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The next best thing to going to Japan? Going to Shibumi. There’s a long counter where you can sit and be served by chefs, the darkly-lit room is just like those you find in underground restaurants in Tokyo, and there’s even one of those insane $7,000 toilets with a heated seat. They serve a kappo-style menu, a kind of Japanese cuisine we don’t see much of in LA - it's a step up from an izakaya (cold egg tofu, squid sashimi, pork in koji rice), most often prepared in front of you by the chef, and still meant to be shared. All this makes it a step up from sake bombs, but not so fancy (or pricey) that it couldn't become a regular dinner spot.

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