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Giant Robot Biennale 4 at Japanese American National Museum

December 12, 2015

Sawtelle Japantown’s Giant Robot has a temporary satellite location in Downtown Los Angeles by way of an exhibition called Giant Robot Biennale 4 at the Japanese American National Museum.  Giant Robot store and GR2 Gallery owner Eric Nakamura is the curator and has hand picked artists for the exhibition .  Many of the artists are regulars who exhibit at Eric’s GR2 gallery.

I attended the opening party in October and was impressed by the collection of works. The exhibit has a cool effortless vibe. There is even a replica Giant Robot store which showcases past and present merchandise sold at the Giant Robot store.   This exhibit which is housed on 2 floors goes on through January 24, 2016 and is a must see!

A few of my favorites are below.

The entrance to the first floor exhibit has a dreamy and calming floor and ceiling giant mural piece by Kozydan (The entrance to the first floor exhibit has a dreamy and calming floor and ceiling mural (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com).

The entrance to the first floor exhibit has a dreamy and calming floor and ceiling  mural piece by Kozyndan (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com).

Giant Robot Replica Store

Giant Robot Replica Store (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Spotted Sawtelle Japantown hats

Spotted Sawtelle Japantown hats (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Yoskay Yamamoto

Yoskay Yamamoto (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Welcome Home by Esao Andrews

Welcome Home by Esao Andrews (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Rob Sato

Big Son by Rob Sato (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Bowl Cut by Luke Chueh (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Bowl Cut by Luke Chueh (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Curator Eric Nakamura

Curator Eric Nakamura (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

The Japanese American National Museum is located at:

100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90012


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Osaka Residences I & 2

First Look Inside Osaka Residences (11300 and 11322 La Grange)

December 4, 2015

We first featured the Osaka Residences back in April 2015 when the houses were still in construction phase.   Now they are finally done and SawtelleJapantown.com has the first inside look!  We were only able to take photos of 11322 La Grange as the other residence – 11300 La Grange was still being staged. But the 2 houses are similar in layout and look.  11322 La Grange, however, has a view of the West LA Buddhist Temple and has an outdoor patio area.

Photos of 11322 La Grange:

11322 La Grange

11322 La Grange

Living Room (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Living Room (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Dining Room (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Dining Room (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

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Kitchen (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Kitchen (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Master Bedroom (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Master Bedroom (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Master Bedroom Closet (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Master Bedroom Closet (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Master Bathroom (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Master Bathroom (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Glass Rail Staircase (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Glass Rail Staircase (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Bedroom (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Bedroom (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Bedroom (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Bedroom (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

View from Third Floor (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

View from Third Floor (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

3rd Floor Rooftop Deck

3rd Floor Rooftop Deck

Rooftop Deck (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Rooftop Deck (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Patio (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Patio (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Side Yard (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Side Yard (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

The houses are set to go on market next week with a price tag in the range of $2,100,000 to $2,200,000.

For more photos of the Osaka Residences, go to our Facebook Page for the complete album of photos.

The Osaka Residences are located at 11300 and 11322 La Grange, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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Jumbo Pumpkin Pizza (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Jumbo Pumpkin Pizza at Louigi’s

October 31, 2015

Our family’s favorite holiday is Halloween.  Every year we throw a Halloween party and the size of the party has grown year by year.  This year we served pizzas and called upon Sawtelle Japantown business Louigi’s Italian Kitchen to make jumbo sized pizzas shaped like pumpkins.  The pizzas tasted great and were a big hit at the party!

Pizzas were a big hit at the Halloween Party! (photo by Yumiko Fowler)

Pizzas were a big hit at the Halloween Party! (photo by Yumiko Fowler)

All of food ingredients are fresh at Louigi’s.    In addition to pizza, Louigi’s also serves a variety of pastas and sandwiches from their small shop on the north side of Sawtelle Japantown.

Vongole Spaghetti (photo by Louigi's)

Vongole Pasta (photo by Louigi’s)

Sandwiches made fresh (photo by Louigi's)

Sandwiches made fresh (photo by Louigi’s)

Exterior of Louigi's (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Exterior of Louigi’s (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Louigi’s is located at:

1644 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 477-4500

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1750 Sawtelle – Camden Town Apartments Inside Peak

October 16, 2015

We recently featured a post on the new developments transforming Sawtelle Japantown with Urbanize.LA .  One of the developments we featured was “Camden Town”, a  15 unit purple and gray luxury apartment building located at 1750 Sawtelle Boulevard.   The apartment is in a prime location with Plan Check and Bar Hayama as restaurant neighbors.

The developers Premier League Inc. allowed us to take a sneak peak of the interior prior to the open house this weekend.   The building has 9 — 1 bedroom units (650-720 SF) and 6 — 2 bedroom units (900-920 SF), all with parking spaces.  Rents range from $2500 to $2800 for 1 bedrooms and $3200 to $3450 for 2 bedrooms.

Check out the photos:

Camden Town 1750 Sawtelle

Camden Town 1750 Sawtelle (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Hallway (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Hallway (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Penhouse View (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Penthouse View (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Kitchen (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Kitchen (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Bathroom (photo by SawelleJapantown.com))

Bathroom (photo by SawelleJapantown.com))

Washing Machine and Dryer Included (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Washing Machine and Dryer Included (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Rooftop Fireplace (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Rooftop Fireplace (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Rooftop Deck Overlooking Sawtelle (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

Rooftop Deck Overlooking Sawtelle (photo by SawelleJapantown.com)

There are a lot of nice features to the apartments. The penthouse units boasts great views of Sawtelle because the building next to it is a low rise.  My favorite part of the building was the rooftop deck with fireplace.  Seems like a perfect location to hang out with friends and enjoy the Sawtelle scene.

The open house starts this Saturday, October 17th from 1-5 pm and Sunday, October 18th from 1-5 pm.

For more information on Camden Town, you can call the developers Premier League Inc. at 310-479-5555.

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West LA Native Craig Iwamoto Making it Big in Japan as Joe Iron

October 12, 2015

Joe Iron (photo courtesy of Craig Iwamoto)

Craig Iwamoto aka Joe Iron (photo courtesy of Craig Iwamoto)

Sawtelle Japantown has become known as a street of delicious eateries, but there is an entire community of people who call Sawtelle Japantown home.  One member of the Sawtelle Japantown community is successful music producer and songwriter Joe Iron, whose real name is Craig Iwamoto.  Craig is a fourth generation Japanese American who was born and raised in the Venice/ Palms area of West LA and grew up in the Sawtelle community.

Craig was recruited by talent Minoru Ujita to work as a music producer in Japan and in eight years, Craig has become one of the top music producers in Japan.  His mixtape series “Banzai Boy” is a big hit in the Japanese hip hop scene.  In addition to working with several artists within different genres of music all over Asia, Craig produces music for AK-69, the number one selling hip hop artist in Japan.

Craig on the Streets on Tokyo (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Craig on the Streets of Tokyo (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

“I am as West LA as you can get” says Craig, as we met over lunch in Tokyo.

Before the war, Craig’s grandfather owned real estate on Sawtelle, including the site formerly occupied by the Safe and Save market.  As a child, Craig went to Japanese school at the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle and participated in boy scouts and aikido at that location.
Craig and his family are members of the West LA Buddhist church and active within the Japanese American community. Growing up, Craig knew every store manager or owner on Sawtelle. Craig often entered through the back door at Yamaguchi general store when he played hooky from Japanese school.

Craig hasn’t had time to return to the Sawtelle Japantown area in recent years but when he does, he will certainly be surprised to see all the changes to the area.

Photo by SawtelleJapantown.com

Photo by SawtelleJapantown.com

ジョー アイロン




最近クレッグはソーテルジャパンタウンへは戻ってないが 次回戻った時にはその変化に驚くだろくだろう。。

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Giant Robot Biennale 4 Exhibit at Japanese American National Museum

October 5, 2015

JANM-GRB4-OpeningParty-invite-FINAL (1)

Sawtelle Japantown’s Giant Robot and GR2 owner Eric Nakamura curates the Biennale 4 Exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum.  The exhibit runs from October 11, 2015 to January 24, 2016 with a kick off party this Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 7pm to 10pm.

For more information on Eric and GR2, check out our prior post here.

The Japanese American National Museum is located at 100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

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New Developments Transforming Sawtelle

September 22, 2015

The following article was co-authored by Steven Sharp, editor of the Urbanize LA blog.  For more information on the latest Los Angeles urban development projects, visit Urbanize.LA and follow Urbanize LA on twitter @ubranizela.

Traveling north on Sawtelle Boulevard in the Sawtelle Japantown, you may notice a new purple and grey apartment complex and several other lots rife with construction activity.  The majority of these new developments come from Wellesley Manor, a real estate firm whose other holdings in the neighborhood include SoHo Square – a 94-unit mixed-use building built in 2006 – and St. John’s Wood – a 55-unit condominium complex built in 2009.

Wellesley Manor Projects

Wellesley Manor has the following projects in the pipeline for Sawtelle:

Camden Town 1750 Sawtelle

Camden Town 1750 Sawtelle (photo by Steven Sharp)

Camden Town

Camden Town, located at 1750 Sawtelle Boulevard, consists of 15 residential units which shall be rented out as apartments.  Final touches are currently being applied to the four-story structure, which will open to the public soon.

The building was designed by architect Warren Techentin, whose prior work includes the adjacent SoHo Square development at 1700 Sawtelle Boulevard.

Notting Hill Rendering 1900 Sawtelle

Notting Hill Rendering 1900 Sawtelle

Notting Hill Apartments

The Notting Hill Apartments, currently under construction at 1900 Sawtelle Boulevard, will consist of a low-rise edifice featuring 52 residential units.  The building, which is rising on the former site of the Harada Nursery, will include nine live-work apartments on its ground floor and five dwellings reserved for low-income households.

Designs from Newport Beach-based MJS Design Group call for a five-story structure featuring multiple outdoor gathering spaces and a three-level underground garage with parking accommodations for up to 78 vehicles.

Future Site of Regents Park

Future Site of Regents Park (photo by Steven Sharp)

Regents Park

Across the street from the Notting Hill development, a century-old bungalow was recently demolished to make way for Regents Park, a five-story structure which would include 25 residential units, 650 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a large parking garage.

Like Camden Town, the proposed low-rise building is being designed by architect Warren Techentin.

Other Developement Projects

In addition to various residential complexes from Wellesley Manor, the following projects are currently planned or in development by different entities:

1831 Sawtelle (photo by Steven Sharp)

1831 Sawtelle Boulevard (photo by Steven Sharp)

1831 Sawtelle Boulevard

Construction began earlier this year for a new three-story apartment building at 1831 Sawtelle Boulevard.  According to information from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, the low-rise building will include 30 residential units and a two-level basement garage.

City records list the project’s architect as the Glendale-based firm Uriu & Associates.

Rendering of 1837 Sawtelle Boulevard

Rendering of 1837 Sawtelle Boulevard

1837 Sawtelle Boulevard

Construction permits are currently in the works for another multi-family residential building on an adjacent property at 1837 Sawtelle Boulevard.  The project, which is being designed by architect David Forbes Hibbert, would consist of a four-story building featuring 19 residential units and a below-grade parking garage.  Two units would be reserved for very-low income households.

YMCA Building (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

YMCA Building (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

1947 Sawtelle Rendering

1947 Sawtelle Rendering

1947 Sawtelle Boulevard

The largest project currently planned for the neighborhood is slated for the current home of the Westside Family YMCA at 1947 Sawtelle Boulevard.  The project, which is being developed by California Landmark Group, would consist of 73 residential units and 7,700 square feet of ground-level commercial space.

Designs from Rios Clementi Hale Studios call for a modern five-story structure flanked by cherry blossom trees.  The building’s height would pare down to two-story townhomes as it approaches the adjacent single-family zone to the west.

Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2016.

気がつくと思う。これらはほとんどWellesley Manor 不動産によるものだ。同社は他にもSoHo Square
(94軒 多目的物件 2006築)とSt. John Wood〈55軒 コンド 2009年築)を建築。

Wellesley Manorの将来建築予定

Camden Town

1750 Sawtelle Boulevard (15軒 賃貸アパート 4階建)近日中に公開。このビルは建築家Warren Techentin氏による。氏はSoHo Square1700Sawtelle Boulevardもてがけた。

Notting Hill Apartments

1900Sawtelle Boulevard に在る等物件は52軒の低層建造物で前原田植木屋跡地に建ち
一階はlive-workアパートで5軒は低職者用。Newport BeachのMJS Design Groupは5階建て

Regent Park

Notting Hill Developementの向かい側のバンガローが壊され5階建て25軒住居650スクエアーフィートの路面店と大型ガレージができる。

Camden Townと同じように申請中の低層建造物は建築家 Warren Techentin氏によりデザインされている。

Wellesley Manorの住宅に加え他社による以下のプロジェクトが現行計画中

1831Sawtelle Boulevard

グレンデール市のUriu & Associates.

