Sawtelle 2018

I really love Chinchikurin (Sawtelle and Little Tokyo locations) for their Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.

FTC opinions are mixed. More here: Japanese Savory Pancakes - Doya Doya vs. Chinchikurin

Also: they will be opening their third location soon in the old Musha space in Torrance on Carson & Western (near Torihei).

Musha closed?

Yep, both locations.

There are rumors circulating about who is going to move into the Wilshire Blvd space.


Ahem. Are you allowed to give some hints about the rumors? (esp since I live not far from the Wilshire location)

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I went to the Chinchikurin in Little Tokyo this past weekend and it was pretty good. My brother frequents the Sawtelle location and really enjoys it…crispy noodles all the way!

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@paranoidgarliclover I just did some digging and it seems to be less of a rumor and more of a work in progress.

The Raku Corporation(楽コーポレーション–no relation to Aburiya Raku)is planning on opening one of their Shirube(汁べゑ)concepts in the old Musha space on Wilshire.

This is very exciting news. Some FTCers may have even been to one of their restaurants in Tokyo (Store List [in Japanese]).
I used to go to their Shimikitazawa location semi-frequently.
They serve better-than-average izakaya fare and lots of booze in a fun atmosphere. (Menu)
One of their signature dishes is shime saba (vinegared mackerel) dish that is served and torched tableside (photo below).

Raku Corporation Homepage:
Shirube - Shimokitazawa Page:
Website Release re: Santa Monica location: 汁べゑサンタモニカ店 | 楽コーポレーション

This states:

Shirube - Santa Monica

With a target opening date of Fall 2018, preparations for Shirube - Santa Monica are underway.

We will announce updates here as they become available.

Torched Shime Saba:

Photos of the Shimokitazawa location (Google Image search):


I liked Musha for an easy-going, fun neighborhood place.
Sad to see it go, but this should be a nice upgrade!

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Have you tried Takuma? I had never been to Musha, and Takuma is not anything elevated (and some of Taku’s takes on izakaya are… idiosyncractic, shall we say?), but it might have the fun and easy-going vibe you’er looking for…

Thanks for that shout. If there are lines it’s not going to be a good idea but it’s a walking distance! Wonton +chili sauce!!! Was kind of excited to walk around Sawtelle for a bit again.

Both heat and numbing. I was adding ghost pepper flakes by the spoonful. I’ve only been once, and I don’t really see a compelling reason to make a repeat trip, to be honest. I live and work closer to DTLA and South Bay; between Little Tokyo and Gardena, I’m pretty sure better ramen can be found.

Manpuku BBQ and Sushi Tsujita.

Gotcha. That’s disappointing.

OK. I didn’t say you should. Just trying to figure out if it’s part of a trend or not.

The couple I went with told me it used to be their go-to date spot, but it had been a little while since they’d last been. They said it wasn’t how they’d remembered it, and were glad they’d requested the little jar of ghost pepper flakes.

It is kinda fun to walk around and window shop, check out Giant Robot and that hipster clothing spot next to Tsujita annex. Went on a Tuesday eve recently and there were so many people on the street it reminded me of Westwood back in the day.

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Walked by the old Korean Super location on Sawtelle and it looks like the 26 Beach peeps are about to open a burger joint in that space.


Black Sheep Burger looks like it’s open. At least the door was open today. Here’s a pic of the menu.


I haven’t seen anything written about Big Boi, the Filipino restaurant offering run by the people of B Sweet dessert shop. I haven’t had much Filipino food and never anything memorable, but this place really serves up good stuff. Wife and I really enjoyed the Pork Sisig, Lumpia and Pancit Noodles, especially the Sisig. They also offer a discount at B Sweet. After lunch we walked over to B Sweet and enjoyed the Ube Ice Cream folded into a nice sweet bread.

On Sundays, tho, they don’t serve their Filipino menu, but offer a traditional American brunch.


Takuma is a damn unicorn for being a delicious but also reasonably cheap sit down restaurant in Santa Monica. If only the wife liked bonito more…

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I was a big fan of Takuma but my last few visits were really disappointing.
Wondering if anyone else has noted recent slippage…

We did about a yr ago, but I think things are better when Taku is in the back (and we’ve enjoyed our last few visits). We don’t go very often, though, so hard for me to say what it’s like normally…

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