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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Between the atmosphere, plating, and oh God, that cocktail menu, Cliff’s Edge hits on all cylinders when it comes to making your night feel like a NIGHT. Take note, Silver Lake: the finer things in life aren’t always boring.
Sqirl is a perpetually-crowded cafe/bakery in Virgil Village and our favorite brunch spot in LA.
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Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori in Gardena is an institution where you go to eat tremendous meat skewers in a low-key space.
This divey Little Tokyo staple serves solid Asian fusion bar food and recently became known as a craft beer haven as well.
Hinoki & The Bird
Hinoki & the Bird is cooler than most options in Century City, and an ideal spot for your next power lunch. Even if you won’t remember the food.
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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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