1837Sawtelle Boulevard
家族向けの建築家David Forbes Hibbert氏による4階建て19軒、地下駐車場付物件が現在許可申請中。二軒は低所得者向け。

1947Sawtelle Boulevard

現行計画中近隣の最大ロジェクトはWestside FamilyYMCA跡地だ。California Landmark Group
により開発される73軒の住居と7700スクエアーフィートの路面店舗だ。Rios Clement Haleスタジオによる5階建てで桜が植えられる。建物の高さは隣の家族用一軒家に向け徐々に低くなる。2016年中旬施工開始予定。


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Conversation with Music Composer Joey Newman at Mapaya

August 31, 2015

Music composer Joey Newman

Music composer Joey Newman (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

If you are ever at Balconi Coffee in Sawtelle Japantown, you may see Joey Newman chatting with fellow coffee drinkers.   He’s a regular Balconi Coffee customer, and drinks a siphoned black coffee almost every day.

Joey is a successful music composer for films, television shows and video games.  His music can be heard on several television shows such as the ABC comedy The Middle, NBC show The Mysteries of Laura, and the TLC reality show series, Little People, Big World.  Although working on televisions shows is fast paced and deadline driven, Joey enjoys the entire process of collaborating with the show creators and creating the compositions in post production.

Joey Newman working in his Studio (photo by Liza Voll)

Joey Newman working in his Studio (photo by Liza Voll)

Joey comes from a well known musical family and is a third generation music composer: His grandfather is Lionel Newman who was the head of 20th Century Fox’s Music Department for 47 years and his granduncle is multiple Oscar winner Alfred Newman. Joey‘s other famous musical family members are Randy Newman, David Newman, Thomas Newman and Maria

Joey is very familiar with the Sawtelle Japantown area.  Growing up near Sawtelle Japantown, one of Joey’s closest friends was Japanese and his friend’s family owned and operated the Taka Hair Salon.  Thus, Sawtelle became one of Joey‘s regular places to hang out with his friends.

Spicy salad crepe at Mapaya

Spicy salad crepe at Mapaya (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Even now, Joey continues to frequent Sawtelle Japantown with his family.  In addition to Balconi Coffee, another favorite of Joey’s is the next door Japanese style creperie MapayaJoey often takes his 3 daughters to Mapaya and they order sweet crepes with cute animals designs.  Joey
himself likes the savory spicy salad crepe at Mapaya.

Monkey crepe at Mapaya

Monkey crepe at Mapaya (photo by Joey Newman)

Bird crepe at Mapaya

Bird crepe at Mapaya (photo by Joey Newman)

Joey has a list of other restaurants that he recommends in Sawtelle Japantown. So if you ever see Joey at Balconi Coffee or Mapaya, do not hesitate to ask him for restaurant recommendations or ask him about his interesting career.

ジョイ ニューマン

ソーテルジャパンタウンにあるバルコニーコーヒーに行く機会があったら 店のお客様とおしゃべりするジョイニーマン氏を見かけるかもしれない。 彼は店の常連でほぼ毎日サイフォンでいれられたブラックコーヒーを飲んでいる。

ジョイは映画、テレビ、ビデオゲームの有名な作曲家だ。彼の楽曲はABCの コメデイーTHE MIDDLE,NBCの MYSTERIES OF LAURA 、TLC の LITTLE PEOPLE BIG WORLD等で聴ける。テレビの仕事は締め切りに追われ忙しいが、テレビの作品の クリエーターたちとコラボしながら作曲するプロセスは楽しいそいだ。

ジョイは有名な作曲家の家族出身で三代目となる。祖父はライオネルニューマン氏で 47年間二十世紀フォクス映画会社の音楽部長だった。大叔父 アルフレッドニューマン氏はいくつものオスカー受賞者だ。他にもこの音楽一家にはRANDY NEWMAN, DAVID NEWMAN, THOMAS NEWMAN and MARIA NEWMANが名を連ねる。

ジョイは ソーテルジャパンタウンの近くで育ったのでソーテルジャパンタウンは熟知している。TAKA HAIR SALONの息子とは仲が良かった。そんなわけでよく友達たちと過ごす場所だった。

今でも家族とはよく来る。バルコニコヒーの隣にある日本式クレープ屋MAPAYAには3人の娘を連れていく。彼らは可愛い動物の形をした甘いクレープが好きでジョイはスパイシーなサラダの入った大人味が好きだ。他にも当地には沢山好きなレストランがあるそうなので バルコニコーヒーでジョイを見かけたらお勧めレストランを聞いたり彼の興味深いお仕事について尋ねたらいかがでしょうか?

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Facebook Sweepstakes: Gundam Cookies

Omiyage Sweepstakes: Art of Gundam Cookies and Mickey Mouse Rice Paddle

August 1, 2015

My family and I returned from a 3 week vacation in Tokyo.  Although I fully intended to write blog posts in Japan, each day was so busy that I also took a vacation from the blog.  Now I am home and am conducting an “omiyage” (gifts in Japanese) sweepstakes with some goodies that I brought home from Japan.  I will be conducting 2 separate sweepstakes with 2 different prizes: one for Facebook entries and the other for Twitter entries.  Enter both sweepstakes!

Facebook Sweepstakes – Prize: Art of Gundam Cookies and Program

I attended the Art of Gundam exhibit in Tokyo which featured original sketches of Gundam.   I will be giving away a box of Gundam cookles and original program from the exhibit (ARV: $15).

How to enter:

On the Facebook post announcing the Sweepstakes, from August 2, 2015 12PM PST to August 14, 2015 12PM PST, you will need to:

1) follow the Sawtelle Japantown Facebook page

2) like the Sweepstakes post 

3) share the Sweepstakes post

One (1) winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries on or about August 16 and the winner will be notified by Facebook messaging.

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.  Must be US residents over 13 years to enter. Sponsor: SawtelleJapantown.com.  This sweepstakes is not associated with Facebook.

Twitter Sweepstakes: Mickey Mouse Rice Paddle

Twitter Sweepstakes: Mickey Mouse Rice Paddle

Twitter Sweepstakes – Prize: Mickey Mouse Rice Paddle

Found this cute Mickey Mouse Rice Paddle in Tokyo (ARV: $10)

How to enter:

On the Tweet announcing the Sweepstakes, from August 2, 2015 12PM PST to August 14, 2015 12PM PST, you will need to:

1) follow the Sawtelle Japantown Twitter Account @SawtelleJT

2) favorite the Sweepstakes tweet

3) RT the Sweepstakes tweet

One (1) winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries on or about August 16 and the winner will be notified by Twitter direct messaging.

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.  Must be US residents over 13 years  to enter. Sponsor: SawtelleJapantown.com.  This sweepstakes is not associated with Twitter.

Follow Sawtelle Japantown on Twitter @SawtelleJT

Like Sawtelle Japantown of Facebook here.

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Lucky Rice Event July 30th

July 28, 2015


Lucky Rice Event on Thursday July 30th:

Lucky Rice will be returning to the City of Angels with a national Feast event and will continue to feature the best up-and-coming chefs in the Los Angeles area. Popular Pop-Ups will be joined by brick-and-mortar mainstays under one roof, with plenty of Asian-influenced cocktails from the city’s top mixologists to help wash down the grub.

Sawtelle Japantown’s Seoul Sausage Company will be participating in the event.

Create Nightclub
6021 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

General Admission: 8 – 10pm (7pm for VIP)


VIP: $150
GA: $88

For more information and a full menu go to:




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Tokyo Japanese Outlet / 東京アウトレット

July 1, 2015

Make Up and False Lashes

Make Up and False Lashes

The NY Times has called Sawtelle the “Boulevard of the Rising Sun”  because of the mix of Japanese restaurants, and shops.  But few of the Sawtelle businesses can match the Tokyo Japanese Outlet for bringing you a piece of Japan right in West Los Angeles.  Located in the
Sawtelle Center, the Tokyo Japanese Outlet might be small, but it packs a punch with a plethora of over 4000 Japanese items.  Items range from anime toys, beauty products, candy, cell phone accessories, stuffed animals, unique kitchenware, Japanese gifts and souvenirs, apparel, and much more.   Once inside, it’s really easy to admire all of the merchandise, and quite frankly, shopping at the Tokyo Japanese Outlet is simply irresistible.

Cute Socks

Cute Socks

Some of the coolest items

A few of our favorite items were the Japanese beauty products.  We thought it was some of the best make-up around.  We loved the false eye lashes and Love Drops Mascara.  Also the Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner was fabulous.  Other unique finds were all of the Hello Kitty merchandise, Japanese candy and gum, and the bento boxes.

Hello Kitty Goods

Hello Kitty Goods

The items are tad more expensive than the other tchotchke store Daiso across the street, but still reasonably priced.  If you’re looking for cute and unique gifts for someone or for yourself, Tokyo Japanese Outlet has got you covered.  I just scored some adorable mini fruit shaped erasers for my desk at work.

In future blog posts, we will feature more cool finds from Tokyo Japanese Outlet.


ニューヨークタイムス紙がソーテル道りに沢山のレストランや店が混ざり合いどんどん店数も増えつずけ活気が出ている様子を日が昇る(Rising Sun)様な勢いだと表現しました。但しTokyoOutletのように日本の一部をウエストLAへもってきた 感じがするお店は他にありません。ソーテルセンターにあるこの店は小さいが4000以上の活気ある品物が置かれています。

品物は玩具、美容用品、お菓子類、携帯用カバー、動物のぬいぐるみ、ユニークな台所用品、日本的なギフトやおみやげ 衣類等々他にも沢山の品があります。入店すると嬉しい気持ちになり何か買いたくくなります。


一押しは美容用品。付けまつげ、Love Drop マスカラ, Dolly Winkリキィドアイライナーで 他に類をみない良い製品だと思います。


お友達に可愛いギフトをお探しならTokyo Outlet tはぴったりなお店です。私もフルーツの形をした可愛い消しゴムを仕事の机用に買ってしまいました。

Tokyo Japanese Outlet is located at:

2109 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

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Ramen with Skid Row’s Scotti Hill / スキッドローの スコットィ ヒル氏

June 25, 2015

Skid Row Guitarist Scotti Hill

Skid Row Guitarist Scotti Hill

Outside of Tatsu Ramen

Outside of Tatsu Ramen

Ramen with Scotti Hill

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the things that I like most about starting this blog is having a Twitter account for Sawtelle Japantown. I’ve met the most interesting people on Twitter who are fans of the Sawtelle Japantown area. One such Twitter follower is guitarist Scotti Hill from the heavy metal band Skid Row, a band whose songs bring back memories from my high school days (ie belting out “I Remember You” in the car with friends).

A few weeks ago, I had direct messaged Scotti to thank him for the Twitter follow and mentioned that I was a fan of Skid Row. After some back and forth exchanges, it came to light that our children currently attend the same preschool. What are the chances? And how random? In any case, I talked to Scotti the other day over a bowl of Tatsu ramen. . .

Aside from a short hiatus in 1996 when grunge music was in and heavy metal music was out. Scotti has played with Skid Row for the last 29 years. Scotti is one of 3 original members of Skid Row and they continue to tour all over the world as either a featured act or with a group of other metal bands. I told Scotti that he is lucky to be able to pursue his passion for music as a job, and he agreed, but he told me that it is a difficult lifestyle for a father of a young son to be
away touring for weeks at a time.

Scotti loves Japan and the Japanese culture. In fact, during longer breaks on tour, he and his family live in Japan for 1 to 2 months out of the year He likes being a regular “gaijin” in Japan and he can be seen hanging out in front of the local convenience store drinking a beer. Being an active member of Skid Row requires him to live in the United States, however, when he retires from Skid Row down the line, Scotti would like to live permanently in Japan.

There is a lot of travel and down time being on tour and Scotti brushes up on his Japanese hiragana and katakana via iPhone apps. He sometimes tweets in Japanese.

Scotti and his family frequent many places in Sawtelle Japantown. including Manpuku, Seoul Sausage and Bar Hayama to name a few. It was Scotti’s first time trying Tatsu and he gave Tatsu’s ramen a thumbs up. If you are wondering what Scotti ordered at Tatsu, he had the bold ramen. As a side note, Scotti has an interesting way of eating ramen where he puts the ramen noodles in the spoon and wraps the noodles on his chopsticks – like spaghetti style.

Bold Ramen

Bold Ramen (photo by Malcolm Johnson)

Scotti Hill Eating Ramen Spaghetti Style

Scotti Hill Eating Ramen Spaghetti Style

I enjoyed my lunch conversation with Scotti and look forward to bumping into him in Sawtelle Japantown or at my child’s preschool.

