Can’t fly to Japan anytime soon? Then, why not go to the next best thing? Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, otherwise known as the Little Tokyo Historic District, is a renowned national landmark of the city. This Japanese-American district in the City of Angels sees one of the largest Japanese-American populations in the country. While exploring the area, you will get to visit several historical and cultural attractions, along with shopping and food centers that will give you a glimpse of Japan. Little Tokyo has been a part of Los Angeles since the 1880s and is considered one of the three official Japanese towns in the United States. Here’s our pick of the best Japanese restaurants in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
A restaurant offering small Japanese plates, Kinjiro is named after a brilliant statesman who was responsible for bringing together food and happiness, all the way in “the land of the rising sun”, Japan. All the small plates served at this restaurant offer small tastes from a deep-rooted culture that make for one full-course meal. You can enjoy Japanese fare like beef tongue, bone-marrow dengaku, octopus ceviche, squid ink udon, and so much more.
Address: 424 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Opening hours: Mon: 5:30pm - 9pm; Wed - Sat: 5:30pm - 9pm (closed on Sun & Tue)
2. Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen
An informal Japanese chain restaurant, straight out of Japan, Shin-Sen-Gumi is known for serving sushi, charcoal-grilled yakitori, and Hakata ramen. This restaurant, along with offering their own version of Hakata ramen, gives guests the freedom to add extra toppings of their choice. These toppings include bacon, wontons, flavored eggs, and more. With unlimited options to devour, Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen is definitely a must-try restaurant whenever you visit Little Tokyo.
Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen
Address: 132 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Website: Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen
Opening hours: 11am - 11pm (daily)
3. Suehiro Cafe
Suehiro Cafe is a perfect spot for late-night diners. You can either come here for quick lunch or you could also pop in when the late-night hunger pangs or cravings kick in. It offers home-style Japanese cooking and udon to all its guests. The restaurant also features light wooden furnishings and a few Japanese elements that make this space welcoming and warm. Fare here includes their beef teriyaki and mixed tempura, Japanese curry plates, stir-fried eggplant, pork udon, cold noodles, and so much more.
Address: 337 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Website: Suehiro Cafe
Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 11am - 1am; Thu - Sun: 11am - 3am
If you are a sushi lover but don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket at a high-end restaurant, this is the right place for you. OOmasa is a modern diner with Japanese-style woodwork and a comfortable atmosphere. Along with serving the star of the restaurant – sushi – it also offers an array of other dishes, like sashimi, tempura, donburi, noodles, and many more Japanese dishes.
Address: 100 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 10pm (closed on Tue)
5. Sushi Enya
Sushi Enya is a casual diner, offering a range of Japanese staples in a cozy setting. This lively restaurant has been serving bite-sized traditional Japanese fare since its establishment in Little Tokyo. One of the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles, Sushi Enya might look tiny, but it is equally mighty, especially when it comes to food. The menu sees a range of items, including monkfish liver, nigiri sushi, assorted sashimi, spicy tuna tempura, and more.
Address: 343 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Website: Sushi Enya
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 5:30pm - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 5:30pm - 1am; Sun: 5pm - 11pm
6. Sushi Komasa
Big things come in small packages. This saying goes perfectly well with Sushi Komasa. This little restaurant has had locals lining up for its traditional sashimi and sushi since its opening. Set in Japanese Village Plaza, this eatery is decorated in a basic way, but it sees a lot of people, especially during peak hours. All the items on the menu are prepared using the finest local ingredients. Some of the crowd favorites here include pink slices of albacore, fried squid, tuna and mountain potato, salmon, and monkfish liver, among others.
Address: 351 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Website: Sushi Komasa
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 5:30pm - 10pm; Sat: 5pm - 10pm; Sun: 5pm - 9pm (closed on Mon)
In Little Tokyo, you won’t find too many places that can help with your late-night cravings. That’s where Kouraku steps in. And, just like you, there will be many people whose hunger and cravings come knocking at the door at unlikely hours. So, don’t be surprised when you see Kouraku packed late into the night, especially on weekends. This old-school Japanese restaurant offers Japanese comfort food in a basic setting. You can try some of their best-selling food, like kimchee, chicken karaage, pork fried rice, wakame soup, katsudon, and more.
Address: 314 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11:30am - 3am; Sun: 11:30am - 12am
8. Hama Sushi
If you are looking to eat nothing but sushi, you must check out Hama Sushi. Hama Sushi is very serious about what they do and that is to serve the finest and tastiest sushi in town. You will not find any teriyaki or noodles here. Their obsession is only on raw fish. And you will understand why once you take a bite of their sushi – it speaks for itself. This cozy spot features a menu with items including their spicy tuna hand roll, eel, and salmon, among others.
Address: 347 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Website: Hama Sushi
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 12pm - 2pm, 5:30pm - 10pm; Sat - Sun: 5:30pm - 10pm
9. Izakaya Gazen
What once housed Fickle and the Sandwich Smith has been taken over by Izakaya Gaze, a Tokyo-imported diner sitting in Little Tokyo. This buzzing spot comes with a lot of tables, perfect for those get-togethers or hanging out with the family. It is known for offering classic sushi rolls, homemade tofu, which is a crowd favorite, and Japanese small bites in a modern setting. Along with all this, you also get a bar menu with a variety of craft beers and other spirits that you can order to pair with your food.
Address: 362 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Website: Izakaya Gazen
Opening hours: 11:30am - 2pm, 5pm - 11pm (daily)
10. Marugame Monzo
A hip eatery in Little Tokyo, Marugame Monzo is a renowned spot in the area and queues outside the door are quite a common sight. If you manage to get a table, try sitting close to the bar counter, where you’ll get to see the chefs create their magic by preparing fresh, hand-pulled, thick noodles. Some of the must-try dishes at this restaurant include their kake udon, bukkake udon, Mentai squid butter udon, fishcake, and soft-boiled egg, among others.
Address: 329 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
Website: Marugame Monzo
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 10pm; Sat - Sun: 11:30am - 10pm
Enjoy the taste of Japan in Little Tokyo
This is not news – Japanese food is delicious. You will be spoilt for choice with the number of Japanese restaurants situated here in Little Tokyo. We hope this guide gives you an idea of what each restaurant offers to help with your decision. Whichever spot you choose, it will be great.
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