What makes Japanese food in LA special?


Going on beefnoguys post…


Suehiro Cafe’s off menu special…Hayashi Rice. So good! Bang it up with Udon at Marugame Monzo and you would still see the same people waiting at Daikokuya


Is there an oden specialist in LA?

you can get oden at Torihei in Torrance from what i know. I don’t know of a place that just makes Oden. ( i don’t think you could be a place that survives just on Oden only)

i could be wrong, hopefully someone can correct me if i am.

I went over the weekend, it was good.

“Yazawa Yaki,” or perhaps their version of “noharayaki” from Tokyo’s Jumbo Hanare on which it is ostensibly based, were excellent.

We had prime long cut tongue wrapped around green onion and ginger sauce, (regular) semi-thick tongue with salt (better), kalbi, harami, shin shin, special rice, oxtail soup, spicy beef soup, momotaro tomato, two types of kimchi, and a fair amount of beer.

Favorites were the “Yazawa Yaki,” regular tongue, momotaro tomato, and kalbi.

Late to this thread. What makes Japanese food in LA tick? The relative breadth and depth of Japanese cuisine, largely thanks to the Japanese population which has resided in various parts of LA for decades (especially South Bay and West LA) and the trickle down effect leading to an openness to and popularity of Japanese food. LA also has a bit of its own brand of certain types of Japanese food, and there is big curiosity on the diners’ end. Diners’ increased familiarity with Japanese food and the ease with which Japanese food is adapted or integrated into a California menu or diet increase Japanese food’s prevalence and popularity, encouraging some restaurants to go deeper than they would otherwise elsewhere in the country. But the foundation of why the offerings of Japanese food in LA are what they are is, as is with any good “ethnic” cuisine, the contribution of the original “ethnic” population. Then there’s a positive feedback loop.


thanks @BradFord
Sounds great.

Hi @robert,

Yah, Torihei 2.0 (not as good as their original iteration) and Shoya.


13 posts were split to a new topic: Japanese Food Shows

Hi @robert,

Yah, actually it’s pretty close to that experience - Torihei has a really expansive Oden menu. You can sit at the counter and just check off the specialized Oden you want and see the Oden chef cooking up the order in the various compartmentalized cooking apparatus. The only thin you’re missing is it being totally Oden Only.

At Shoya, it’s so familial / informal that you can sit at the counter and literally just call out what you want (just like at an Oden stand), and Natsuko Takahashi-san will just smile and cook it right up, just like the experience you saw in that episode. It just doesn’t have as extensive a menu as Torihei, but it’s adequate enough.



That sounds great.

I’m thinking I need to plan a trip to Torrance one of these days.


I loved that show, Samurai Gourmet. Hoping there’s a second season coming.
Maybe there are more oden lovers than I thought in LA. We do have udon specialists, soba specialists, tonkatsu, yakitori, shabu shabu, manju, okonomiyaki, curry rice, takoyaki, etc.
Maybe we need a Japanese food mall like Yataimura at Ala Moana in Honolulu.

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It’s gone, now replaced by the Shirokiya “Japan Village Walk,” which is eh. I’ve been several times and a couple times I walked away getting nothing. I’m sure there’s some decent food there; I just get sensory overload and walk out usually. There’s the new Waikiki Yokocho and new Japanese places popping up all the time.

I’ll report back from Honolulu in a week or two. They have some legitimately quite good Japanese food - not the breadth or depth of LA necessarily, but some good finds. They had a legitimate Oden specialist, but it closed last year.

I’ll report in its own thread.


…and Gardena, don’t forget Gardena.


I bought the magazine yesterday. First time in five years I’ve bought a magazine. I had forgotten how great they are (even the ads are great).

Great issue! Very nifty and interesting breakdown of what the city has to offer to Japanese food aficionados.


Planning on eating at Yakitori Ya this weekend, any standout items on the menu I should be ordering?

Patience - it is slow to get your order in and get served, but, IMHO, well worth the wait

The yakitori is obvious and great, but here are non-yakitori items I love
Chicken Breast "Chips"
Soboro Don
Duck Ravioli
Onigiri with Miso/Chicken Paste (OMG!!!)
Deep fried soft bone



thank you @ciaobob!

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Went to Yakitoriya and had great meal there! HIghlights were the Zosui, the Soboro Don, and the Chicken Breast chips, had to reorder another one since we liked it so much. Pacing was a little slow but was fine and we were able to talk within ourselves a little bit more. Nice couple running the place, i can imagine it getting really hectic for them on a crazy busy night.

I would definitely go backand i am already thinking about the next time i go.

Oh, and the yakitori skewers are always a must have. Eggplant with chicken was really good.

thanks for the recommendations from the board and to @CiaoBob


Glad you enjoyed. Certainly one of my favorite places to eat in LA.

here’s an old link to my post on the “Special Order” Duck Shabu Shabu they can do.

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