Skid Row is currently touring and their tour schedule can be found on their website at SkidRow.com,


前にも書いがソーテルジャパンタウンのブログを初めて一番好きな ことはソーテルジャパンタウン周辺のフアンの興味深い人々に 会うことだ。ヘビーメタルバンドスキッドローのギターリスト スコットィヒル氏もその一人だ。彼らのヒット曲(車で友達と聞いた ”I Remember You”)は高校時代を思い出させる。

数週間前スコッティにツイッターフォローのお礼をしスキッドローの ファンである事を伝えた折りに会話の中から子供たちが同じ プリスクールに行っている事が判明した。そんなわけで彼とたつラーメンをいただきながらお話を聞いた。

1996年グランジミュージックがはやった時の一時期を除いてスキッドローとして29年間演奏をつずけている。彼は3人のスキッドローオリジナルメンバーの一人で 今も世界中で演奏活動を単独又は他のグループと共に行っている。

彼は自分のパッシオンを仕事に出来ることは幸せに思っている 一方小さな子を持つ親としては数週間一度に家を開ける ライフスタイルは難しい面もあるそうだ。

氏は日本と日本文化が大好きで長く休みが取れる時には家族と共に1,2か月日本に滞在する。彼は不通の”外人“に日本でなっている事が好きでコンビニ店前でビールを飲む姿も見られるそうだ。スキッドローのメンバーとしてはアメリカに 住まなくてはならないが 将来リタイア後は日本に永住したい希望がある。。







Featured post

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar / プランチェック

June 21, 2015

By  Jay Terauchi

Living in Los Angeles, there are a lot of good burger places, such as Umami Burger, Apple Pan, Father’s Office, In n Out, etc.

One of my favorites places for a burger is Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, headed by chef Ernesto Uchimura.

One of my Favorites PCB (Plan Check Burger) (photo by Jay Terauchi)

One of my Favorites PCB (Plan Check Burger) (photo by Jay Terauchi)

Chef Ernesto is the former corporate executive chef at Umami Burger.

Just one of the genius things of this burger is Chef Uchimura’s creation of the ketchup leather. It’s housemade ketchup which has been dehydrated (similar to a fruit roll-up). It’s placed at the bottom of the burger, preventing the burger juices from getting the bottom bun soggy AND you
still get the ketchup flavor, brilliant!

It was a beautiful Los Angeles day, so sitting out on the patio was an easy decision.

It was a beautiful Los Angeles day, so sitting out on the patio was an easy decision (photo by Jay Terauchi)

See What Jay Eats…

Housemade Yuzu Soda (photo by Jay Terauchi)

Housemade Yuzu Soda (photo by Jay Terauchi)

Housemade Yuzu Soda

It couldn’t get any better…

Fries (photo by Jay Terauchi)

Fries (photo by Jay Terauchi)

Fries cooked in beef tallow with smoked salt and served with fresh housemade ketchup

OK, it could get better…

What’s a burger without fries, right?

Smoked Fried Chicken

Smoked Fried Chicken (photo by Jay Terauchi)

Smoked Fried Chicken

Jidori chicken, smoked milk gravy, yam preserves, and spicy pickled okra (served under the 3 pieces of chicken).

The chicken was cooked perfectly and with a nice surprise of the yam preserves and the okra.

For those who want more than a burger,

I suggest checking the daily special board too.

Cruller Donuts

Cruller Donuts (photo by Jay Terauchi)

Cruller Donuts (made to order) served with cream and fruit

Can’t leave without having dessert…

Plan Check Kitchen is not just burgers, it’s has a contemporary menu in a casual atmosphere right on Sawtelle Ave.

Order a drink (full bar) and look over the menu, there are a lot of options and do check the “specials” board.

I suggest ordering the PCB (Plan Check Burger) and if you like crullers, save room for dessert.

(photo by Jay Terauchi)

(photo by Jay Terauchi)


ロスアンジェルスには うまみバーガー、アップルパン、ファーザーズオフィス など美味しいハンバーグ店が沢山ある。

私の好きなバーガー店は シェフアーネストうえむら率いるプランチェックキッ チンプラスバーだ。うえむらシェフは前うまみバーガーの重役シェフだった。

うえむらシェフは豊かな才能でケチャップロールを作り上げた。ホームメイド ケチャップを乾燥させロールにしたものだ。(フルーツロールアップのように)これがバンズの上に置かれているのでパンが濡れてしまわず ケチャップ味も楽しめる。

ヤムとオクラ添えチキンは完壁に焼けあがっている。バーガー 以外をお望みの方には日替わりの書かれているを黒板をチェックする事おすすめ。デザートもお忘れなく。



私のお勧めはPCB(プランチェックバーガー)とお腹にに余裕があれば クルーラー。

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar is located at:

1800 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 444-1411

Featured post

Yasuko Nail Art / やすこ ネールアート

June 17, 2015

Yasuko Nail Art (photo by Yasuko Yoshinari)

Yasuko Nail Art (photo by Yasuko Yoshinari)

Nail Artist Yasuko Yoshinari

Nail Artist Yasuko Yoshinari (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

When you think of Japanese innovation, the last thing that would come to mind is nail art.  But Japanese nail art is at a whole new level compared to a typical manicure — it is insanely detailed. Even though nail art originates in the US, several nail art techniques come from Japan and there are specific instructional classes dedicated to nail art in Japanese cosmetology school. Additionally, there are magazines dedicated to showcasing nail art with hundred of featured designs and techniques.

Japanese Magazine Dedicated to Nail Art

Japanese Magazine Dedicated to Nail Art (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

I’ve seen a few of my Japanese friends in Los Angeles have these fancy “bedazzled” manicured nails. They all referred me to Yasuko Yoshinari who is a nail artist and works out of the Taka Hair Salon in Sawtelle Japantown. Yasuko is a veteran manicurist who has been honing the nail
art craft for the past 17 years. Yasuko is formally trained in Japan and worked as a nail artist in Japan for several years prior to setting up shop in Los Angeles.


Crystals (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Yasuko Working on a Client's Nails

Yasuko Working on a Client’s Nails (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

For this post, I watched my friend Shinobu get her nail art manicure from Yasuko. She cleaned and filed Shinobu’s nails, started applying a base coat and then various gel colors using different sized brushes. The level of detail and neatness was quite astonishing.  Yasuko casually chatted with me Shinobu while she worked on Shinobu’s nails.  After the nail colors were applied, she pulled out cases of crystals which she applied one by one to the nails using a brush.  These crystals are very small and Yasuko lined each crystal using a brush with ease.  This entire manicure took 1 hour but Yasuko tells me that more complicated ones can take a bit longer.

As you can see from the photos, Yasuko’s nail art is truly a work of art.    It’s too bad that these beautiful manicures generally last for about 3 weeks.  However, I am sure Yasuko’s clients enjoy going back to Yasuko to see what new designs she will create for them.

This Nail Art Costs $80

This Nail Art Design Costs $80 (photo by Yasuko Yoshinari)

Nail art manicure prices range depending on the level of detail and crystals used.  Shinobu’s manicure pictured here was $80.

For those interested in trying a Japanese nail art manicure by Yasuko, she has agreed to give a 20% discount to first time customers.  In order to get the discount, mention SawtelleJapantown.com!

To see more of Yasuko’s amazing nail art creations, visit her Facebook page.

やすこ ネールアート


ロスアンジェルスの数人の友人がピカピカのネイルマニュキワをしているのを見たことが有る。皆 ソーテルジャパンタウンに在るタカサロンのよしなりやすこさんに依るものだった。やすこさんは17年間ネールアートをやっているベテランだ。彼女は日本でトレーニングを受けてロスアンジェルスに来る前数年間は日本で働いた。






(photo by Yasuko Yoshinari)

photo by Yasuko Yoshinari

Yasuko works Thursday through Saturday at Taka Hair Salon in Sawtelle Japantown

Taka Hair Salon

2010 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025


Featured post

Granada Market / グラナダマーケット

June 14, 2015

Granada Market Exterior

Granada Market Exterior (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Granada Market is a family-owned compact grocery store specializing in sashimi-grade fish, kobe beef & other Japanese specialties.   While this Mom & Pop market might lack in space, it does not lack in high quality and fresh Japanese foods.

Meiji Tofu

Meiji Tofu (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Fresh sashimi grade fish

Fresh Fish (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

A favorite item from the market is Meiji tofu, which can be difficult to find in other Japanese food markets.  It’s known for its extremely soft and silky texture.  Other popular items are the fresh fish selection, Japanese fruits, vegetables and sashimi.  Not to mention, all of the wonderful special items like Japanese dolls that are mixed together with grocery items.
Japanese Dolls with Groceries

Japanese Dolls with Groceries (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Check out their pre-made food which is good for lunch or even an afternoon snack.  Unfortunately, the Mom & Pop shops are disappearing in Sawtelle Japantown so be sure to stop by to support these special neighborhood stores.

Granada Market Aisle

Granada Market Aisle (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)


グラナダマーケットは刺身用魚 神戸ビーフや他のスペシャルな日本食品を売る家族経営の小さなマーケットだ。この店はスペースに欠けているかも知れなが高品質と新鮮さに関しては全く欠けていない。



Granada Market is located at:

1820 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025


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Giant Robot 2 GR 2 / ジャイアントロボット 2 GR2

June 7, 2015

Eric Nakamura

Eric Nakamura

By Malcolm Johnson*

One of the things that makes successful ventures successful is the usually the singular vision of one person.  Y’see, the trick is to make something, very narrowly, very specifically you, and then hope others will see the uniqueness of what you’ve done, and hop on board.

Giant Robot owner, Eric Nakamura likes…well, Giant Robots.  He has ever since he was a kid.  He’s also a Sawtelle Japantown guy, having grown up in the area back before it was known as Little Osaka (read Eric’s post on his thoughts to the changes occurring in Sawtelle Japantown).

So what do you do if you if you’re from Sawtelle Japantown and have a hankering for the good stuff in Japanese Pop Culture?  Well, most people would open a Comic Book store and be done with it.  But calling the Giant Robot Store a “comic book store” is seeing things through too narrow a lens.  Sure, Giant Robot is a temple of Japanese Pop Culture and Japanese-American tributes to said Japanese Pop Culture, but it’s more than that.

Sure you can get your books, posters, and T-Shirts over at Giant Robot, but the store has also served as a valuable launching platform for new and emerging brands, like the Ugly Doll. That helped launch UglyCon.  The Giant Robot Store also helped launch the Giant Robot Magazine.

Giant Robot Exterior

Giant Robot Exterior

IMG_7402-Edit (640x427)

All this from the mind of one, open-minded, welcoming and in-the-know entrepreneur.

So what do you do now?

Well, maybe you open a Gallery Space down the block, featuring a rotating Gallery collections of up and coming, cutting edge artists.

That’s what Eric Nakamura did, and he called it GR2.

Again, like Giant Robot the original, GR2 is much more than just a temple of Japanese Pop Culture, it’s an Art Gallery, featuring up and coming artists on a regular basis.  Every once in a while, you may find some known Artists (like DC Comic’s Jim Lee) coming through for a signing or a talk, but Eric has devoted his time and energy to also launching brands through the Giant Robot Stores.  Things like the Ugly Doll, which found their start in the original Giant Robot Store, and have grown to having their own Conventions.

The Artists you may not have heard of, but they’re always worth a look.  Beside, you’ll be able to say you saw ‘em back in the day, before the got big.

GR2 has poetry readings, and most recently an Experimental Game Demonstration featuring the students at USC (University of Southern California).

GR2 set up a bunch of stations just outside the store, most featuring TVs where the Student Programmers could demonstrate their wares.  And it wasn’t just Video Games, there were a few Board or non-electronic games at work also.  Students would man a station for forty minutes, then rotate to a new location to keep things fresh.

They even projected some games on the side of the store, which was also a lot of fun, and brought a great energy to the affair.

There will be more evenings like this.  They are events that Eric is quite proud of, and an idea that Giant Robot wants to build upon.  Events like these help build the community, and that’s nothing but a good thing.  Sawtelle Japantown is an old community.  Maybe one that most locals don’t know about, but it’s been around since the 1920s. It’s got a long history and a proud one.  Still, the official name of the area (as of publication) is only a few months old, and the community is as a whole is starting to see influx of Hipsters.

Nothing wrong with Hipsters, and if they’re here to help keep what Sawtelle Japantown is and has always been, great.  But that’s not been the history of communities like this.  Even Little Tokyo, is finding itself more and more gentrified as time goes on, as more and more of the residents move on to places like Torrance.  Soon, we could find the unique little nugget that is Sawtelle Japantown in the same condition.

But not if the residents have anything to say about it.  Not if people like Eric Nakamura and the Giant Robot stores have anything do with it.   This is an old and proud community.  Long may she reign.

GR2 is as much a labor of love for Eric Nakamura as much as anything else.  He’s totally cool with people just dropping by to see what’s on display, and there’s no pressure to buy anything at the store (even though there are prints available that are ridiculously cheap all things considered.)

If you want to take Photographs of what you see, that’s mostly cool also, but I’d check in with the GR2 Staff to make sure it’s okay.  I can see these varying from artist to artist.

