If you’re in or anywhere near Gardena for breakfast, head to Painter’s Tape. This order-at-the-counter cafe is open every day from 8am-3pm and has a tremendous Japanese-influenced breakfast menu where nothing is more than $10. Expect things like steamed organic rice in a chicken broth, shabu shabu steak buns, and a curry and cheddar donut that will make you question every donut you’ve ever eaten.
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Kotohira is a tiny noodle shop in a Gardena strip mall with a giant menu of udon, ranging from curry to creamy to green mochi.
Otafuku Noodle House
Otafuku is an excellent Japanese restaurant in Gardena that treats cold soba noodles like a science.
Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop
Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop is an excellent Hawaiian diner in a bowling alley in Gardena.
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Kotosh is a Peruvian-Japanese spot in a Lomita strip mall that manages to do two pretty different cuisines pretty well.
Kato is a casual Japanese/Taiwanese tasting menu spot in West LA for people who don’t like tasting menus.
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Millie’s in Silverlake is the classic breakfast spot you go to when you need an escape from LA.
Baran’s 2239 is a Hermosa Beach neighborhood spot that will make you feel like you’re at a potluck.
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.
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