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Oct 11, 2013 12:47 PM

Best yakiniku in Los Angeles?

I know of Seikoen and Tsuruhashi. What are your favorites??

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    1. re: kevin

      how did u get in? isn't that some kind of private spot?

      1. re: jessejames


        You have to know someone who has previously been there. So I went with a friend who had been before and went with him a few years back.

        Though due to cost considerations and heaviness considerations I have not been back.

        And his white chocolate rasberry ice cream was pretty fucking superb to boot, which is why I had to put in an additional order.

        1. re: jessejames

          I seem to recall kevin saying in the past he hasn't gone, so I think he's recommending it just based on reputation alone. :-) But I could be wrong...

          Edit: Oops, guess I was wrong. Sorry kev.

          jessejames, make friends with a chef or staff at a Japanese restaurant. The Japanese chef/restaurateur scene seem pretty tight knit, so sometimes they're willing to make a call for you... ;-)

          1. re: PeterCC

            I have been before. So it would be based on personal knowledge in this case.

            Pete, for once, you are dead wrong. :)

            1. re: kevin

              I updated my comment above. I am ashamed.

              1. re: PeterCC

                No worries, Pete. Just giving you a hard time.

              1. re: jessejames

                Note that I have never done this, so YMMV.

          2. re: kevin

            For purely grilled beef, I actually prefer Tsuruhashi over Totoraku. The tongue at Totoraku is superior because it is thicker and more tender but otherwise the quality at Tsuruhashi is about 80% of the level of the quality at Totoraku at 1/3 to 1/4 the cost. Tsuruhashi only serves prime and wagyu cuts.

            Now if you count the prepared items, the tartare, and the king crab udon then yes, Totoraku has the upper hand.

          3. I'm sure there's better, but on the Westside I like Tokyo Kalbi.

            1. Chiming in:

              Totoraku. By a mile.

              1. Totoraku? never been and who needs to wait for an invite to get yakiniku? preposterous

                Go to Nanbankan. 360 4 star reviews on Yelp are not wrong.

                Game over.

                7 Replies
                1. re: dharmathug

                  Yelp can and has been wrong.

                  Totoraku is very good.

                  1. re: kevin

                    and so has Chowhound.

                    but that is not what I said. I implied that to only cite an exclusive restaurant that is invite only when there are hundreds of very good yakiniku joints all over the city is like suggesting going to Trois Mecs (lottery reservation system) only when asked for a restaurant mid city.

                    1. re: dharmathug

                      The poster did ask for Thr best.

                      Irregardless of their reservation policy, in my opinion it is the best.

                      And yes this is all opinion based.

                      One mans opinion is another man's ...

                      1. re: kevin

                        well then only if you have been to Nanbankan can you comment that your place is the best.

                        1. re: dharmathug

                          I eat at Nanbankan about 3 times a year these days. Heck, I used to go there every month a few years back. Yes, it's very good for kushiyaki - So good, in fact, that many Japanese chefs & cooks eat there after they're done with their work.

                          Having said that (& echoing kevin), I think the OP is looking for hands-down the BEST yakiniku in L.A., and that honor still belongs to Totoraku, regardless of how one might feel about Oyama-san's reservation system (i.e. ichigen-san okotowari).

                  2. re: dharmathug

                    Nanbankan is kushiyaki (meat on skewers grilled for you) rather than yakiniku (meat on a grill at your table).

                    Not touching that Yelp comment.

                    1. re: PeterCC

                      Pete you saved me there too.

                      In that case, Nanbakan isn't even yakiniku and comparing it with Totoraku would be like apples to oranges.

                  3. been to totoraku few times....i think its over rated for what you pay.....
                    not really l.a. but i do like anjin and tsuruhashi in oc...or tamaen in lomita