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Searching for a Japanese Knife Shop, Downtown and 2nd Floor

liu Aug 4, 2012 09:46 PM

I am searching for a place downtown that we visited probably 3 or 4 years ago...and now we can not find it. Maybe it is gone?

It was downtown. I believe that the downstairs was a Japanese wares shop. Then, we walked upstairs and found a small room with some glass cases which contained some very fine Japanese knives...and perhaps even some Japanese swords.

Does anyone know such a place?

  1. m
    miwine Aug 20, 2012 10:24 PM

    Anzen has only 'everyday" knives on display. BUT ...if you ask, he has a safe with very special and very,very, expensive handmade one of a kind knives.

    5 Replies
    1. re: miwine
      l
      linus Aug 21, 2012 08:13 AM

      years ago, before the current popularity of japanese and japanese-style carbon steel knives, anzen was the only place i heard about ( i guess i should give credit where credit is due: chefs mary sue milliken and susan feniger talked up the place on t.v., radio and in print) you could purchase such a thing.
      indeed, i went there and asked the nice gentleman for a carbon steel knife. and i went home with one. still have it.

      1. re: linus
        s
        SoozyQ Aug 21, 2012 10:41 AM

        I also bought a carbon steel chefs knife at Anzen 20+ years ago. I still use it all the time. I have lost the tip and was so glad to hear about Ross Cutlery. I paid $100 for the knife at the time and I have gotten more than my money's worth but it's my go to knife and having it
        "whole" again would be great. Thanks for the information.

        1. re: SoozyQ
          Mr Taster Aug 21, 2012 11:13 AM

          You should be aware though that when they restore the tip, your knife will not be the same.

          Depending on how significant the damage was, in order to smooth out the blade they may need to remove a large amount of material from the length of the blade on order to smooth out the lines.

          Obviously this not as good as working with a new forged/stamped blade, but it is significantly better than just throwing out the old one or working with a damaged tip.

          Just trying to temper expectations here. In my case, I lost a significant part of the tip, so after they ground down my 8" chef's knife blade, it was noticeably narrower than when I gave it to them, although it was aesthetically perfect with a razor sharp edge. A casual observer never would have known that the blade had lost a tip.

          Mr Taster

          1. re: SoozyQ
            l
            linus Aug 21, 2012 03:31 PM

            i have never been to ross cutlery, so i can't vouch for them. i have often wanted to try them, however.
            i'm thinking about taking the japanese knife i got long ago at anzen to this joint in venice:
            http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/a...
            according to the mavens on the cookware board on chowhound, this man knows how to sharpen japanese style knives, which some places well versed in "regular" chefs knives do not.
            i'm not necessarily including ross cutlery as one of "some places."

            1. re: linus
              m
              mrhooks Aug 21, 2012 05:24 PM

              AFAIK Ross Cutlery cannot sharpen Japanese knives.

              I'm amazed the place you linked only charges $15 to sharpen a gyuto (chef's knife). http://www.japaneseknifesharpening.com/ charges $25-$40 depending on how good an edge you want. The $40 "Level II" edge is incredible though.

      2. liu Aug 19, 2012 08:14 AM

        FOUND! With all of your help -- thanks to you Hounds who responded here, and especially to yoyo who mentioned Eden -- we found this shop!

        Indeed, it is Eden Restaurant and Supply Company at 568 S. Alameda Street, downtown. Eden does close early on Saturdays, around 1:00pm, so this is probably why our search was so difficult; often, we end up downtown on Saturdays a little later and would not have found the doors open.

        The downstairs is packed with Japanese and other Asian restaurant supplies while the upstairs area contains several glass cases with knives. There are also other displays upstairs with Japanese wares and various items. There was one sword in a knife case, although I remember when I was there the last time -- a couple of years ago -- I think there were a few more swords. Perhaps memory doesn't serve or their collection is reduced...I wasn't needing a sword, anyhow, but it is fascinating to look!

        We also stopped into Anzen Hardward, mentioned in a response to this post. It was nearing triple-digit heat downtown yesterday, and this shop was very crowded and very warm. We did not see anything unusual enough that could keep us there, so we left after just a few minutes.

        Again, thank you to everyone who assisted in my search!

        10 Replies
        1. re: liu
          s
          Sgee Aug 19, 2012 09:36 PM

          in case you did not find the knife you were looking for, here's an online alternative.

          http://japanesechefsknife.com/

          1. re: Sgee
            liu Aug 19, 2012 09:45 PM

            Thanks, Sgee.

