Otafuku is a family-run Japanese restaurant that treats soba noodles like science. The three kinds of rare soba here vary in texture, size, and taste, but all are made in-house every day with flour imported from Japan. The all-white seiro is our favorite, but whatever you choose will be served cold on a bamboo plate with a tiny dish of garlic soy sauce for dipping on the side. It’s simple, fresh, and exactly what we want during a heat wave.
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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.
Kotohira is a tiny noodle shop in a Gardena strip mall with a giant menu of udon, ranging from curry to creamy to green mochi.
Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori in Gardena is an institution where you go to eat tremendous meat skewers in a low-key space.
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Kensho is a tiny Japanese restaurant on the grounds of Yamashiro in Hollywood, and one of LA’s most personal dining experiences.
Yapa is a very good Peruvian-Japanese restaurant in Little Tokyo that’s perfect for any kind of date night.
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Tatsu is the future not just because of its iPad wall waiters. It’s the future because it’s quick and easy, and downright delicious.
Kazan, the self-proclaimed “Pinnacle of Noodle,” is a tremendous soba spot in Beverly Hills, if you don’t mind paying Beverly Hills prices.
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