* Contributing writer Malcolm Johnson is the publisher of the food blog Is It Any Good


成功しているビジネスは一人のビジョンから成り立っている事が 多い。その秘密は自分らしさを徹底追求してる事で他の人々がそれに気が付いて 共感することだ。

ジャイアントロボット2 のオーナーは 子供のころからジャイアントロボッㇳが 大好きだった。彼はソーテルジャパンタウンがリトル大阪と言われる前から 住民だった。日本のポップカルチャーが好きな場合大抵ならコミックストアーを作るだけだがそれは視野が狭すぎる。ジャイアントロボッㇳは日本のポップカルチャーの殿堂であり日系人のそれに対するㇳリビューㇳ以上のものがある。本、ポスター、T-シャツを売るが新ブランドアグリードールやアグリーコム誕生のきっかけを作った、ジャイアントロボッㇳマガジンも作った。これら全ては心広く全てを歓迎する企業家が築いた。その後は近くに新人向けギャラリー設立 ジャイアントロボッㇳ2と命名。ここはポップカルチャーの殿堂を超え新人アーテストを毎月展示するギャラリーだ。

たまに有名なアーテストDCコミックのJim Lee 等がきてサイン会をしたりレクチャーしたりするがエリックは店中にブランドを作ることにも力をいれている。アグリードールなどは愛好者の話題にもなっている。無名のアーテストでものちに有名に成る可能性がある。ジャイアントロボッㇳ2では詩の朗読会やUSCの学生をフィーチャーした実験ゲームを行った。外に沢山のステーションを作り学生のプログラマーがーデモを行った。





Monday-Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday-Thursday: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Friday-Saturday: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Sunday: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm

GR2 is located at:

2062 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025


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Gourmet Bites: Spring Rolls / チキン春巻

June 3, 2015

Chicken Spring Rolls with Dressing and Sriracha

Chicken Spring Rolls with Dressing and Sriracha

Front counter at Gourmet Bites

Front counter at Gourmet Bites

There is a hidden lunch spot called Gourmet Bites near my work where I eat their chicken spring rolls at least twice a week.    Although not technically within the parameters of Sawtelle Japantown, it’s pretty close.   Gourmet Bites is located on the ground floor of the City National Bank building on Olympic between Butler and Colby.  The spring rolls are not on Gourmet Bites’ regular menu but is a permanent special item and available Monday through Friday.   These spring rolls are famous at my work place to the point where  I have heard at least three separate elevator conversations about the spring rolls at Gourmet Bites being “so good”.

Chicken Spring Rolls

Gourmet Bites’ Chicken Spring Rolls

Making the Spring Rolls

Making the Spring Rolls

These spring rolls are loaded with vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, alfalfa  sprouts and avocado and they are wrapped in a Vietnamese rice paper wrap which has a chewy consistency.   The grilled chicken is perfectly seasoned and goes well wrapped with the vegetables.  Gourmet Bites adds  peanut sauce and sriraccha to the side to dip the spring rolls, but you can also opt for the Chinese chicken salad dressing as the dipping sauce which also goes well with the spring rolls.

The spring roll order comes with 4 large pieces.  I usually eat 2 of the pieces during lunch time and save the other 2 pieces for a 3 o’clock snack.  It also comes with fruit and a drink.

Gourmet Bites Sign

Gourmet Bites Sign

I usually take the spring rolls back to my desk at work, but there is a nice outdoor courtyard if you wanted to eat there.


私のオフィスの近くに週に2回はチキン春巻きを食べに行くグルメバイツ という隠れたランチスポットがある。ソーテルジャパンタウン内ではないが すごく近い。グルメバイツはオリンピック道りのバトラーとコルビーの間にある ナショナルバンクビル1階にある。春巻きは通常メニューにはないがスペシャル として月曜日から金曜日までいつもある。この春巻きは会社でも有名で エレベーターの中でも春巻きが美味しいという話を何度か耳にした位だ。

中身はレタス、トマト,ニンジン、アルファルファ、アヴォカド等野菜いっぱいで ベトナムの噛みごたえのあるライスペーパーで包まれている。チキンの味付けも 美味しくて野菜などとよく合う。春巻を浸すピーナッツソース,香菜、が そえられている。チャイニーズチキンサラダ用のソースも合う。


私は持ち帰りオフィスで食べるが素敵な外のコートヤードでも 食べられる。

Courtyard Seating

Courtyard Seating

Exterior of City National Bank Building

Exterior of City National Bank Building

Open Monday Through Friday

8am to 3pm

Gourmet Bites is located at:

11500 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064

Featured post

Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery / やまぐち盆栽園

June 1, 2015

Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery

Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Bonsai Tree

Bonsai Tree (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

The Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery is a second generation family owned business in Sawtelle Japantown that specializes in Bonsai.

What exactly is Bonsai?

Bonsai is an art form that is composed partly of horticulture and partly three-dimensional design.

To qualify, the growing miniature tree must be both a representation of nature and creative expression. Bonsai symbolizes harmony, honor, patience, as well as happiness among friends and family.

Bonsai Tree

Bonsai Tree (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Special Bonsai Pruning Supplies Sold at Yamaguchi Nursery

Special Bonsai Pruning Supplies Sold at Yamaguchi Nursery (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

At the Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery, there are a variety and sizes of bonsai for sale, as well as a wide assortment of bonsai supplies. The bonsai trees are truly works of art and it takes a master to be able to prune and shape the trees in various forms. The nursery also
offers an extensive selection of plant varieties and there is a constant introduction of fabulous new and unusual plants that will flourish in a garden. Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery boasts of offering plants for a variety of garden designs — from classic, cottage, and tropical to contemporary, eco-friendly and zen. Stop to check out this incredible bonsai nursery that has been in business for over 60 years.


Succulents (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)


ソーテルジャパンタウンのにある やまぐち盆栽園は 盆栽専門の二代目のファミリービジネス。



やまぐち盆栽園では あらゆる種類の盆栽が 盆栽用資材と共に売られている。盆栽は芸術であり型作りの選定は素人には難しい。この店では多種類の植物を揃えている。常に新品種も紹介している。やまぐち盆栽園は モダン からクラシック,トロピカル コテイジ エコ 禅に合う植物を提供している。60年続くこの素晴らしい盆栽園は必見。

For more photos from Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery, go to our Facebook Page.

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Saturday Winter Hours 8:30AM – 5PM

Sunday 9AM – 4:30PM

Closed most holidays – or open for fewer hours

Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery is located at:

1905 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

Featured post

Satsuma Imports

May 28, 2015

Satsuma Imports Exterior

Satsuma Imports Exterior

Mr. and Mrs. Sakai

Mr. and Mrs. Sakai

Walk into Satsuma Imports and you’ll see several family pictures hanging from the walls.  Owners Mr. and Mrs. Sakai are always busy at work here.  Whether it be answering questions about the Japanese makeup line Shiseido, wrapping gifts (a free service of the shop), or ringing up orders, this adorable couple are very helpful to their customers.  Satsuma Imports has been open for business for a few decades.  The shop items as the store name says are imported from Japan, and they truly make unique and authentic gifts.  Some of the most popular gifts are listed below:

051 (640x480)

Vintage Japanese Kimono

Vintage Japanese Kimono

1. The Japanese Kimono –  If you are looking to buy a vintage silk Kimono, you can purchase one here for roughly $150.00 and there are a variety to choose from.

2. Sake Sets – These make great gifts for friends and family, not to mention to have at home when entertaining.

3. Japanese Dish Sets – These come complete with a set of chopsticks.  They are lovely Japanese dish sets that are actually made in Japan, not in China.  Be sure to get them wrapped in the fancy wrapping paper before you leave the shop.

4. Tea Pots and Kettles – Beautiful designs and unique items for gifts or to just simply dress up your kitchen with color.

Shisedo Makeup

Shisedo Makeup

5. Shiseido – Satsuma Imports carries the Japanese line of Shiseido cosmetics and they have two other lines that are not carried in other stores.

When planning your visit, be sure to visit during the week.  Shop is not open on weekends.

Tea Kettles

Tea Kettles


薩摩インポートには 本物でユニークな日本製の製品が揃えられています。店に入ると家族写真が飾られオーナーのさかい御夫妻は資生堂化粧品への質問に答えたり、ギフトを包んだり(料金なし)発注したりと何時も忙しく働いています。この日本から来たオーナーはお客様に大変親切で数十年間商売をしており店の名前が示すように日本から輸入した本当にユニークで確実な品揃えはしギフトに最適です。

Japanese vases

Japanese vases













Satsuma Imports is located at:

2029 Sawtelle Blvd Los Angeles, California 90025
Featured post

Hello Kitty Exhibition Closing Reception

May 25, 2015

Hello Kitty Exhibition

Hello Kitty Exhibition

Wall of Hello Kitty  Backpacks

Wall of Hello Kitty Backpacks

On Friday, I attended the closing reception party of the “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles.   The Hello Kitty exhibit was held as part of the Hello Kitty’s 40th-anniversary celebration.   The closing reception occurred in advance of the actual exhibition ending date of May 31, 2015.  In addition to the displays of Hello Kitty products through the years,  a selection of artworks inspired by Hello Kitty by contemporary artists were on display.  I am a big fan of Sanrio and grew up with Hello Kitty items so I was excited see the exhibit.

Hello Kitty Bento

Hello Kitty Bento

Various Hello Kitty Products

Various Hello Kitty Products

The exhibit was filled with items that I either owned or recognized and it brought me back to my childhood.   Back in the late 70s, my family was one of the few Japanese families living in Houston, Texas and I recall my friends crowding around me whenever I brought a Hello Kitty item to school.  At the exhibit, there were several displays of Hello Kitty consumer products including a wall of backpacks, bento items and electronic products.



Yoskay Yamamoto

Yoskay Yamamoto

The best part of the reception was that attendees could get their official exhibition program signed by the artists who contributed artworks to the exhibition.  When talking to some of the artists about this blog, many of the artists indicated that have exhibited artworks at Sawtelle Japantown business Giant Robot or GR2.  In fact, husband and wife artist team of Kozyndan was the first art exhibitor at Giant Robot back in 2002.  Artist Yoskay Yamamoto, an artist known for fusing urban art with traditional and mythical Japanese elements, will be exhibiting at GR2 with other Japanese artists sometime in October (check Giant Robot’s schedule of events for Yoskay’s upcoming show).

Simone Legno of Tokidoki

Simone Legno of Tokidoki

Another artist who has shown at Giant Robot is Simone Legno, creator of the Tokidoki brand, an innovative line of apparel, handbags, and accessories.   Tokidoki is known for collaboration projects with other companies such as Sanrio and LeSportSac.  Legno created a large sculpture called Kittypatra at the exhibit using trademark Tokidoki imagery. Legno has strong ties to Sawtelle Japantown as he lives nearby and has an affinity to Japanese culture.

Souther Salazar

Souther Salazar

Martin Hsu and Mark Nagata

Martin Hsu and Mark Nagata

Signed Page by Mark Nagata

Signed Page by Mark Nagata

The artists that signed my program were: Becca “Hello Kitty Hello”, Edwin Ushiro “Shading in a Heavy Line”, Jeni Yang “Merry Go Round”, Kozyndan “Kitty Visions”, “Hello Kitty Kaiju”, Martin Hsu “Hello Kitty Transcendence”, Michael Courville “Hello Kitty in Bloom”, Nicole Maloney “Hello Kitty All Stacked Up!”,  Simone Legno “Kittypatra”, Souther Salazar “Radiant Kitty”, and Yoskay Yamamoto “Space Kitty”.

Sanrio's First Collaboration with Paul Frank's Julius

Sanrio’s First Collaboration with Paul Frank’s Julius

In addition, Sanrio did its first collaboration with the monkey Julius by artist Paul Frank. He was on hand to sign programs.

I am glad that I was able to attend the exhibit before the ending date. And for those of you who have not attended the exhibition, you have until May 31st before the exhibit officially ends.  If you like Hello Kitty, this is a must go see exhibit!

For more photos from the Hello Kitty Closing Reception, go to SawtelleJapantown.com’s Facebook Page.




この展示に協力したアーテイストがプログラムにサインしてくれてうれしかった。このブログを書くために作品提供者のアーチストとお話したところ多くがソーテルジャパンタウンにある店ジャイアントロボッㇳ、GR2に出展したことがある。2002年 コジンダン夫妻の作品が最初の展示をした。10月には日本の日本テイストが入ったヒュージョンの絵を描くヨースケイヤマモトが他の日本人アーテイストと共に展示する。(詳細はGR2スケジュール参照)



終わる前に展示を見られて良かった。見ていない方には31日まで展示されている。 ハローキティ愛好会には必見お勧め。

The Japanese American National Museum is located at:



Featured post
Unique LA Event

Unique LA

May 20, 2015


When starting this blog about the Sawtelle Japantown area, it was important to engage in social media so that I can alert people of happenings around Sawtelle Japantown.  Up until 8 weeks ago, I had never sent out a tweet.  However, starting a Twitter account has opened up a new world of meeting interesting people, reading up on various subject matters, and finding out about the latest events.

Two weekends ago, I attended the Unique LA event, a show where vendors sell unique handmade items. The event occurred at the California Mart in Downtown Los Angeles.  I found out about the Unique LA event through a Twitter follower, Jella Roson Woodward, a jewelry designer who was exhibiting at the event and had sent out a tweet about the event.  The exhibition floor was filled with many vendors each selling one of a kind items.

