L.A. trip suggestions and report

Thank you for the tempura suggestion! I tried Inaba just once. It was quite a few years ago and I don’t remember much from my visit. I’d love to return and give their freshly prepared tempura another try!

And ha! I should have made my pizza and salad bar disclaimer more noticeable. Or filed that in the FTC Confessions thread :sweat_smile:


Hi @chinchi,

If you go back to Inaba, try and ask to be sat at their Tempura Bar. At the Tempura Bar, Chef Hiro will cook each piece and present them to you and your party to enjoy one at a time.

If you sit a table and order a bunch, they usually try and plate them together on a larger plate, which means some pieces might get softer by the time you get the large plate.

One other way to circumvent that is if you’re at a table instead, just place an order for only a few pieces at a time (and just add more pieces after you enjoyed the first round, 2nd round, etc.). So they’ll come out in smaller batches, fresher. :wink:

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I’ll be road-tripping back down to L.A. next week with my S.O., who has never visited for more than a couple days in his lifetime. I have spots in mind for eating around the city, but the meal I’d love some recs for is the “meeting mom” dinner. She offered to pay, so I want to keep it affordable (we will try to commandeer the check…though we need it to be cheap-ish too if we pay :sweat_smile:).

Around $25 PP for dinner (excluding drinks, though neither of us drink)
Not too far afield from Westchester (but preferably not in Westchester. No Truxtons, considered Humble Potato but wasn’t too impressed with my most recent visit and maybe a little too casual)
Comfortable atmosphere and acoustics that allow for conversation
My mom has FTC-level tastes :wink:
My S.O.'s tastes lean towards American/Americanized standards and fast food, but he’s open to trying new dishes and cuisines

I’d love any suggestions :blush:

Sticking super close to that area…
Workshop Enoteca in El Segundo
Grimaldi’s in El Segundo
Kagura in El Segundo
Coni’Seafood #2 in either Playa Vista or Inglewood
The Ramen Joint (Westchester): A Pictorial Essay in Westchester

If you’re willing to go Manhattan Beach, MB Post - Thoughts/Suggestions is great.

Or you could bang bang the In n Outs on either side of the airport :wink: :


Hi @chinchi,

Some ideas, especially if your mom has FTC-level tastes (and can appreciate good food)… :wink:

  • Inaba - Tempura specialist. If you’re careful about what you order (i.e., none of the fancier shellfish, etc.), you can have a comfortable, delicious meal and with Housemade Soba Noodles to finish things off for about $30 - $35 pp, maybe cheaper depending how much everyone eats.

  • Kagura - Tonkatsu (Deep Fried Pork Cutlet) specialist. I think you’ve been, right? :slight_smile: That should be right in the price range and they have some quiet tables on one side of the restaurant.

  • Torihei 2.0 - Not as great as it was when the 3 original chefs were running it, but still respectable and quite affordable. I think our last meal there was about $33 - 35 pp (before Sake). Solid Yakitori and Kushiyaki (Grilled Skewers of Chicken and various veggies over Binchotan Charcoal, which seems pretty accessible to anyone).

  • Izakaya Hachi - Charming neighborhood Izakaya (Japanese Pub) with small plates.

Hope you enjoy your visit! :slight_smile:


Workshop enoteca


Superba Food + Bread in El Segundo.



Is there another lucques that’s $25pp I don’t know about?

She did say “around”

You could barely do lunch for $25.

Thank you! Workshop Enoteca was on the “to try” list from my trip last weekend, but I didn’t get the chance to go. Kagura is another contender. A kawaii stuffed pork cutlet charm adorns my handbag :grin:

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I love Torihei! But with so many tempting small bites on the menu, I don’t think we’d get out of there cheaply. I haven’t been for over a year now. When did the change happen?

Inaba is a great idea. We can complement our recent Ichimian experience with fresh tempura.

Kagura is in the final running.

We have not tried Izakaya Hachi. I’ll explore your linked review :grinning:

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Superba Food + Bread looks to have a very “L.A.” menu. That could be fun for this meal. Thanks for the suggestion!

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We did go to Lucques for my mom’s birthday one year, but it’s above my price point for this dinner :wink:

I so sincerely appreciate your willing to mention “price point.” Cost is almost always a factor for me for anything I’m thinking about ‘buying.’


I think Workshop Entoteca might be a good option.

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That’s awesome!

If you do end up landing on Kagura, I would actually take the extra time to go down to the Torrance location in order to get that world championship millefeuille tonkatsu, which I don’t believe they offer in El Segundo for some god forsaken reason.


Is Pasta Sisters too far north and too casual? You could maybe do Gjusta for $25 pp, and it isn’t a madhouse at night. It is quite dark on the patio, though, which may not be okay w/ the parental types (I know my parents wouldn’t like it).


Pasta Sisters is fine distance wise. I haven’t been before but I’m thinking it wouldn’t be too casual. It slipped off my radar, so thank you for the reminder!

My mom loves Gjusta, though we’ve only been during the day. Some early dinner reviews on FTC noted it was less hectic in the evening, though I think I read recent reports that it had gotten busier. I wouldn’t want us to feel rushed to give up our seats, and a dark patio may not be ideal. But their eclectic menu would make everyone happy food and drink wise.

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