Otafuku is a family-run Japanese restaurant that treats soba noodles like science. The three kinds of rare soba here vary in texture, size, and taste, but all are made in-house every day with flour imported from Japan. The all-white seiro is our favorite, but whatever you choose will be served cold on a bamboo plate with a tiny dish of garlic soy sauce for dipping on the side. It’s simple, fresh, and exactly what we want during a heat wave.
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If you’re in Gardena for breakfast (or anywhere close), you need to head right to Painter’s Tape for their excellent Japanese-influenced cafe food.
Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop
Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop is an excellent Hawaiian diner in a bowling alley in Gardena.
Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori in Gardena is an institution where you go to eat tremendous meat skewers in a low-key space.
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Santa Monica’s KazuNori is a hand roll-only sushi option from the people behind Sugarfish. Expect the same quality without the crazy wait.
Ototo in Echo Park is a casual Japanese spot with a lot going for it - including a huge sake selection - and a lot going against it, too.
Kotosh is a Peruvian-Japanese spot in a Lomita strip mall that manages to do two pretty different cuisines pretty well.
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Tatsu is the future not just because of its iPad wall waiters. It’s the future because it’s quick and easy, and downright delicious.
Kazan, the self-proclaimed “Pinnacle of Noodle,” is a tremendous soba spot in Beverly Hills, if you don’t mind paying Beverly Hills prices.
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