Vendors included:

Honey My Heart

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Honey My Heart Jewelry

Honey My Heart Jewelry

Jewelry designer Jella Roson Woodward, a resident of the West Los Angeles area, makes all of her jewelry by hand under the brand name Honey My Heart.  All of her pieces are delicate and unique.

Tomoro Pottery

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Tomoro Pottery

Tomoro Pottery

Tomoro Pottery’s Tomoko Morisaki makes simple, earthy and modern pottery with Japanese zen like sensibility.

Minion Me

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Minion Me

Minion Me

Artist Kris Kehasukjaren draws cross over characters using the character the minion from the Despicable Me movies as the base.  Kris can make a minion out of any character.   His popular “minionized” characters are Star Wars characters and Disney princesses.


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Artist Naoshi makes cute fantasy type characters using a technique called sunae or sand art. She cuts out the top layer of sticky paper and covers it with various colors of sand to make one artwork.  Her technique is amazing and an instructional video can be found on her website.


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Sisters Alice and Doris Lieu of ILootPaperie design, make and sell whimsical greeting cards and prints.

Yuki Fujita

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Yuki Fujita

Yuki Fujita

Illustrator Yuki Fujita makes prints, cards, towels, t-shirts and tile coasters with her watercolor art. Her watercolor art depicts laid back California lifestyle images of surfboards, vintage cars and palm trees.

Hepp’s Salt Company

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Hepps Salt Company

Hepp’s Salt Company

Owner Brian Hepp makes gourmet sea salt combined with different spices, herbs and peppers. Hepp’s Salt Company is based in West Los Angeles.  Through a distributor, Hepps sells salts to Sawtelle Japantown restaurant Plan Check for incorporation into dishes and cocktails.

I wished that I had more time to check out the other vendors at Unique LA as so many things caught my eye. I am happy to learn that Unique LA will have a  summer event on August 8th and 9th which I will be sure to attend!
For more photos from Unique LA, go to our Facebook page.

We want to engage with our SawtelleJapantown.com readers! Follow us Twitter @SawtelleJT!



ソーテルジャパンタウンのブログを始めた時私にとって大切 だったのはソーシャルメデイアによりソーテルジャパンんタウン 周辺で何が起こっているかをお知らせすることだった。8週間前まで私はツイートした事がなかった。ツイートを始めることにより新しい人びとに会い色々な事に関して読んだり最新イベント情報を得た。ユニークなハンドメイド製品を売る    ユニークLAというイベントに先週末行った。LAダウンタウンにあるカリフォルニアマートで開催されたこのイベントは私のツィッターフォロワーの宝石デザイナージェラローソンウッドワードさんから知った。彼女は自作販売していた。展示会場は一つしか無いようなユニークな品を


Honey My Heart


Tomoro Pottery


Minion Me




Yuki Fujita

Hepp’s Salt Company

もっと他の店を見られる時間があると良かったが 次回8月8日、9日にユニークLAサマーイベントがあるので幸いだ。


Featured post

Westside Family YMCA To Be Torn Down to Build 73 Residential Units

May 17, 2015

Rendering of 1947 Sawtelle Project

Rendering of 1947 Sawtelle Project

Exterior of Westside YMCA

Exterior of Westside Family YMCA

The following article was co-authored by Steven Sharp, editor of the Urbanize LA blog.  For more information on the latest Los Angeles urban development projects, visit Urbanize.LA and follow Urbanize LA on twitter @ubranizela.

CA Landmark Group (CLG), a Los Angeles-based real estate developer, has purchased the Westside Family YMCA at 1947 Sawtelle Boulevard with the intention of building a residential-retail complex on the site.  Plans filed with Department of City Planning call for a five-story structure featuring 73 residential units and 7,700 square feet of ground floor commercial space.  The YMCA will relocate to a new 60,000-square-foot facility near the University High School campus.

CLG’s mixed-use plan on Sawtelle is consistent with current zoning and will bring new rental housing, including below-market affordable units to West Los Angeles.  The company has more than 25 years of development experience on the Westside.  Since submitting plans to the city last year, CLG has been reached out to neighbors seeking feedback on the project through an ongoing series of monthly mixers.

The Sawtelle project is being designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios with a contemporary architectural theme similar to buildings in modern day Tokyo.  Plans call for a plaza at the corner of Sawtelle and La Grange Avenue, flanked by cherry blossom trees.  The building’s height profile will gradually pare down to a series of two-story townhomes as it approaches the adjacent single-family zone to the west.

Construction of the residential-retail complex is anticipated to begin in mid-2016, with delivery tentatively scheduled for one year afterwards.

Google Map View of YMCA Site

Google Map View of YMCA Site


ロスアンジェルスの不動産開発会社CA LANDMARK GROUP(CLG) 1947 SAWTELLE BOULEVARD にあるウエストサイドYMCAを住宅と商業施設建築の為購入した。 都市計画書には5階建て73戸の住宅と7,700スクエアーフィートの一階商業施設が建てられると登録されている。YMCAはユニバーシティー高校のキャンパス近隣に6,000スクエアーフィートの施設として転居する。




The Westside Family YMCA is located at 1947 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025


Featured post

Tsujita LA Annex Artisan Noodles

May 13, 2015

Tsujita LA Annex Exterior

Tsujita LA Annex Exterior

By Kristie Hang*

Sawtelle has never had a shortage of authentic ramen houses, but Tsujita has always been deserving of the ramen powerhouse spotlight. In fact, Tsujita has been so popular that there are two branches almost directly across from each other on Sawtelle. If you ask ramen aficionados, each will have their own Tsujita preference since the food is very different at both. I personally prefer Tsujita Annex over the original Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle location. Here’s why…

BBQ Pork Tsukemen

BBQ Pork Tsukemen

Pork Broth

Pork Broth

The BBQ Pork Tsukemen or dipping noodles is the most popular dish to order at Annex. The cha siu BBQ pork melts in your mouth and is very tender. The most obvious difference is that the ramen noodles at the Annex location are much thicker, roughly twice as thick than the ones at Artisan.

For those unfamiliar with Tsukemen, it’s like the ramen version of zaru soba. In essence, the hot ramen noodles come in a bowl alongside a separate bowl of soup. The noodles are eaten after being dipped in the broth. The shoyu/tonkotsu broth they use for Annex’s broth has a sweet and vinegary flavor whereas Artisan uses the salty broth. The broth at Annex is filled with layers of delicious pork fat. It packs much more flavor. Most importantly, Annex’s broth comes out piping hot unlike the lukewarm broth from the original location.

Putting the noodles in the dipping sauce

Putting the noodles in the dipping sauce

Annex also serves up tonkotsu shoyu (soy sauce) ramen while the original Artisan location does not. They also have different condiments for their noodles. Each table is stocked with freshly minced garlic, black pepper, and Japanese chili powder (onikasu). Aside from typical shortcomings such as being cash only and having meter only parking, Tsujita Annex almost gets full marks for their food. I say almost because one of the most important toppings for a good ramen is a properly cooked soft boiled egg. Annex’s soft boiled egg is not consistent enough. When it’s done just right, the runny yolk is a delectable experience for the senses. There has been times when the egg has been slightly overcooked. The good thing is however, if the egg isn’t done right the staff will happily replace it for you until it’s done right. Another quip about Annex is that the tsukemen broth may be too rich for ramen traditionalists. If you’re used to typical ramen and have never had dipping-ramen, this may be overly flavorful for you. The best way to find out if it’s for you is to give it a try.

Overall, Tsujita Annex knows how to serve up an authentic bowl of BBQ pork Tsukemen that everyone should try. The lines out the door are warranted. Check them out!

* Contributing writer Kristie Hang is a globetrotting tv host, journalist, and food writer based in Los Angeles.



つじ田 アネックス







Tsujita Annex is located at:

2050 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025







Featured post

Monday Morning With Jack Fujimoto

May 10, 2015

Dr. Jack Fujimoto

Dr. Jack Fujimoto

By: Joel Epstein*

One of the best things about writing about Los Angeles and the West is the interesting people I get to meet and talk with about their lives. Today was no exception.

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Jack Fujimoto, a longtime resident of Sawtelle Japantown in West LA.

Sitting in a quiet corner at the back of Teddy’s Cafe at Pico and Bundy, Dr. Fujimoto generously shared his life story and wisdom in a free ranging conversation about Japanese Americans, life in the West and change.

At 87, Dr. Fujimoto is a picture of the clear minded octogenarian I hope to be someday. Born in 1928, Masakazu Jack Fujimoto was the first Asian American to serve as president of a major college or university in the mainland U.S. But as he shared with me, the job didn’t come easy, given the subtle discrimination that was part and parcel of the times in 1977 when he became president of Sacramento City College.

“I was in Kauai on vacation with my family when this guy from Sacramento called and said, ‘Would you like to be considered for the presidency?’ It was clear he wanted me to say no. But I came back from Kauai and interviewed and then interviewed again, and finally, I got a call from the only African American on the Board and he said, it’s yours.”

In spite of the subtle discrimination he experience in the hiring process, Jack is proud of what he achieved during his time at Sacramento City College. He points proudly to his support for gays and lesbians at the school (at a time when this was uncommon) and to a program he started for learning disabled students.

Born in National City to an Issei father and Nisei mother, Jack calls himself a second generation and a half Nisei. The oldest of six children, he grew up in the Encinitas and Cardiff areas where his father was a truck crop farmer selling peppers, tomatoes and lettuce. “He was basically a sharecropper because he couldn’t own land since he wasn’t a citizen.” One of only about a dozen Japanese Americans in his high school, Jack’s youth was rudely interrupted by Executive Order 9066.

The order which prescribed certain areas of the U.S. as military zones, was signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. It forced some 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans into internment at ten concentration camps in the interior in the West. “The order was signed February 19th and by May 19th I was in Poston Camp in Arizona. Poston was probably the largest of the camps. We were allowed to carry only two bags of hand luggage. What would you take, I used to ask my students? I was 13 years old. It was terribly traumatic.”

“At Poston the camp school was terrible. I had a teacher who we called Prune Face. She looked like a cartoon character from the time. But I got a good Japanese education and I also worked part-time at the camp in the motor pool, in the machine shop and sometimes we went off camp to Parker. I was pretty big and could take 60 pound blocks of ice and transfer the ice from  the train to semi-trucks that hauled the ice to Poston for refrigeration purposes. Another year I worked in agriculture picking watermelons. The best part was when you picked a watermelon and dropped it and got to eat it.”

Jack told me that there was some resistance to Executive Order 9066 from people like Fred Korematsu. And there was a lot of quiet, unsung resistance from those in the camps.

As much as he has been through, for Jack, one of the most important events in his life was “when my old man said I don’t expect you to follow me into farming. I wanted to be a teacher and I would have been a terrible farmer. I couldn’t make a living at it. I can teach but I can’t farm or garden.”

Despite his experience interned at Camp Poston from 1942 to 1945, Jack volunteered to serve in the U.S. military during the Korean War. After studying Japanese at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, and at a counter intelligence school in Baltimore, Jack traveled to Japan where he served from April 1950 to July 1952. “Those were terrible times, when North Korea invaded the south,” he told me. “I was one of the privileged ones, out of a unit of 15, I was able to stay in Japan during the war. I’d have had my tail shot off, the North Koreans decimated entire companies of soldiers.”

Japanese Institute of Sawtelle

Japanese Institute of Sawtelle (Photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

In 1952, Jack returned to California and settled in Sawtelle. “Under the McCarran-Walter Act my parents got naturalized so they could buy property. The tanomoshikō, a sort of credit union (or traditional Japanese mutual financial assistance group) helped a lot. Restrictive covenants were still in place and realtors would be careful what they showed you. When we were relocated to Poston, my parents left their house and everything to a Mexican employee. They lost everything. Other people knew to put their house in trust with the banks or groups like the Red Cross which took over the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle during the Executive Order. When I was in high school in Encinitas I was to be the star of the high school play. I lost that, but think about the guys who were at Berkeley and Stanford, a semester away from graduating, and they couldn’t graduate. It was traumatic for the young people. For everyone.”

About resistance to the Executive Order, Jack said “The Japanese American Citizen League told us to go to the camps. Others said no. Some moved east of Highway 99 but then they had to move again. Lots of Issei parents had no desire to stay in the U.S. Of the 120,000 who were interned the government probably paid reparations to only about 50,000 or 60,000 alive in 1990 (others put the figure at $1.6 billion in reparations to 82,219 Japanese Americans who had been interned and their heirs).”

Sawtelle Japantown Sign

Sawtelle Japantown Sign (Photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Regarding Sawtelle Japantown, Jack told me that for a long time he had thought about all of these Nisei and Sansei and the stories they have to tell about their lives in the neighborhood, in the camps and beyond. This idea gave birth to the oral history project at the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle. “Then last year some of the younger people said let’s create a [virtual presence for Sawtelle Japantown] that recognizes the historic Japanese character of the area.” Concurrently the group sought City Council recognition of the area bounded by Santa Monica Boulevard to the north, Pico Boulevard to the south, Centinela Avenue to the west and the 405 freeway to the east as “Sawtelle Japantown.” On February 25, 2015, the Council unanimously approved the designation.

