Zono Sushi's fish-savvy chefs please palates with their diverse menu of sushi, bento boxes, and Japanese entrees. Layering finely sliced fish across tender rice and papery sheets of seaweed, chefs array their 33 signature sushi rolls on sleek modern stoneware. Lunchtime bento boxes boast teriyakied meats or sushi and sides of rice, salad, and miso soup, brought safely to tables under the protection of flavorful packing peanuts.
After spending years researching curry houses in Japan, Hurry Curry launched its unique menu and original 21-spice blend stateside. Staffers sprinkle curry dishes with select meats, such as beef cutlet ($9.95) or fried chicken ($9.95), or nonmeats, such as spinach and mushroom ($8.95) or tofu ($8.95), before serving them over rice and under the ceiling alongside a small green salad. The spaghetti menu braids noodles into traditional dishes, plating hiyashi, a chilled pasta strung with shrimp, sliced cucumbers, pickled ginger, a sliced hard-boiled egg, and soy vinaigrette ($8.95), as well as tarako ika, cod roe sautéed with calamari set atop noodles and garnished with shredded nori ($8.95).
Diners sitting in a steam cloud rising from one of Daikokuya’s famous bowls of ramen are staring down a dish whose painstaking preparation process began the day before. Pork bones and joints are tossed into a large cauldron, boiling for nearly a full day to create a broth also flavored with soy sauce. Each bowl of broth is filled with a neatly arranged spread of black pork belly, boiled eggs (which marinate overnight), sprouts, bamboo shoots, green onions, and noodles praised as having "both snap and vigor" by renowned food critic Jonathan Gold. He included Daikokuya on LA Weekly's list of 99 Essential Restaurants, suggesting customers should order the thicker kotteri version with a fat-infused broth that's "thick enough to walk on." Though Diakokuya’s menu includes other dishes, such as rice bowls, sushi rolls, and bento boxes, the first-come, first-served crowds generally gather for the ramen. It can also be served tsukemen style, a hot-weather treat for which the noodles are chilled and all the toppings are separated from the broth. The broth is served on the side in a smaller bowl, which diners can use as a dip or for a tasty reenactment of the Narcissus story.
A breathtaking 21 stories above downtown Los Angeles, Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant gives guests views of the glittering city lights below. But Executive Chef Stan Ota’s gaze, however, never leaves the chopping boards and plates in front of him. Each maki roll and fresh-seafood dish he creates is born out of a lifetime of experience spent cooking Japanese- and French-style food. His cooking has garnered recognition from many trained palates, including British food critic Jay Rayner who put Ota’s restaurant on his list of where to find the world’s best foods.
In addition to seafood such as lobster rolls and lemon-albacore rolls, the extensive menu boasts a wide selection of fine robata, from filet mignon to baby lamp chops. Beyond these printed offerings, Ota also performs a feat of Japanese cookery called Omakase–which translates literally to “I’ll leave it to you”– improvising a five-course menu based upon the fresh-market ingredients gathered that day. To compliment meals, Ota puts an equal amount of thought into his cocktail list, which features exciting blends of liquors and spices. These drinks include lychee-infused mojitos, white-tea-rose martinis, and the Serrano kiss, spiced gin and lime with muddled Serrano chili.
Diners might default to tapas bars when seeking out small plates, but there’s one more term that should be added to their search: izakaya. This is the name for Japanese eateries that churn out “pub-style small plates,” according to the Los Angeles Business Journal; Itacho is one such eatery. Its menu is filled with shareable options, such as steamed clams in an asari-butter broth, seaweed marinated with vegetables, and agedashi tofu, deep-fried cubes that dip into flavorful sauces or into customers’ pockets should they want leftovers. The reviewer from the Journal also lauded the restaurant’s simple-yet-tasty selection of sushi, and, after finishing her meal, said, “[my] only regret is that [I] have not sampled more of the menu.”
From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Mushroom Medley - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Pork Gyoza Dumplings, and Chicken Karaage. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, grilled ahi tuna, or chicken with basil sauce until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.