancer
              wienermobile RE: latindancer Jul 13, 2012 10:18 AM

              " some of the best chicken I've tried anywhere in LA."

              It's true.

        3. PaulF RE: yolidog Jul 13, 2012 08:36 AM

          We really like Blue Marlin. My two kids really dig it and we had the 16 year olds birthday celebration there this year.

          It's an Japanese Italian restaurant. Very casual. Typically crowded, mostly younger Japanese clientele as far as I can tell.

          Everyone in the family loves the various omrice dishes. I also like a spicy pork cutlet dish that's sort of a cross between katsudon and a parmagiana-type dish.

          The pasta dishes are quite good as well, sort of Japanese takes on what you'd find in a typical Italian-American restaurant. This is not Spoon House, for what it's worth, at least I haven't come across that sort of watery red sauced spaghetti that Spoon House serves.

          It's in the strip mall across the street from Nigjiya/Beard Papa.

          Here is a link to the menu:


          Note, this is NOT the menu:


          1. b
            Big N Fat RE: yolidog Jul 13, 2012 05:00 PM

            Norm's on Pico Blvd right off Sawtelle! NORM'S

            1 Reply
            1. re: Big N Fat
              PeterCC RE: Big N Fat Jul 13, 2012 05:04 PM

              Norm's by Veteran on Pico, not near Sawtelle, and while it has it's place (great at 3 AM after a poker game), I wouldn't call it a "good" restaurant. ;-)

            2. t
              taiwanesesmalleats RE: yolidog Jul 13, 2012 09:29 PM

              I'll support the Plan Check recommendations. It's hard to go wrong there. I'll also throw my hat in the ring and suggest Nong La which has Vietnamese food. Some might find their pho bland but I think it has a very clean, beef-y essence that I prefer in my pho. The specialty is actually the chicken pho but I haven't tried it yet.

              2 Replies
              1. re: taiwanesesmalleats
                chrishei RE: taiwanesesmalleats Jul 13, 2012 10:20 PM

                Yeah the broth at Nong La can be considered relatively "bland," but it's a gift to Viet food seekers in WLA.

                1. re: chrishei
                  Dommy RE: chrishei Jul 14, 2012 09:25 PM

                  I say skip the Pho at Nong La... but get the crispy pork chop with an egg. The flavors, the quality. It's Chego, deconstructed. Wonderful!


              2. J.L. RE: yolidog Jul 13, 2012 10:37 PM

                I put a Sawtelle list together in 2009 on a similar thread:

                But since it's 2012, I will again try to name as many as I've been to, going from north to south, from Santa Monica Blvd. to Olympic Blvd. Obviously, there have been changes since 2009, so here are my $0.02...

                Nanbankan*** (OK not really on Sawtelle but 1 block west, on Corinth) - Great grilling.
                Cafe Dahab* - Decent fuul & fries.
                Nina's Mexican - Not anything special.
                Bar Hayama* - Good late night option for sushi & sake, open air fireplace patio.
                Plan Check** - Great place to hang out; order the fried chicken, pastrami nosh, Japanese whiskeys.
                Ketchy's II** - Great fast food; I like their chili dog & fries.
                Mizu 212* - Wagyu beef shabu shabu; a good choice for cooler (shabu shabu) weather.
                Chabuya* - Summer ramen & noodles; chicken ramen.
                Orris Spaghetti House** - Good stuff; Japanese take on pasta.
                Robata-Ya* - Decent.
                Slicetruck* - So-so pizza.
                Sawtelle Kitchen - OK food, but I never understood why this place was so popular.
                Asahi Ramen - I have no clue why there's a line outside. None.
                Tofu-Ya - Meh.
                Miyata Menji*** - Unorthodox (and tasty!) ramen; definitely worth a try.
                Hide Sushi* - Inexpensive but decent sushi = A value.
                FuRaiBo* - Izakaya food in a fun setting; try their teba saki.
                Nongla** - Solid Vietnamese food, nice service.
                Chusi Batusi - Pizza place (not opened yet).
                SushiStop - Run for your life.
                Tsujita*** - Fantastic tsukemen & tonkotsu ramen (both served at lunch only). Bring your own sudachi for the authentic Tokyo experience (else they give you a slice of lime). ** For their omakase dinners.
                Tomo Coffee* - Their WiFi works well.
                Blockheads Shavery** - Shaved ice & shaved snow! (I like the black sesame snow) A nice addition to Sawtelle.
                Seoul Tofu* - So-so, but better than Tofu-Ya.
                Volcano Tea** - A true Taiwanese boba tea house; they can get busy; try the lavender milk tea
                Restaurant 2117* - I still eat there after all these years; try the Kobe meatloaf
                Blue Marlin** - I like their uni risotto.
                Hurry Curry* - Pretty good.
                Gottsui** - Okonomiyaki house! Great place to meet friends and have a beer.
                Tatsu Ramen - You order your food via iPad (which is cool), but their ramen needs work (which is not cool).
                Manpuku* - Not bad.
                The closet of a storefront formerly known as Crepe Nazi - I haven't tried it yet under current ownership.
                Little Hong Kong Cafe* - Well-executed fast Asian food.
                Bear Papa's**/Mousse Fantasy* - Very fresh cream puffs, try their Paris Brest
                Curry House* - I like their stone bowl curries
                Kiriko*** - Fantastic, superb sushi! Get the dinner omakase and try their homemade ice creams!
                Yakitoriya** - Solid yakitori on a street already filled with eateries serving grilled meat
                Pinkberry - Yawn.
                Morinoya*** - One of the best izakayas in L.A. - Outstanding food.
                Daichan Kaiten Sushi* - Fun time with sushi on conveyor belts
                Balconi Coffee*** - Sato-san is a master of caffeine; luscious coffees worth lingering over; try the almond latte also.
                Mapaya** - My new favorite find: Excellent savory and sweet crepes.