With all the change taking place in Sawtelle Japantown, Jack hopes to see further efforts to recognize throughout the neighborhood, the contributions and experiences of Japanese Americans. One idea is to create a monument at the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle that commemorates the spot from which Japanese and Japanese Americans were gathered in 1942 for their transfer to the internment camp at Manzanar.

Discussing the transformation of popular Sawtelle Japantown, Jack points to the increased densification and the decline of Japanese American institutions like Troop 39 of the Boy Scouts of America and the Bay Cities Gardeners’ Association. It is also no secret that there are plans to build housing on the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle site as well as two adjacent properties. All the more reason, in Jack’s view, for the community to push for a memorial to the deportees of Executive Order 9066, and preservation and beautification efforts like the planting of cherry blossoms (sakura) along Sawtelle Boulevard. As Jack relates in his 2007 book on Sawtelle Japantown, it was local residents like Miyoko Shimahara who in 1994 initiated the campaign to import sakura for the beautification of Stoner Park.

I don’t always love Mondays but Jack Fujimoto made this one special. Thank you Jack for sharing your story and for the history lesson.

*Contributing writer Joel Epstein is a writer and communications strategist for business, government and non-profit clients. His writing focuses on Los Angeles and the West. For more about Joel visit joelepstein.com.

Dr. Fujimoto interviewed at the Sawtelle Japantown renaming celebration

Dr. Fujimoto interviewed at the Sawtelle Japantown renaming celebration (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Dr. Fujimoto with West Los Angeles Neighborhood Chair Jay Handal

Dr. Fujimoto with West Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Chair Jay Handal at the Sawtelle Japantown Renaming Celebration (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)


ジョエル エプスタイン



ピコとバンデイの角にあるテデイズカフェ(Teddy”sCafe)の静かなコーナーで日系アメリカ人や ウエストサイドの生活と変遷の人生の物語と知恵を自由に聞かせてくれた。

87歳の富士本博士はしっかりした心を持った私がいつかなりたい八十代だ。1928年生まれの富士本博士は初めてのアメリカ本土主要大学のアジア系 学長となった人だ。彼がサクラメントシティカレッジの学長になった1977年頃は希薄な差別が有り学長職は簡単に手に入らなかった。


希薄な偏見経験の中でも博士はサクラメントシテイカレッジ(Sacramento City College)で達成した事には誇りを持っている。ゲイとレスビアンを認めたこと(当時は稀なこと)障害者への学びのプログラムを始めた事等だ。

博士は一世の父と二世の母を持ちナショナルシテイ(National City)で誕生。自分の事をニ世半と呼ぶ。六人兄妹の長男でエンシニタス(Encinitas)やカルディス(Cardiff)地域で育った。そこで父はペパー、トマト、レタスをトラックから売る小作人で私の高校の日系人十二人程の国籍が無いため土地を持て無い中の一人だった。博士の青春は大統領の行政命令9066により中断された。






1952年にカリフォルニアに戻りソーテルに定着した。両親はマクカラン、ウオルター条例により市民権を得土地を購買できた。Tanomoshikō という経済の日本人互助会が大いに助けになった。まだ買える場所に制限があり不動産屋は見せる場所に気ずかっていた。ポストンに移住した時両親は家や全ての物をメキシコ人の使用人に預けたが全てを失った。他の人々は銀行やレッドクロスに信任する事を知っていた。


行政命令に対しての抵抗に関しては ジャパニーズアメリカンリーグはキャンプ行きを提唱他のグループは反対した。他の場所に移る人もいたが大変ではあった。一世は在米意欲が無くなり収容された12万人のうち国が補償金を払ったのは1990年生存者5,6万人でしょう。(他の数計は1.6ビリオンを82、219人の収容者やその家族に支払ったというものもある。)



変遷とともに街は混み合っている一方39ボーイスカウト,ベイシテイガードナーアソシエーション等は後退していると博士は語る。ソーテル日本協会と隣の二つの土地に住宅が建つ予定もある。博士の気持ちとしては 収容所に行った人々への記念碑建立、ソーテルブルバードにサクラなど植え地域を美化する事等地域住民が頑張り早急にやるべきと感じている。2007年博士著ソーテルジャパンタウンに記されているが地元民島原みよこ氏は1994年に桜の苗を日本より輸入しストーナーパーク(Stoner Park) の美化をはじめた。


Joel Epsteinは作家、ビジネス、政府、非営利団体のコミニュケーションストラテジスト。彼はロスアンジェルス、ウエスト中心に書く。彼の情報はjoelepstein.com.。


Featured post

1/3 Cut Nori (Seaweed) / 1/3 カット海苔

May 7, 2015


Front and Back of Mizyuniya 1/3 Cut Nori

Front and Back of Mizyuniya 1/3 Cut Nori

I am always looking for items which make my life a little bit more convenient.  I buy the Yakinori 1/3 Size by Mikuniya.  There are 15 sheets of nori in one package. You can wrap the nori onto an onigiri or eat it on its own.  You don’t have to hassle with cutting the larger sheets of nori.  You can find this Nori at Nijiya for $5.99. It’s pricey, but worth it for me to pay this amount for the good taste and quality, and best of all not having to hassle with cutting the larger sheets.

Nori on a Onigiri (Rice Ball)

Nori on a Onigiri (Rice Ball)

1/3 カット海苔

私はいつも利便性をかんがえています。ニジヤマーケットで売っている三国屋1/3サイズ焼き海苔15枚入りを愛用しています。お握りに巻いたりそのままいただけます。海苔の味はとても美味しくパリッと噛み切れお値段は高めですがハサミをその度に出さなくてよいし 高品質を考えるとおすすめお便利商品です。

Mizuniya Nori Full Size Sheet

Mizuniya Nori Full Size Sheet

Nijiya Japanese Food Market is located at:

2130 Sawtelle Blvd., #105, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (in the Sawtelle Place strip mall)

Featured post

Prime Minister Abe Visit to Los Angeles and Meeting Yoshiki / 安倍首相昼食会 – Yoshiki 氏

May 3, 2015

Prime Minister Abe

Prime Minister Abe (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Prime Minister Abe Luncheon (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Prime Minister Abe Luncheon (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

On May 1, 2015, I attended a luncheon at the Biltmore Millennium Hotel with special guest Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.  Abe’s visit to Los Angeles was a last stop of his US tour, which included a speech in English to a joint session of Congress,  a first for a Japanese Prime Minister.

I am a member of the Japan America Society of Southern California, an organization which was a co-host of the event and gave members an opportunity to purchase tickets.  The event which had a capacity of 750 seats sold out in 30 minutes.

Mayor Eric Garcetti who provided the introduction speech for Abe expressed his fondness of Japan and stated that he studied at Tamagawa Gakuin when he was a high school student.  Garcetti pointed out that Los Angeles has deep ties to Japan with 250,000 persons of Japanese descent living in Los Angeles and 650,000 visitors coming to Los Angeles from Japan each year.

Prime Minister Abe Los Angeles Visit

Prime Minister Abe Speaking of “Abenomics” (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Abe spoke of several hot topic issues including a new defense cooperation agreement with the United States and his views on the three arrows of “Abenomics”: fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms  to open the economy.  Abe was specifically asked about the third arrow of structural reform and whether it will succeed and he responded, “I am often criticized about the third arrow, that it has missed its target.  However, I will tell you this, I was a member of my university’s archery team, so my arrow will definitely hit the target.”

What was refreshing about Abe’s speech was the light-hearted comments he interjected in his speech in addition to providing insights on his background and interests.

Some insights that stood out to me were:

  • Abe attended the University of Southern California (USC) as a foreign student for 2 years in the late 70s.
  • Abe is a fan of Hollywood movies and watching DVDs is a form of distressing after he has been grilled by opposition lawmakers.
  • Abe’s favorite move is the Graduate and one of the things he enjoyed doing as a student at USC is to visit locations where the Graduate was filmed.
  • Abe’s grandfather Nonbusuke Kishi, the Prime Minister of Japan in the 50s, stayed at the same Biltmore Millennium Hotel when he visited Los Angeles as Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Abe Seated Next to US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Prime Minister Abe Seated Next to US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Additionally, I was surprised that Abe actually sat at the head table to have lunch and socialized with guests.  Abe was seated next to the US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.  I’ve been to other events with high-profiled speakers and the speaker usually comes to give the speech and leaves.  Abe allowed photos with guests and even stood up to talk to certain guests.   The luncheon felt intimate and provided special access to a high political official.

Japanese Mega Artist Yoshiki in Attendance (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Japanese Mega Artist Yoshiki in Attendance (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Yoshiki Attended the Prime Minister Abe Luncheon

Another highlight of the luncheon was meeting Japanese musician Yoshiki.  Yoshiki was in attendance as an invited guest.  Yoshiki is a “mega star” in Japan and has also established himself professionally in the United States (he wrote a score for the Golden Globe Awards).   He graciously allowed guests to approach him and take photos with him, which is unthinkable to do in Japan due to his immense popularity.  We briefly chatted with Yoshiki and he said that he has visited Sawtelle Japantown from time to time.

Now if I see Abe on television, I will think of him differently from the insights that I gleaned from the luncheon.  And my encounter with Yoshiki was an extra bonus!

 Yoshiko graciously allowed guests to approach him and take a photo (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Yoshiki graciously allowed guests to approach him and take a photo (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)


2015年5月1日ビルトモアミレニアムホテルで開催された日本の首相安倍晋三氏を主賓とする昼食会に参加した。歴代首相として初めて上院下院議会で英語で演説をした後 ロスアンジェルスは首相の今外遊の最終訪問地となった。






首相は70年代 USCに 2年間留学した。


首相の一番好きな映画は卒業(THE GRADUATE)でUSC時代にはこの映画の撮影現場を訪ねるのを楽しんだ。






The Meal Served at the Luncheon

The Meal Served at the Luncheon – Beef with Shitake mushroom and shiso (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Nisei Week Queen Tori Nishinaka-Leon presented Mrs. Abe with flowers. (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

Nisei Week Queen Tori Nishinaka-Leon presented Mrs. Abe with flowers. (photo by SawtelleJapantown.com)

For more photos from Prime Minister Abe’s Luncheon, go to SawtelleJapantown.com’s Facebook Page.

Please follow us on Twitter for the latest information on SawtelleJapantown.com.

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Photo by Jay Terauchi

Kogi Truck / コギ

April 29, 2015

By Jay Terauchi*

It all began here . . .

If you’re a follower of gourmet food trucks, I’m sure you’ve heard of Chef Roy Choi and the Kogi Truck. The gourmet food truck trend and social media phenomenon began with the Kogi truck. Not only did they create a new food category, but also a new menu items not seen before.

Chef Roy Choi said that his food tastes like If you think about creating menu items that represent Los Angeles and it’s food culture, Chef Roy hit it right on the head.  A taco which has a Korean short-rib filling and served with a Mexican/Asian sauce.

Photo by Jay Terauchi

Photo by Jay Terauchi

They began with one truck and Twitter back in 2008.  Today, there are 4 Kogi trucks servicing Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Photo by SawtelleJapantown.com

Photo by SawtelleJapantown.com

So, how do you know when the Kogi truck is in Sawtelle Japantown?

kogi4Check the Kogi Truck website for days and times for service at Sawtelle.


Usually, Thursday evenings 10pm – 11 pm on Sawtelle Blvd at Mississippi Ave. (Check website for actual schedule)

Just look for the line…

Kogi Truck Menu Not your typical taco truck cuisine. Photo by Jay Terauchi

Kogi Truck Menu
Not your typical taco truck cuisine.
Photo by Jay Terauchi

Now, what to order?

Photo by Jay Terauchi

Photo by Jay Terauchi

A chicken taco and short-rib taco (signature taco). The chicken is marinated in a ginger soy marinate before being grilled.  The short-rib is a double caramelized Korean barbecue short-rib, with a salsa roja (made from Korean and Mexican chillies).  Both taco are served with their cilantro-onion-lime relish and chili soy Kogi slaw, served over two corn tortillas.

The Short-Rib taco which started it all!

kogi8Short-Rib Burrito with the same short-rib as in their tacos, shredded cheese, chopped onions, cilantro, chopped romaine, and cabbage lettuce tossed in their Korean chili-soy vinaigrette. This is a personal favorite of mine. When I think of food trucks in the morning, I think of breakfast burritos.

Kogi doesn’t make a breakfast burrito, but they sure make a great short-rib one.

Photo by Jay Terauchi

Photo by Jay Terauchi

Kogi Kimchi Quesadilla with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses and caramelized, buttered kimchi.

The quesadilla is topped with their classic salsa roja and sesame seeds.

When I first saw this on the menu,

I thought “what?”

After I tried it, I really enjoyed it. It does have a kick, so if you’re not into spicy, you may want to avoid this one.

Photo by Jay Terauchi

Photo by Jay Terauchi

Kogi Sliders

(two per order)

with short-rib, sesame mayo, cheese, salsa rona and a cabbage-ramaine slaw tossed in a chili soy vinaigrette on toasted buns.

This is just like their tacos but on a bun.

