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Akatora

302 Rosecrans ave., Manhattan Beach, CA, 90266

310-802-1131

The Sushi Roku founder and former Matsuhisa GM (as well as Lazy Ox Canteen owner) has transformed the struggling Katsu Sushi into this funky izakaya

Website: http://akatorala.com/

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Asanebo

11941 Ventura Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 91604

818-760-3348

At this standout on Studio City’s sushi row, the honey-breaded oysters are soft and sea flavored under their sweet crust.

Website: http://www.asanebo-restaurant.com

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Atch-Kotch

1253 N. Vine St., Ste. 5, Los Angeles, CA, 90038

323-467-5537

The owners of Atch-Kotch have brought a little bit of their sitting room to their dining room. She knits; he does crosswords…

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Bar Hayama

1803 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90025

310-235-2000

Toshi Sugiura has created a space both quaint and sophisticated…

Website: http://bar-hayama.com

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Curry House

123 S. Onizuka St. #204, Los Angeles, CA, 90012

213-620-0855

We go to Dish in La Cañada for homey all-American food and Border Grill in Santa Monica for nouveau Mexican. But for the quintessential L.A. kids’ menu, it’s hard to beat the multicultural mix atCurry House…

Website: http://www.house-foods.com/

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Faith & Flower

705 W 9th St., Los Angeles, CA, 90015

213-239-0642

Edgy but not alienating, ambitious but not brash: It’s a tough line to walk but necessary for a 165-seat restaurant near the Staples Center

Website: http://www.faithandflowerla.com/

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Gyu-Kaku

10925 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90064

310-234-8641

Pop some edamame while your waiter gives you the rundown on yakiniku dining and delivers small plates …

Website: http://gyu-kaku.com

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Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gumi

132 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90012

(213) 687-7108

Mitsuyasu Shigeta’s chain of Shin-Sen-Gumi restaurants serves everything from yakitori to hot pots.

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Hide Sushi

2040 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90025

310-477-7242

There’s nothing fancy about this one-room Japanese restaurant (whose name is pronounced “hee-day”), but you’ll find diners galore…

Website: http://hidesushi.com

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Honda-Ya

333 S. Alameda St., Ste. 314, Los Angeles, CA, 90013

213-625-1184

The Tustin izakaya (Japanese pub food) favorite now has a location in Little Tokyo on the third floor of Mitsuwa Plaza…

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Ita-Cho

7311 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90036

323-938-9009

Waitresses are oblivious of the luminaries in the crowd, and there’s a menu of sake to sip along with your tatsuta age (Japanese-style deep-fried chicken)…

Website: http://itachorestaurant.com/

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K-Zo

9240 Culver Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90232

310-202-8890

Talk about location: This mod spot is next to Trader Joe’s and a parking lot and is a stone’s throw from the Pacific Culver theaters…

Website: http://k-zo.com

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Katana

8439 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90069

323-650-8585

From the boys who brought you BOA and Sushi Roku comes this salute to robata-yaki: Everything from yellowtail to chicken gizzard is cooked over an open flame and skewered. The design is part woodsy, part concrete groovy. Watch Sunset from the patio.

Website: http://sushiroku.com

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Katsuya

6300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90028

323-871-8777

Even slicker than the Brentwood Katsuya, this branch is more like a nightclub…

Website: http://katsuyarestaurant.com/Hollywood/

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Katsuya

11777 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90049

310-207-8744

White walls and chairs, blond wood, and caramel leather banquettes are the look at this Philippe Starck-Sam Nazarian extravaganza…

Website: http://katsuyarestaurant.com/brentwood/

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Koi

730 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90069

310-659-9449

The theme is Asian; the scene is hot, hot, hot…

Website: http://koirestaurant.com

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Matsuhisa

129 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90211

310-659-9639

Now that an entire generation has been weaned on Matsuhisa’s spicy brand of sushi, the restaurant has regained its reputation as a serious spot.

Website: http://nobumatsuhisa.com

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Mori Teppan Grill

120 W. Stocker St., Los Angeles, CA, 91202

818-548-4227

The chefs at the hibachi house Mori Teppan Grill can make a fiery volcano out of an onion or launch a morsel into a triple back flip with a twist, then catch it on the tip of a spatula.

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