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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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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California Roll Factory & Sushi

I was pretty skeptical of this place but I was pleasantly surprised.  First I must mention that California Roll and most of the other rolls you see in a sushi restaurant in California are not Japanese.  You won’t find a California roll in Japan nor a spider roll or a rainbow roll or a caterpillar roll or a crunch roll etc…  That doesn’t really mean anything because most of those rolls can be pretty delicious.  The majority of my Japanese friends love these rolls.

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Sanamulang Cafe

Sanamulang Cafe is in the middle of Thai Town.  I didn’t even know L.A. had a Thai town but it does.  I’m not sure what the boundaries of Thai Town are but Hollywood Blvd east of the 101 for a few miles seems to be the area.  Samamulang doesn’t seem to be a Thai restaurant.  It’s a mix of various Asian foods but it’s good, and it’s cheap.  Parking leaves something to be desired.  Expect to have to double park and leave your keys with some guy your not sure is actually in charge if you come at a crowed time.

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The Hump

The Hump is some of the best Sushi / Sashimi on LA and it’s in a cool location to boot.  It’s actually at the Santa Monica Airport.  Sounds strange but it’s definitely cool.  I’ve only been here once but it was most certainly an unforgettable pleasure for my mouth.

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