            We were not searching for a particular knife as much as we were searching for the shop...and to put details to the memory of having been there -- although we did not remember where!

            Eden had a very impressive collection of knives, but I will check out your link, too...mostly just window-shopping at the moment.

          2. re: liu
            Mr Taster Aug 20, 2012 09:50 AM

            Thanks for this tip. Sounds like a great place to visit... I'll add it to my list.

            And although I'm sure you know about this place, and it's not directly relevant to your original post, any discussion of "knives" and "downtown" must include a nod to the venerable Ross Cutlery on Broadway across from Grand Central Market (in the Bradbury Building).

            They've done miraculous things with my knives-- recovered broken tips, grooved and warped edges, etc. They've also got an interesting selection of Ye Olde Time Shaving Equipment (Gillette double edged safety razors from the 1940s and the like).

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster
              liu Aug 20, 2012 12:50 PM

              Thanks, Mr Taster, for reminding me about Ross Cutlery...an excuse to play at the Grand Central Market again!
              I have never been there.
              Do they sharpen and repair while you wait?

              1. re: liu
                Mr Taster Aug 20, 2012 01:14 PM

                No, not while you wait. But they are masters on the whetstone. They charge a dollar per blade inch. They also have weekend hours, though I don't know exactly what they are.

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster
                  liu Aug 20, 2012 01:30 PM

                  Thanks for getting back to me on this matter, Mr Taster. I would like to try them as I appreciate good tools!

                  They are open every day from 9am to 6pm.

              2. re: Mr Taster
                l
                linus Aug 20, 2012 05:34 PM

                ross cutlery, according to their website, has moved from the bradbury building to 324 s. broadway.

                1. re: linus
                  liu Aug 20, 2012 07:34 PM

                  Thanks, linus. This will avoid the confusion when we get close by!

                  1. re: liu
                    Servorg Aug 21, 2012 05:29 AM

                    That address (324 S Broadway) would essentially be next door to the Bradbury Building, would it not?

                    1. re: Servorg
                      l
                      linus Aug 21, 2012 08:09 AM

                      i have no idea. i just came across the information whilst researching ross cutlery, and passed it on:
                      " Our new store located at 324 South Broadway is just a few spots over from our previous store.
                      Right next to the McDonalds."

            2. liu Aug 6, 2012 12:08 PM

              For anyone else who might want Saturday or weekend hours for these wares/restaurant supply stores, this is what I just learned:

              Mutual Trading Company has no Saturday or weekend open hours.

              Anzen Hardware is open both on Saturdays (9:30am - 6:00pm) and Sundays (11:00am - 5:30pm).

              Eden Restaurant Supply is open on Saturdays (9:00am - 1:00pm) with no Sunday open hours.

              1. liu Aug 5, 2012 08:33 PM

                To all you LA Chowhounders who responded so quickly and with such good information...I thank you!
                I do believe that Eden Restaurant Supply is the place, but I have learned about several other places from all of you.

                I appreciate all your help!

                7 Replies
                1. re: liu
                  b
                  bulavinaka Aug 5, 2012 09:37 PM

                  And just in case you need one more option in the South Bay:

                  http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

                  1. re: bulavinaka
                    liu Aug 5, 2012 09:55 PM

                    We went to Hitachiya in Torrance last weekend...right after we went to the Grand Opening of Daiso -- in the old Marukai wares space. Daiso is a Japanese $1.50 store (unless otherwise marked)...very, very fun!

                    Hitachiya is a great place to browse, even though the space is small. They seem to have some very select imports that I have not seen elsewhere outside of Japan...and the prices reflect that.

                    If you are looking for a specialty item for cooking that you have seen no where else, you might find it there.

                    Thanks for your suggestion, bulavinaka. That entire shopping area where Hitachiya is offers some interesting exploration. There is also a Nijiya Market in that mall.

                    1. re: liu
                      b
                      bulavinaka Aug 5, 2012 10:08 PM

                      You are on it! That shopping center is great for Japanese-y things.

                      Daiso is like the hyaku-en (100 yen) stores in Japan, which are like the dollar stores here! Seriously popular in Japan, (mostly) women find these shops extremely fun to browse and pick out some great deals. My cousin pulled me into one last month in Hiroshima and her enthusiasm for this place was very high.

                      How was the knife selection at Hitachiya?