                South of Olympic: There are mostly chains: Starbuck's, Champagne Bakery, Panda Express, Which Wich (which I really like), Baja Fresh, SushiMac, Ramen Jinya is supposed to be opening soon also.

                * = I was okay the one or two times I went
                ** = Very good to great food
                *** = Excellent

                8 Replies
                1. re: J.L.
                  chrishei RE: J.L. Jul 13, 2012 10:46 PM

                  I think Jinya's finally open (again). If they can replicate Studio City's quality, then I think it's ***. Definitely agree on Kiriko and Tsujita - the 2 leaders of Sawtelle IMO.

                  1. re: chrishei
                    ilysla RE: chrishei Jul 13, 2012 11:39 PM

                    It's definitely open; my partner and I were there last night. Visited the Studio City branch many yrs ago (too long ago to remember very clearly what it was like, other than being tasty and SLOW). Had the Tonkatsu Black, which I think was rich, subtle, and enjoyable. I think I like Yamada-ya better, but the broth at Jinya was significantly less greasy (which could be good or bad, depending on your taste....).

                  2. re: J.L.
                    Dirtywextraolives RE: J.L. Jul 14, 2012 12:44 PM

                    Thanks for the exhaustive research! I was wondering about every single one of those places! Great list!!

                    1. re: J.L.
                      Bob Brooks RE: J.L. Jul 14, 2012 01:14 PM

                      SushiMac has been replaced by Sushi Stop, another branch of the one next to Nongla.

                      1. re: Bob Brooks
                        Servorg RE: Bob Brooks Jul 14, 2012 01:18 PM

                        And just in case anyone is wondering about Louigi's Italian Kitchen up by Dahab; don't. It's awful.

                        1644 Sawtelle
                        Los Angeles, CA 90025

                        1. re: Servorg
                          latindancer RE: Servorg Jul 14, 2012 01:44 PM

                          Thanks. Driving up Sawtelle to Santa Monica Blvd. my eye always goes right to that place. I've wondered about it for years because I've never seen anyone go in/go out.

                          1. re: latindancer
                            Servorg RE: latindancer Jul 14, 2012 01:49 PM

                            I got a discount coupon dropped on my door and tried it on a whim. Pasta was woefully overcooked, the meat sauce was just a C- and the pizza was a D+ (maybe) with crust without taste and toppings that included those little "pellet" sausage bits that I really hate.

                      2. re: J.L.
                        yogachik RE: J.L. Jul 15, 2012 08:45 PM

                        I'm a regular at both Bar Hayama and Hong Kong Cafe. Bar Hayama is always good, and there's something for everyone (even non-sushi eaters), service is outstanding. Hong Kong Cafe is the best chinese on the westside.

                      3. j
                        JudiAU RE: yolidog Jul 15, 2012 10:22 AM

                        I am partial to Sawtelle Kitchen (pork or chicken breast cutlet with curry, green beans in soy butter, red snapper lunch special, various warm salads); Kiriko for both high end omakase and lunch specials; Jinya ramen; also the other ramen place, not of the same level at all as Jinya but brings back memories

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