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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Wax Paper is a tiny sandwich counter in a shipping container by the LA river, and yes - it’s as cool as that sounds.
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A small restaurant in a big Lomita strip mall, Hikari is a Japanese BBQ spot where you go to grill meat over hot coals.
Oseyo Shabu Shabu
Part of Oseyo Shabu Shabu’s charm is that it’s always crowded - in addition to the Pasadena spot’s high-quality meats and seafood, of course.
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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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