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Little Tokyo Restaurants


Chop Suey Cafe and Lounge

Metro Station:Little Tokyo/Arts District, Gold Line

Walking Distance: 2 minutes/0.1 mile

Address: 347 E 1st St., Los Angeles, 90012

Phone: (213) 617-9990

Hours: Lunch: Mon-Fri 11am-2:30pm; Sat 11am-5pm; Dinner: Mon-Thurs & Sun 5pm-11pm; Sat 5pm-2am



chop suey cafe

A landmark of Little Tokyo restaurants, reinvented as a pan-asian diner. Yes, they still serve chop suey, but it shares the menu with Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Thai dishes. They have something called Jakarta Hot Wings, so they've worked Indonesia into their act as well. The original Far East Cafe's old school decor has been updated but not papered over; so it's still possible to imagine Raymond Chandler's private eye Phillip Marlowe hunched over in a booth when "a dark shadow fell over my chop suey."






Metro Station:Little Tokyo/Arts District, Gold Line

Walking Distance: 3 minutes/0.1 mile

Address: 327 E. 1st St., Los Angeles 90012

Phone: (213) 626-1680

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-midnight;Fri-Sat 11am-1am; Sun Noon-8pm




The Mecca of Little Tokyo restaurants for ramen noodles. We think they start with boiled pork bones, reduced to an unbelievably concentrated, savory base, then go from there. They have one style of ramen, so they have plenty of practice getting it right. It's always crowded at this reasonably priced (cheap, actually) temple of noodles and bento, but the good news is they're fast, homey and casual. Put your name on the waiting list, then cruise the nearby Japanpop stores as you salivate.




Izakaya Haru Ulala

Metro Station:Little Tokyo/Arts District, Gold Line

Walking Distance: 4 minutes/0.2 mile

Address: 368 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles 90013

Phone: (213) 620-0977

Hours: Mon-Thu 5:30 pm - 12 am Fri-Sat 5:30 pm - 2 am



japan pancake

The place to go in Little Tokyo for okonomiyaki. If you don't know what that is, we'll let you guess. No, that's not fair; okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese pancake, filled with ingredients like beef, pork, squid, shrimp, onions and whatever else the chef feels like throwing in. Izakaya is a low key place with an eclectic Japanese menu that includes braised short ribs with daikon, soft shell crab, grilled asparagus and yakitori. A good selection of sakes and on the weekends they're one of the few Little Tokyo restaurants open until 2 AM.





Metro Station: Little Tokyo/Arts District, Gold Line

Walking Distance: 4 minutes/0.2 mile

Address: 418 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles 90012

Phone: (213) 617-1016

Hours: Tues-Sat 6-10:30pm; Sun 6-10pm. Closed Monday




Kagaya is the Shabu Shabu capital of Little Tokyo restaurants. Shabu Shabu (you cook it yourself) from Kobe Beef to halibut carpaccio. Before firing up the grill, sample their drool-worthy appetizers like caviar sashimi or umagi eel soup. It may be in Little Tokyo, but the prices are Big Tokyo, so be prepared to splurge.




Metro Station: Little Tokyo/Arts District, Gold Line

Walking Distance: 6 minutes/0.3 mile

Address: 800 E 3rd St., Los Angeles 90013

Phone: (213) 687-4444

Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-midnight; Sun 12pm-midnight




Little Tokyo restaurants don't just serve sushi. Slightly east of Little Tokyo in the Arts District, Wurstkuche is gourmet sausage heaven. Try the rattlesnake and the mango jalapeno, Belgian fries and Belgian ales. Order from the sausage case out front ( to our eye, the alligator/pork looks sorta like the rabbit/veal/white wine, so we probably need sausage lessons) then relax in back at a booth or one of the communal tables, as you peruse the extensive beer and ale menu. 25 beers on draft, which we especially appreciate.





Lazy Ox Canteen

Metro Station: Little Tokyo/Arts District, Gold Line

Walking Distance: 5 minutes/0.3 mile

Address: 241 S. San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: (213) 626-5299

Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm (lunch); Sat-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm (brunch); Sun-Wed 5:00pm-11:00pm (dinner); Thurs-Sat 5:00pm midnight; Mon-Fri 5:00pm-7:00pm (happy hour)


Lazy Ox

Little Tokyo's hipster bastion of esoteric beer and wine coupled with an equally exotic menu. We're thinking of the pig ear chicharron, the braised rabbit leg, Brussels sprouts in Spanish chorizo or the seared beef tongue with pickled fennel. They have a reasonably priced lunch menu that's also flavored with off-the-beaten-path fare, including the turkey and pork belly sandwich with bacon and yuzu aioli. Never fear, you can get a good ole burger as well. Lazy Ox is casual and noisy and a little culinary courage will come in handy. There's an open kitchen so you can watch their chefs improvise. Entrees are $10-$15. They offer wine from places you don't ordinarily associate with the grape, such as Morocco, Israel, Croatia and Berkeley. If you're in a beery mood, the bartender will serve you a beer flight of 4 four-ounce pours for $15. Oenophiles will like Monday night, when all wine bottles are half-off.




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