                      1. re: bulavinaka
                        l
                        la2tokyo Aug 6, 2012 01:20 AM

                        Hitachiya doesn't have many knives, but the other stuff they have is very high quality, and the owner has been really nice to me every time I was there. There were quite a few things in there that I have never seen for sale in the US, so if you're interested in Japanese cooking it's definitely worth a trip even though it's small.

                        1. re: la2tokyo
                          liu Aug 6, 2012 08:16 AM

                          la2tokyo, I completely agree with your view of Hitachiya.
                          I saw things there that I have never seen in the States, so I found it very interesting shopping. However, it is a very small shop.

                          1. re: la2tokyo
                            Chemicalkinetics Aug 6, 2012 12:47 PM

                            Hey buddy,

                            Haven't see you for a long time. Good to see you.

                          2. re: bulavinaka
                            liu Aug 6, 2012 08:22 AM

                            Yes, bulavinaka, Daiso was GREAT fun for me! Daiso in Hiroshima...does it get any better than THAT??!!!

                            And I love "Japanese-y things" (you always make me laugh!), so I was very happy walking that entire Hitachiya area! Of course, I am always happy to be in the South Bay with lots of Japanese market and restaurant options!

                    2. y
                      yoyo Aug 5, 2012 12:07 PM

                      I think it is Eden restaurant supply on alameda.

                      568 s Alameda st
                      Los Angeles 90013

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: yoyo
                        liu Aug 5, 2012 06:04 PM

                        yoyo, Eden does sound like a name from the past...and as I am thinking about it, we were in our "restaurant supply" stage at that time. We'd check them all out...not looking for anything special because we never know what we NEED until we see it! It is, therefore, highly likely that it was a restaurant supply shop downstairs.

                        Do you know if Eden has an upstairs?

                        I will call them to see if they are open on Saturdays.

                        1. re: liu
                          y
                          yoyo Aug 5, 2012 06:44 PM

                          yes they do have an upstairs with knives in a glass display.

                          1. re: yoyo
                            liu Aug 5, 2012 08:30 PM

                            yoyo...WOW! I think you found it!

                            I will be back to you with more information after we have had a chance to visit Eden Restaurant Supply. However, since you know that they have their knives displayed upstairs in glass cases, I am quite certain that you ended our rather obsessive search for this place.

                            Thank you, yoyo!

                      2. l
                        linus Aug 5, 2012 06:30 AM

                        anzen hardware?
                        http://www.yelp.com/biz/anzen-hardwar...

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: linus
                          liu Aug 5, 2012 06:38 AM

                          Hello, linus...I so appreciate your response!

                          Have you been there? This might be the place!
                          Is there a wares shop or some shopping downstairs with the knife display upstairs?

                          1. re: liu
                            b
                            Burger Boy Aug 5, 2012 07:29 AM

                            There is a company who also sells very expensive Japanese knives & swords, Mutual Trading Company. They supply Chefs & Restaurants but do sell to the public. This is not the place you are looking for but an alternative.
                            http://www.yelp.com/biz/mutual-tradin...

                            1. re: Burger Boy
                              liu Aug 5, 2012 08:44 AM

                              Thanks, Burger Boy! Your information will be helpful in the future and I will check out Mutual Trading Company.

                              For now, this is just one of those searches that is irksome!
                              We don't "need" any knives at the moment, but we do like shopping wares. We thought this place was very interesting because the knives upstairs seemed to be quite extraordinary...the type of display that we might see only in Japan. I actually do not remember much about what was downstairs in the shop.

                              We would like to return, but I can't find it!

                              1. re: liu
                                liu Aug 5, 2012 08:59 AM

                                Hmmmm...I just checked out Mutual Trading Company. This might be it...

                                I did not realize that it was a "real" place; I thought that it was virtual.

                                I am discouraged by their hours, however. We are generally downtown on Saturdays, and they do not seem to be open on Saturdays. If it was not open on a Saturday, it is unlikely that we were there.

                                Still, we might do a drive-by and peek in the window.

                                1. re: liu
                                  j
                                  Johnny L Aug 5, 2012 06:04 PM

                                  It's not open to public at least these days I believe, you need to a resellers license.

                            2. re: liu
                              l
                              linus Aug 5, 2012 11:23 AM

                              i haven't been there in so long i don't remember if it was two floors. they had japanese wares and knives, but it sounds like the other poster has found the place you're looking for.

                              that said, anzen hardware was a pretty cool place.

                              1. re: linus
                                liu Aug 5, 2012 06:05 PM

                                linus, I will check out Anzen Hardware. I will call them to find out if they are open on Saturdays.

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