Best Food Places In Little Tokyo

Best Food Places In Little Tokyo

Discover the Culinary Delights of Little Tokyo, LA

Little Tokyo is a vibrant neighborhood located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. It’s a cultural hub for Japanese-Americans and a popular destination for foodies. The streets of Little Tokyo are lined with a variety of restaurants serving authentic Japanese dishes and fusion cuisine, making it the perfect place to indulge in a culinary adventure. In this article, we will take you on a tour of the best food places in Little Tokyo, highlighting the must-try dishes and hidden gems that you won’t want to miss.

🍣 Sushi Gen: A True Sushi Experience

If you’re craving fresh sushi, Sushi Gen is the place to be. This family-owned restaurant has been serving some of the best sushi in LA for over 30 years. The chefs use only the highest quality ingredients, and everything is made fresh to order. The omakase (chef’s choice) is a must-try, and the uni (sea urchin) is out of this world.

Their Story

Sushi Gen was opened in 1980 by Chef Noriyuki Sugie and his wife, Hiroko. They wanted to bring traditional sushi to Los Angeles and have been doing so ever since. The restaurant has won numerous awards over the years, including a coveted Michelin star in 2020.

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What to Try

The omakase is a must-try, but if you’re looking for something specific, try the bluefin tuna sashimi or the uni. They also have a delicious chirashi bowl that’s perfect for lunch.

What Makes It Special

The quality of the ingredients and the attention to detail set Sushi Gen apart. The chefs take great pride in their work, and it shows in every dish. The restaurant has a traditional vibe, and you can sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs work their magic.

🍜 Daikokuya: Ramen Heaven

If you’re a ramen lover, Daikokuya is a must-visit. This cozy restaurant serves up some of the best ramen in Little Tokyo. The broth is rich and flavorful, and the noodles are perfectly cooked. Be prepared to wait in line, as this place is always packed.

Their Story

Daikokuya was founded in 2004 by Takahashi Takehiro, who was inspired by the ramen shops in his hometown of Kumamoto, Japan. The restaurant has since become a cult favorite, with people coming from all over LA to try the ramen.

What to Try

The classic tonkotsu ramen is a must-try, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try the tsukemen (dipping noodles). Be sure to add an egg and some extra chashu (pork belly) for the ultimate ramen experience.

What Makes It Special

The broth is cooked for over 12 hours, resulting in a rich, creamy texture that’s unlike any other ramen you’ve ever tasted. The restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great place to hang out with friends.

🥡 Far Bar: Fusion Fun

If you’re looking for something a little different, Far Bar is the place to be. This popular spot serves up a fusion of Japanese and American dishes, along with a great selection of craft beer and cocktails. The outdoor patio is perfect for a sunny day, and the atmosphere is always lively.

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Their Story

Far Bar was opened in 2006 by Don Tahara, who wanted to create a place where people could come together over great food and drinks. The restaurant has since become a staple of the Little Tokyo community, with regular events and live music.

What to Try

The Korean BBQ sliders and the bacon-wrapped mochi are must-try dishes. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try the green tea creme brulee.

What Makes It Special

The fusion of Japanese and American flavors is what makes Far Bar stand out. The menu is always changing and evolving, so there’s always something new to try. The outdoor patio is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink with friends.

🥢 Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen: DIY Ramen

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen is the place to be. This restaurant specializes in DIY ramen, where you get to choose your own broth, noodles, and toppings. It’s a fun and interactive way to enjoy a meal.

Their Story

Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen was founded in 1990 by Hideki Mio and Kiyoshi Endo. They wanted to bring the flavors of Hakata, Japan, to Los Angeles, and have since expanded to multiple locations in California.

What to Try

The DIY ramen is a must-try, but if you’re not feeling up to the challenge, try the tonkotsu ramen or the fried rice. They also have a great selection of yakitori (grilled skewers).

What Makes It Special

The DIY ramen is what sets this restaurant apart. You get to choose every aspect of your meal, from the broth to the toppings. It’s a fun and interactive way to enjoy a meal with friends.

🍣 Sake Dojo: Sushi and Sake Pairing

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, Sake Dojo is the place to be. This modern Japanese restaurant specializes in sushi and sake pairing, with a focus on premium ingredients and unique flavor combinations.

Their Story

Sake Dojo was opened in 2017 by Chef Nakayama and his wife, Sarah. They wanted to create a place where people could come together over great food and drinks, and they’ve since become a popular destination for date nights and special occasions.

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What to Try

The omakase and sake pairing is a must-try, but if you’re not in the mood for sushi, try the wagyu beef or the uni pasta.

What Makes It Special

The focus on premium ingredients and unique flavor combinations is what sets Sake Dojo apart. The restaurant has a sleek, modern design, and the staff is knowledgeable about sake and can help you find the perfect pairing for your meal.

🍦 Mikawaya: Mochi Madness

No trip to Little Tokyo is complete without a stop at Mikawaya. This iconic dessert shop has been serving up traditional Japanese sweets since 1910, and their mochi ice cream is a must-try.

Their Story

Mikawaya was founded in 1910 by Ryuzaburo Hashimoto, who came to the United States from Japan to start a new life. He began selling traditional Japanese sweets from a cart in downtown LA, and eventually opened up his own shop.

What to Try

The mochi ice cream is a must-try, with flavors like green tea, strawberry, and mango. They also have a great selection of traditional Japanese sweets, like manju (sweet bean cakes) and dango (sweet rice dumplings).

What Makes It Special

The history and tradition behind Mikawaya is what makes it special. The mochi ice cream is made fresh daily, and the shop has a charming, old-school vibe that’s hard to find anywhere else.

🍱 Mitsuru Cafe: Japanese Comfort Food

If you’re looking for Japanese comfort food, Mitsuru Cafe is the place to be. This cozy cafe serves up everything from takoyaki (octopus balls) to dorayaki (red bean pancakes). It’s a great place to grab a quick bite or sit down for a leisurely meal.

Their Story

Mitsuru Cafe was opened in 1948 by Mitsuru Matsumoto, who wanted to bring a taste of Japan to Los Angeles. The cafe has since become a staple of the Little Tokyo community, with a loyal following of regulars.

What to Try

The takoyaki and the mitarashi dango (dumplings in sweet soy sauce) are must-try dishes. They also have a great selection of bento boxes and udon noodles.

What Makes It Special

The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make Mitsuru Cafe a great place to hang out with friends. The food is simple and comforting, and the prices are reasonable.

🍛 Curry House: Japanese Curry Madness

If you’re a fan of Japanese curry, Curry House is the place to be. This chain restaurant serves up a variety of curry dishes, from mild to spicy. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable.

Their Story