Friday, August 04, 2006

Japanese explosion

Gonpachi concept on La Cienega
No, not Hiroshima. I'm amazed by the continuing explosion of Japanese restaurants in upscale areas of L.A. It's even more remarkable when you consider that there is barely a passable Chinese restaurant anywhere west of Downtown, or of the San Gabriel Valley, for that matter.
To wit:
  • As widely reported, L'Orangerie is closing to become an outpost of Nobu, while Nobu's original and much more unpretentious Matsuhisa will close.
  • But La Cienega need not despair, because an outlet of Tokyo's Gonpachi will soon open near Ed Debevic's old spot. Concept is said to offer soba and tempura, and the drawing looks like a super cool Japanese inn, or maybe a recreation of Yamashiro.
  • Just a few doors down from the darling Sake Miro House on La Brea, one of my favorite little spots, Shabu Shabu Ya is opening soon with a slick modern design.
  • Of course, an outpost of Studio City's wildly popular Katsu-ya has opened in Brentwood so Westsiders won't have to go over the hill...Katsuya dropped the hyphen for its Brentwood location.
  • There's a new izakaya called Ebisu in Little Tokyo in the old Mandarin Deli spot, from the Daikokuya folks, another one of my favorite spots.
  • And the Chowhounds are wild for West L.A.'s new Sushi Zo on National in Palms...omakase should run about $50. I hope to try it soon.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

No, Gonpachi specializes in Soba and KUSHIYAKI skewers, not Tempura. You still look hot eating that hot dog though...

The Dabbler said...

Thumbs down go to Sushi Hiroba on Vine -- it is bastardized sushi with far too many mayonaisse-laden sauces, and mediocre quality fish. And considering it's a revolving sushi bar (which in Japan is a sign of economical dining), the prices were steep. Too bad, I was hoping a decent sushi spot would open in Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

What is the connection between this "Japanese explosion" you write about and the lack of a good Chinese restaurant in the city? FYI, not all Asians are Chinese, just like not all Hispanics are Mexican. Would you agree if I were to say that all white people are British/Australian/Russian/insert whoever looks white here, etc. How upsetting to find such racism in "diverse" LA. Cheap shot for you to reference Hiroshima, by the way.

Pat Saperstein said...

Wow, I truly don't see how that post could be offensive -- I was just wondering how it is that there could be so many of one type of restaurant and none of another, it could just as easily have been, "why are there so many pizzerias and yet no Turkish restaurants?" Too bad you're Anonymous, so I can't tell if you're the person who was so offended that I haven't yet found that much Korean food I've liked, as if that was the same as a racial slur.

Anonymous said...

Don't know what the Chinese restaurant thing's about so keep me out of that. But, using a Hiroshima reference is insensitive. Near 100,000 people died. You wouldn't reference WTC if you were writing a column about restaurants in NYC... would you?

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