Unlike the new, more modern izakayas around town (Tsubaki, Mtn), Osen Izakaya in Silver Lake is as traditional as it gets. With an interior entirely covered in wood paneling and smoke from the yakitori grills permeating your clothes as the night wears on, Osen feels like a real Japanese tavern. The food is good and affordable (concentrate on the yakitori skewers), and though the place is already quite crowded, it never takes too long to get a seat.
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Blossom is a vastly underrated pho spot in Silver Lake with a hidden basement area ideal for enjoying your meal in silence.
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Daichan is a stripmall spot on Ventura in Studio City that specializes in Japanese soul food.
Mtn on Abbot Kinney in Venice is the casual but pricey Japanese izakaya from the people behind Gjelina and Gjusta.
If you’re in Gardena for breakfast (or anywhere close), you need to head right to Painter’s Tape for their excellent Japanese-influenced cafe food.
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The omakase at Kiriko on Sawtelle is expensive but excellent. They also do more affordable lunch specials.
Joon Shabu Shabu
Joon is a very good shabu shabu joint in Glendale, and your move when you feeling like cooking meat yourself tonight.
If you’re looking for bar food on Sawtelle, Furaibo - a dark, rowdy Izakaya - is a good option.
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