Formerly known as Little Osaka, Sawtelle Japantown is a slice of Japanese culture on the Westside located minutes from Santa Monica. The historic neighborhood has become a foodie paradise, home to authentic Japanese restaurants, modern eateries, artisan coffee and ramen shops like the wildly popular Tsujita. Eclectic shopping includes the pop culture emporium Giant Robot, vintage fashion, Japanese design and historic nurseries. After hours, you can enjoy sake pubs and karaoke studios. If you never explored the neighborhood and you’re looking for good Japanese food, here’s what I discovered as the must try-spots in Sawtelle:
Known for it’s noodles in rich broth, this is the place to stop by for lunch. But be warned, there’s no reservations accepted and you will wait a while to get seated. Their Ramen is so good, guests are willing to wait. One thing you should know before you get down there, this place only accepts cash.
Address: 2057 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Also known for their delicious Ramen and noodles, Daikokuya is the place to go for brunch and dinner. All though you can’t make reservations at this location either, you’ll find plenty of parking and use your credit card.
Address: 2208 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
If you’re craving tapas, you’ll love Morinoya’s Japanese small plates. Morinoya is a delightful little Japanese restaurant tucked away on the 2nd floor of the Olympic Collection shopping center. The menu is expansive with many shareable small plates, hot pots, sushi/sashimi and dinner sets. Dare to explore and try different samples of the menu. There’s definitely highlights and must-trys.
Customizable and affordable ramen is what everyone raves about Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata. You can choose your toppings and customize your ramen base and oil any way you like it. Not only do they have multiple locations in Los Angeles, but they have other locations in Orange County too.
Address: 1601 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
5. Tatsu Ramen
Tonkotsu broth is made fresh everyday right in front of you for 12-14 hours. Pork chashu simmered to perfection. Seasoned soft-boiled egg, firm on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. Marry that with noodles cooked perfectly al dente and you have a ramen bowl so good you have to come back for seconds! All of their bowls of ramen can be customized via an easy-to-use iPad® ordering system. They even have Vegetarian/Vegan options.
Cover photo by Fabian Reus