Photo by Jay Terauchi

Photo by Jay Terauchi

Blackjack Quesadilla with caramelized onions and spicy pork together with melting cheddar and jack cheeses and topped with a citrus-jalapeno-roasted-garlic salsa verde.

I liked this one over the kimchi quesadilla. Maybe because of the spicy pork and onions.  The kimchi one is spicier, but I like citrus so maybe the reason why Iliked this one better.  Either way,you can’t go wrong.

My first visit to the Kogi truck was back in 2008,I waited with 100 other people.  The truck was late, I checked Twitter and saw that they were stuck in traffic. By the time we got our food, we had waited about 2 hours, but the food was different (in a good way).

Still today, the short-rib burrito is my favorite item. The Kogi Truck, it’s something you need to do at least once.  Just look for the line…

* Contributing writer Jay Terauchi is a chef and marketing wiz.   Jay publishes the food blog jayeats.com.


グルメフードトラックの愛用者ならシェフロイチョイ(Roy Choi) のコギ(Kogi)トラックをご存知でしょう。コギフードトラックからグルメトラックとソーシャルメディア現象のトレンドがはじまった。.



2008年に一台のトラックで初め今では四台でロスアンジェルスとオレンジ郡を回っている。コギトラックがソーテルジャパンタウン近くに来る日と時間はwww.kogibbq.comで調べてください。だいたい木曜日 10pm-11pmソーテルブルバードとミシシッピーーアベニューの角(ウエブサイトで調べたほうが確か)注文は何?


チキンはグリルする前に生姜醤油に付け込まれグリルされる。ショートリブは韓国風 バーベキューソースに付け込まれてグりルされる。サルサベルデ(メキシコと韓国の唐辛子)添え。両方のタコスには二枚のコーンタコスとパクチー、玉ねぎ、ライムのレリッシュと辛子 しょうゆ味のスローがつく。











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Daiso Bento Supplies / ダイソーお弁当用品

April 27, 2015

Bento supplies at Daiso

Bento supplies at Daiso

Rice Balls or Onigiri holders

Rice Balls or Onigiri holders

My daughter attends a Japanese preschool on Sawtelle and I need to make a Japanese bento for her to take to school.  Bento making for mothers in Japan is a big deal, and my bento lunches would get a failing grade in Japan.  Luckily, I live in the states and I can make a simple lunch using bento “accessories” sold at Daiso without any judgments from teachers or other mothers.  They have cute paper muffin cups and toothpicks to give my bentos some flairDaiso has a great bento section and all items are $1.50!

Baking cups

Baking cups



娘はソーテルにあるプリスクールへ私の作るお弁当を持って通ってます。日本のお母様方は素晴らしいお弁当作りをしていられるので 私のシンプルなのでは落第です。運よくアメリカに住んでいるのでダイソーで売っているお弁当アクセサリーを使い作っています。可愛いマッフィンカップや各種のようじをは 可愛いお弁当を作るにに役立っています’。ダイソーには お弁当用品売り場があり皆$1.50で売っています。

Bento lunch

Bento lunch

Daiso is located at:

2130 Sawtelle Blvd. Ste. 112 Los Angeles, CA 90025 (in the Sawtelle Place strip mall) www.daisojapan.com


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Hurry Curry of Tokyo / ハリーカレートーキョー (Japanese Curry)

April 23, 2015

Exterior of Hurry Curry of Tokyo

Exterior of Hurry Curry of Tokyo

By Malcolm Johnson*

We’re here at Hurry Curry of Tokyo celebrating their anniversary.  Twenty-five years in operation.  One of the oldest continuing businesses in Sawtelle Japantown.

So I’m sure you’re looking at the name of the restaurant, Hurry Curry of Tokyo, and I’m sure some of you are saying to yourself…Curry…Japan?  Really?

Well, believe it or not, Curry is one of the most popular dishes in Japan.  According to Wikipedia:

Curry was introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868–1912) by the British, at a time when India was under their administration. The dish became popular and available for purchase in supermarkets and restaurants in the late 1960s. It has been adapted since its introduction to Japan, and is so widely consumed that it can be called a national dish.

So needless to say, the adaptations have made Japanese Curry taste differently than what you’d expect from Indian Curry, and that’s okay. Some adaptations work, and some don’t, and what I’ve had of Japanese Curry works.

Interior of Hurry Curry of Tokyo

Interior of Hurry Curry of Tokyo

The restaurant itself, Hurry Curry of Tokyo, is pretty causal all things considered.  Aside from some nice wall art, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve wanted into a nice Pizza joint.  But atmosphere and decor are not what you’re here for.  You’re here for some good ol’ fashioned Japanese comfort food, and good ol’ fashioned Japanese comfort food is what you’ll get.

The Waitstaff are friendly and energetic.  If you’re wandering in for the first time, curious about Japanese Curry, they’re available to help, but for me, I’d say don’t be afraid to dive in.  You know the components, good Pork Cutlets, Chicken, and Spaghetti.  You may just not used to seeing them in this configuration.

WHAT SHOULD I GET?: There’s a lot of good stuff I’d like to try here, but I saw the words “Pork” and “Cutlet” and that was pretty much that.

Tofu Salad "Hiyayakko" at Hurry Curry of Tokyo.

Tofu Salad “Hiyayakko” at Hurry Curry of Tokyo.

But to start, we also got the Tofu Salad “Hiyayakko”, which is sliced firm Tofu sprinkled with a mixture of diced bell pepper, onion and radish, garnished with daikon sprouts and drizzled with special sweet soy vinaigrette.  This was a nice light kick off to the meal.

The Beef Croquettes at Hurry Curry of Tokyo.

The Beef Croquettes at Hurry Curry of Tokyo.

After that, my Classic Croquettes arrive.  These are two patties of mashed Russet Potatoes, diced onions, and lean Ground Beef, encrusted with a crunchy Panko coating and quickly fried. served piping hot with Tonkastu sauce.  These were lovely, though huge.  The Croquettes reminded me of Cuban ones, but these were much bigger, Hamburger Patty sized big.  The Croquettes plus the Tonkastu is fabulous, but fills you up faster than you think.

The House Salad at Hurry Curry of Tokyo.

The House Salad at Hurry Curry of Tokyo.

Right after that, a small snack-sized salad arrived with the House Vinaigrette dressing.

Needless to say, I had trouble finishing off my Pork Cutler Curry because…man this is a lot of food.

Pork Katsu Curry

Pork Katsu Curry

The Pork Cutlet Curry is a tender hand trimmed pork loin breaded in panko bread crumbs and fried till it’s golden brown.  And of course, it’s served a sweet plum curry, which is…you know…kind of the whole point.  The Pork Cutlet was tasty, and the Curry made it more so.  Still, for the uninitiated (of which I’m a member), the sensations send your brain scrambling in a bunch of different directions.  You think Curry, and start to expect that savory, spicy taste on your tongue and get plum and sweet instead.

So let’s make this clear, Hurry Curry of Tokyo is doing it’s job right.  You, Food Blogger man (that’d be me), need to sample more Japanese Curry so you can get good at this.

Disclosure: Hurry Curry provided the meal gratis, however, the opinion is my own.

* Contributing blog writer Malcolm Johnson is the publisher of the food blog Is It Any Good?


ソーテルジャパンタウンでビジネスを長い間継続しているハリーカレーの25周年記念があり 私たちも参加した。ハリーカレートーキョーという名前を見てカレーと日本が結びつかない方もいらしゃるでしょう。


明治時代(1868-1912)インドが英国の植民地時代に英国から紹介され日本で 食されるようになった。1960年代にはカレーがスーパーマーケットでも売られレストランでも出された。国中に広がり愛され国民食の一つとなった。

言うまでもなく日本版カレーはインドのものとは異なるので好き好きがありますが 私は美味しいと思う。

ハリーカレージャパンはカジュアルな店で 素敵な壁のアートをのぞけば質の良いピザパーラーにいる感じもするがここには純日本式心暖まるお食事がある。







公表 食事はハリーカレートーキョーより無料で提供されたが上記の記事は私の意見だ。

Japanese style spaghetti is also available

Japanese style spaghetti is also available

Hurry Curry of Tokyo is located at:

2131 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Featured post

Star Wars Celebration / スターワーズセラブレション

April 20, 2015

Sold Out Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California

Sold Out Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California

Darth Vadar and Storm Trooper heading to the Star Wars Celebration

Darth Vadar and Storm Trooper heading to the Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars Celebration, the ultimate convention for Star Wars fans occurred at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim,  California from April 16 th – 19th.  This event featured speakers by those involved with the Star Wars franchise, autograph sessions from actors in the movies, Jedi training session, cosplay contests, and exhibitors of officially licensed Star Wars merchandise.  One of the highlights of the convention was the release of the new Star Wars “The Force Awakens” movie trailer which is scheduled to release this winter.

Princess Leia Cosplay

Princess Leia Cosplay

The event was sold out and the convention floor was packed with people of all ages who grew up watching the original movies and the next generation of fans who have come to know the new Star Wars movies or various animation spin offs.  Many people wore elaborate costumes from the movie or created cross over costumes that involved some element of Star Wars with other themes.

Star Wars Celebration exhibitors that caught my eye:


Attendees building Lego bricks for large Darth Vadar display

Attendees building Lego bricks for large Darth Vadar display

Lego Masters Builders building large Darth Vadar display

Lego Masters Builders building large Darth Vadar display

Final Darth Vadar made out of Legos

Final Darth Vadar made out of Legos

Lego had a central exhibitor space where convention attendees helped built a large replica of Darth Vadar made completely out of Legos.  There were instructions for attendees to make the bricks which master Lego builders used to make the final Darth Vadar.


Kotobukiya's display of Storm Trooper Figures

Kotobukiya’s display of Storm Trooper Figures

Storm Trooper Sandwich Maker

Storm Trooper Sandwich Maker

Light Up Light Saber Chopsticks

Light Up Light Saber Chopsticks

Kotobukiya is a manufacturer of science fiction, comic, movie and video games figures from Japan and makes an entire collection of Star Wars toys.  They had an impressive display of hundreds of Storm Trooper figures.  In addition to toys, Kotobukiya sells light up light saber chopsticks in various colors, an R2-D2 ice tray mold and the Storm Trooper sandwich maker.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

ANA R2-D2 Dreamliner Plane

ANA R2-D2 Dreamliner Plane

ANA Partnership with Star Wars

ANA Partnership with Star Wars

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) has launched a five-year Star Wars Project that includes a new R2-D2 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.  The R2-D2 plane is scheduled to fly international routes this fall, but the airline has not confirmed the exact route it will fly at the time of the Star Wars partnership announcement.  More details on the Star Wars Project can be found on ANA’s website dedicated to the partnership.

Rubie’s Costumes

Japanese Inspired Star Wars Cross Over Costumes

Japanese Inspired Star Wars Cross Over Costumes

Rubies’ Costume sells various Star Wars costumes of characters from the Star Wars movies. They also sell unique cross over costumes which include elements of Star Wars.  In particular, I noticed the Japanese inspired Samurai Warrior and Kimono Feudal Darth Vadar costumes.

Sawtelle Japantown Stores Selling Star Wars Merchandise

To connect this story to Sawtelle Japantown, two stores in Sawtelle Japantown carry Star Wars merchandise:

Giant Robot (2015 Sawtelle Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025): Star Wars notecards and books

Tokyo Outlet (2109 Sawtelle Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025): Star Wars keychains, Kotobukiya’s R2D2 ice tray molds, and hand towels.

スターワーズ セラブレション

4月16日から19日にカリフォルニアのアナハイムコンベンションセンターにてファンにとって究極のスターワーズセレブレーションコンベンションが開催された。このイベントではスターワーズ関係者によるスピーチ、出演者サイン会、ジェディトレーニングクラス、コスプレコンテスト、スターワーズライセンス付き製品公開等が催された。イベントのハイライトはこの冬上映される新作 The Force Awakens(ザフォースアウェイクン)で使われたトレーラーだ。












ジャイアントロボット  スターワーズカード、スターワーズの本

東京アウトレット    スターワーズキーチェーン、R2D2製氷機、ハンドタオル

Go to SawtelleJapantown’s Facebook Page for more photos from Star Wars Celebration.

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Little Osaka Ousted, In Its Place: Sawtelle Japantown / リトル大阪の名前はソーテルジャパンタウンに追い出された

April 16, 2015

Publisher’s Note: This post written by Giant Robot and GR2 owner Eric Nakamura was first published in You Offend Me You Offend My Family (YOMYOMF) here.  Eric and YOMYOMF graciously allowed SawtelleJapantown.com to reprint the post for our readers.


By Eric Nakamura

The perimeter of blocks surrounding the West Los Angeles area featuring the busy “Sawtelle,” “Sawtelle Corridor,” or “Little Osaka,” is no longer named any of these, it’s now Sawtelle Japantown. On Sunday, March 29th, Sawtelle and Olympic Blvds became the site host for the unveiling of the Sawtelle Japantown designation. From that corner up to Santa Monica Blvd, where a second sign will guide southbound drivers, the confusion of neighborhood names will no longer exist.

