It makes no sense to me how bad Japanese food is in America. Especially in L.A. and S.F. there are large enough populations of native Japanese peoples that you’d think there would be some good restaurants. Although there are some good sushi places, almost without fail anything that is not sushi in pretty craptacular. There are a few places that are okay but none have been true Japanese food.

That is until now. Wakasanchi is 100% authentic. Everything I was given was not in the least bit out of place from my experiences in Tokyo. The “Omakase” or leave it to the chef thing might be a little off putting for some but I think it’s for the best because unless you’ve lived in Japan you would not know what or how to order.

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Baja Bud’s

My favorite place for a carnitas(pork) burrito.  Baja Buds is a chain.  If you have a friend how does like Mexican food take them to Baja Buds.  Order a carnitas burrito with guac and mild salsa and have them give it a try.  If they don’t like it something’s wrong. 😉

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Noodle Planet

There are two or three for these.  The one pictured above is in Westwood on Westwood Blvd.  There is another on Valley Blvd in Monterey Park just west of Garfield.  They have a ton of noodle dishes (and several non-noodle dishes) from lots of different Asian cultures.  My favorite is the Noodle Planet Pho.  It’s a little spicy. 


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Sushi Mon

I met a date here.  Not bad, the food and the date.  A little expensive though not for L.A. sushi but they had this one dish, which was the reason to go, which is basically tuna (or was it salmon) and tomatoes and some sauce on top of a large wanton chip.  That was really good even if another friend of mine frowned at the mix of tomatoes and sushi.






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Chan Dara / Chan Darette

Chan Dara is a small Thai restaurants that was introduced to me by Giant Robot magazine which described it as, the place where the waitresses look like Asian fashion models.  Of course I had to check that out and guess what, it was true.  Fortunately the food was good too.  I’m not sure if this is "authentic" but I like it.

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Furaibo is a Japanese restaurant in Micro Tokyo (see below).  They have a fairly extensive menu and it’s very much more similar to a common type of Japanese restaurant in Japan unlike most Japanese restaurants in America.

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Cafe 50’s

Ya know I really only put this here because I had a picture of it since it’s between Califnornia Roll Factory and Le Saigon.  I’ve been here a couple of times.  Pretty standard fair for a 50’s style dinner.  Burgers, fries, shakes, malts and other stuff.  They are open until 1 or 2 on Friday and Saturday nights.

On Santa Monica West of the 405 just before Barrington.


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Rae’s Cafe

On Pico west of Centinela.  The thing going for Rae’s is it’s old looking like a 50s diner.  Not like Ruby’s which is a commercialized version of a 50s diner but an actual 50s diner.  It doesn’t look like this place has changed in 50 years.  Maybe it hasn’t.  Food what you’d expect for a diner.  Reasonably priced and not bad at all and very middle American menu.

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Here is a great review of Nozawa by my friend Danny.

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Shoreline Cafe

They are also open 24 hours.  At least the one in Belmont Shores is.  Their food isn’t as good as Harbor house but it’s usually not bad and Belmont Shores is far more interesting than the Harbor House locations.

Directions: Take the 405 north to the 7th Street exit.  On the 7th street exit there is a sub-exit to Studabaker.  Take that exit.  At Studabaker go left and then right at Westminster.  Westminster will cross PCH and become 2nd St.  Keep going until you cross two more bridges.  You’re now in Belmont Shores.  The Shoreline Cafe is on right about 5 or 6 blocks.

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