Hayato is a tiny Japanese restaurant that makes very elaborate, pre-order-only bento boxes during the day, and elaborate traditional kaiseki dinners a couple of nights a week. For dinner, you need to reserve in advance, pay a $100 deposit, and be fine with having no idea what you’re going to eat. The food is good, but the meal is ultimately a bit of a slog. You’ll sit at a bar with five or six other people, and watch as the chef prepares around 10, mostly seafood courses. Dishes range from eel tempura and Kyoto-style sushi to dashi broth. It’s all very subtle and understated, but a meal here ends up being a bit stiff. There’s no music, which gives you the sense that you should probably whisper. All of that combined with the high price, this is a place for Japanese food die-hards only.
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Sibling Rival is a solid all-day restaurant (get the pancakes!) in DTLA’s Hoxton hotel.
Bacari West Adams
Bacari West Adams is every USC student’s favorite spot thanks to a bottomless brunch and pretty good small plates.
Wolf & Crane Bar
Wolf & Crane is a big, casual bar in Little Tokyo that’s full of locals and Japanese whiskey.
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Sushi Miyagi is a high-end omakase in Brentwood that serves some great, inventive dishes - but a meal here will cost you.
Interstellar is the best cafe near the Santa Monica Promenade. The Korean-owned spot serves excellent burritos, katsu, bulgogi, and more.
If you’re looking for bar food on Sawtelle, Furaibo - a dark, rowdy Izakaya - is a good option.
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Sushi note is part sushi spot, part wine bar, and unlike any other place to eat raw fish in the city.
Matsuhisa is the Beverly Hills restaurant that launched the Nobu empire, and there’s no sushi place that feels more LA.
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