Growing up in the area, the name was always “Sawtelle.” It would be used like: “Let’s go eat on Sawtelle.” Where in LA do you live? Depending on whom you’re speaking with (a Japanese American), your answer could be: “Sawtelle.” They’d know what that is. If not, the other answer was, “West LA,” although West LA is a much wider area, as much as Sawtelle is a much longer street. Yet, as a youth, “West LA” was “Sawtelle,” and “Sawtelle” was the neighborhood surrounding the Japanese / Japanese American area just north of Olympic Blvd.

sawtelle2My History on Sawtelle

Sawtelle was where I attended Japanese School, Buddhist Temple, YMCA, and day care. In the area was my grandparents’ house, my parents’ past home, where my father worked (at T and T Service Station) — and it’s the area where my parents met. The story goes something like this: my mother and her sister’s car broke down about a ten minute walk away. My father went to help and that’s where they met. I believe he told them that their car was a p.o.s.

I’ve lived just blocks from Sawtelle Blvd for 14 years and that’s where Giant Robot magazine was made —Sawtelle Blvd was where I opened Giant Robot Store in 2001 and GR2 Gallery in 2003. I’ve had gr/eats restaurant for seven years and even kept an office on the block for a few years. At one time, I had four leases on the block, and a home nearby. I still work out of the “home office,” and I’m on Sawtelle five days a week. It’s my life right now.


The Changes

Many remark that I’ve seen the changes, and it’s true that I’ve seen the changes in the last three years, but I’ve also seen changes in the last 14 which that most don’t recognize. Imagine the block when Giant Robot moved in. What was there? You’d have an entirely different picture and perspective of the area. It would be completely unrecognizable. Knowing the area, it would be somewhat easy to say that the change from 1981 to 2001 would amount to a tiny change in comparison from 2001 on, and perhaps 2012 to now is even faster. The word change for the purposes of my experiences are always about the street of Sawtelle, not the surrounding area or “community.”

Yet one thing that hasn’t changed as much, except for the clientele, is the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle, which hosts Japanese School, Judo, Kendo, and plenty of after school programs for kids — and the religious facilities in the area, notably the Buddhist Temple, whichhosts The Obon, and the Methodist Church, who hosts events that are not frequented by typical Sawtelle visitors, but by the remaining Japanese American “community.” I once thought their participation on the street of Sawtelle was extremely lacking but behind the scenes there’s still something strong that has an incredibly dubious future once the “elders” no longer participate. It can slow down dramatically.

Another question I get is about my opinion about the change. I’m aware that Giant Robot went from being the newest business, bringing plenty of press and energy into the area, to now being a business that’s been here so long that people have little knowledge of our history. It’s about fighting for parking and getting a bowl of ramen. It’s become a youthful food area, filled with tasty and savory meals — that will kill you. The entrepreneurs who moved in just a few years ago brought on an onslaught of change. The area went from being neighborly to being strangers. The “community” is now a battle for the dollar. As I now describe the street, it’s “every person for themselves.” Gone are the days when we’d care even just a little about our fellow competitor’s health — now we don’t even know who they are.

Then, to the chagrin of the upstart entrepreneurs, came the latest new business, Lemonade. The “corporate brand” moves in and the neighborhood immediately turns to yet a newer direction. The food revisionist businesses are now threatened just a bit, and the change appears to be exponential. There’s no stopping it. In a few years, we’ll see more corporate entities. Perhaps that’s why the “tribal elders” decided it was time to get a designation. In a short span, the street went from being Japanese or Japanese American owned to an area where “we” are a minority. In fact, I’m willing to guess that there are fewer Japanese American owned businesses on Sawtelle than Japanese owned, who are already outnumbered by everyone else. On top of that, how many businesses are owned by corporations whose officers are not from the area at all? The street isn’t owned by the neighbors, it’s owned by the dollar.

Ayako Masada, Jack Fujimoto, Randy Sakamoto, Hank Iwamoto, Marlene Sakamoto, Randall Fujimoto, Councilmember Mike Bonin

Ayako Masada, Jack Fujimoto, Randy Sakamoto, Hank Iwamoto, Marlene Sakamoto, Randall Fujimoto, Councilmember Mike Bonin

What’s in a Name?

I’ve been asked about my feelings about the name “Sawtelle Japantown.” After a lifetime of knowing it as another name, and then hearing later iterations, it’s a welcome change. I’ve been asked about Little Osaka numerous times and, although I’d hate to take credit for it, I said it about 12 or so years ago on a whim in an LA Weekly article. If I’m responsible for that name, I apologize. I’m not necessarily a fan of Osaka — I prefer Tokyo, and it’s something that shouldn’t have stuck.

Yet the big question is what’s in a name? What does this mean for the future? Will there be a quota of Japanese themed or owned businesses? It’s been said that it’s up to the landlords, many of who actually care, but ultimately will be governed by economics. Can anyone control to whom they give leases or to whom they can sell their property? These are the questions going forward. Now that a name is essentially branding the area, the next phase is to live up to it. Can “we?”


This past Sunday at noon, a decent sized group gathered at the corner of Sawtelle and Olympic. LA Councilman Mike Bonin, Consul General ofJapan Harry H. Horinouchi, and a group of locals (I’m continuing by joke referring to them as “tribal elders”), who worked hard to get the name designation got together and presented the new sign. It was warm and people’s spirits were exceptionally high. There was as many smiles, clapping, and cheering as I’ve ever seen on the street. It was a great day for the locals, many who’ve been here for their entire lives. I actually believe that their gift to the area is this sign and designation. It’s huge. It’ll outlive us all and in a way, preserves a legacy for future generations to figure out. 

Although it didn’t ruin the joyfulness of that moment, I couldn’t help but notice an employee from Lemonade shamelessly step up in front of everyone, media, cameras, and the Sawtelle Japantown sign to hand a branded cold drink to Consul General Horinouchi to hold during the photo op. Even a pristine and historical designation event got branded by the largest new business — one that’s completely not Japanese or Asian at all. It was a tactless yet “business-wise” move and shows clearly where the street is at.

Later in the afternoon, in front of GR2, I helped save two baby birds with some help. After seeing one get hit by a car and miraculously survive, we scooped them into a cardboard box with signs saying to leave them alone. Hundreds walked by and did the opposite. Some even questioned why they were in a box rather than, I suppose, being left alone to be further run over by cars. The street isn’t about helping, taking action, and being neighborly like the neighborhood it once was — it’s respectfully and perhaps rightfully about business, and that’s the biggest change of all. I’m up for this too, but I just need to stop caring too much.

Ironically, it took a person from Venice, Laura Lee to answer the call to take care of the bird. Today, it’s thriving.

Ironically, it took a person from Venice, Laura Lee to answer the call to take care of the bird. Today, it’s thriving.


ソーテル、ソーテル地帯、又はリトル大阪と呼ばれたこの周りの地域は新しくソーテルジャパンタウンと命名された。3月29日ソーテルとオリンピック道りの角、南端はサンタモニカの角にソーテルジャパンタウン(Sawtelle Japantown) という標識がかかげられこの周辺の呼び名がソーテルジャパンタウンと確定し名前の混乱は無くなった。命名式はソーテルとオリンピック道り角で行われた。

この街で育った者にとって名前はいつもソーテルだった。”ソーテルに食べに行こう”とか”どこに住んでいるのでいるの”とか 聞かれた時日系人に対してはソーテルと答え他の人々にはウエストLAと答えた。しかし若いころの自分にとってのウエストLAは常に日本人や日系人に囲まれたオリンピック道りの北側ソーテルの事だった。


ソーテルは私が日本語学校、仏教会、YMCA、保育園に通った場所であり 祖父母、両親の家や仕事場(T and T Service Station)又両親が出会った場所でもあった。その経緯は母と妹の車が壊れた時父が助けに行きオンボロ車だと言った場所でもある。



人々は私がこの街の変遷を知っていると言う。確かにこの3年の変化には目を見張るものがある。しかし皆は気ずいていないがこの14年間の変化も私は見ている。ジャイアントロボットが出店した頃のこの周辺は 今からは想像するのも難しい。1981年から2001年の周辺の変化は2001年以降のものとは見るに値しない位でまた2012年以後は目を見張るものがある。私の使う変化という言葉はソーテル道りだけのもので周りのコミニュテイの事ではない。

未だ変わらないのは 日本語学校、柔道、剣道、子供用放課後プログラムを持つJapanese Institute of Sawtelle(ソーテル日本協会)と 地域のお盆を主催する仏教寺院やソーテル道りの客は来ないが日系人が参加するメソジスト教会があり頑張って活動しているが現役が参加しなくなった時には失速しかねない。

よく聞かれる質問は変化についてどう思うかというものだ。ジャイアントロボットは新しいビジネスとしてプレスやエネルギーを地域に持たらしたが長年の時とともに歴史は薄れつつある。最近はパーキング探しに苦労し ラーメンを食べる場所として知られる。若者向け美味しい物を食べる評判の良い場所となった。数年前にやってきた起業家達が猛烈な変化を持たらした。近辺が隣人に親切な町から知らない人の町となった。コミュニティーは今やお金の戦の場となっている。今やこの通りは自分自身しかない。相手の事を思いやった日々は過去となり相手が誰かも判らなくなっている。


ソーテルジャパンタウンという名前の感想を聞かれるがこの呼び名は歓迎です。リトル大阪については私が付けたのでよく質問されます。12年ほど前LA WEEKLYの記事では私はもしリトル大阪という名が私の責任なら大阪より東京が好きなので無くなっても構いませんと答えた。





Featured post

Black Market LA / ブラック マーケット LA

April 13, 2015

Exterior of Black Market LA

Exterior of Black Market LA

Funky Totes

Funky Totes

Located on Sawtelle Boulevard, Black Market LA has become quite popular to local UCLA students and Generation Y.  In operation since 2000, the shop has evolved from being a high-end vintage shop to what it has become today – street wear that has a strong following in the LA marketplace.  It transformed in the way that it has in order to better reflect current customer demands and style trends in the area.  In addition, the market has been able to build up its store inventory.  Today it proudly carries several hundred coveted fashionable brands.  The market boasts for offering an incredible selection of kawaii that includes everything from limited edition T-shirts, household novelty items to adorable Snoopy collection.  A huge draw to the shop of course are the trendy clothing for both men and women that fill the racks beside funky jewelry and lifestyle shoes from modern brands such as Tom’s and Dolce Vita.

Tom's Shoes

Tom’s Shoes

Snoopy Collectibles

Snoopy Collectibles

Owner Jisook Lee has been able to take full advantage of having her shop in the Sawtelle neighborhood.  Lee has easily been able to mix art with fashion.  In addition, it is evident that the shop is heavily influenced by the current Asian trendy styles.  The shop carefully designs its window displays and this would most certainly impress the most seasoned art curator.  They are a must see.  In essence, the shop really has gotten it right, offering its clientele a unique perspective on what a lifestyle boutique should be.

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Graphic Tees

Graphic Tees

ブラック マーケット 

ソーテルブルバードにあるBlack Market LAはUCLAやGeneration Yの人々に人気のある店です。2000年に今やLA 市場では人気根強いストリートファッションとなっている高級ビンテージ衣服屋(古着屋としてはじめられためられた。客の要望で 店の在庫も増え続け現在は数百の女性、男性、子供用大人気フアッションブランドの製品を持つに至った。中には沢山のリミテッドエディションT シャツもある。店の一番人気商品は女性、男性用のトレンド感のある服でフアンキーなジュエリーや Tom’sDolce Vita の靴も置かれている。

Gift Items

Gift Items

088 (640x428) アジアの影響

オーナーはJisook Leeさんで店がソーテルに在るためアートとファションを合わせることが可能となりそこにはアジアの今のトレンドファションの影響が強く出されている。店のショーウインドウはアートキュレーターからも賞賛されそうな出来で一見必察。この店は客にLAのライフスタイル の有り方を見通させてくれる 本当の意味でのライフスタイルブチックと言える。



Black Market LA is located at:

2023 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Phone: (310) 966-1555

Hours of Operation:

Sunday-Friday: 10:30am to 9pm

Saturday: 10:30am to 10pm


Featured post

Osaka Residences I & II / 大阪住宅 I &II

April 9, 2015

Rendering of Completed Osaka Residences I & 2

Rendering of Completed Osaka Residences I & II

Osaka Residences I & 2 Exterior

Osaka Residences I & II Exterior

One of the new developments that has emerged in Sawtelle Japantown is the Osaka Residences 1 and II on the corner of Corinth and La Grange Avenue.  The Osaka Residences are 2 modern custom homes which are being built side by side by Sawtelle Japantown resident David Owen Taylor, who goes by the nickname “Dot”, and his contractor John Kwan, also a Sawtelle Japantown resident.   The architect for this project is Andres Cardenes of Cardenes and Associates.    The lot was previously owned by the YMCA.

Developer David Owen Taylor

Developer David Owen Taylor

Contractor John Kwan

Contractor John Kwan

Dot, who has been in the real estate business for years owning apartment buildings throughout Southern California, was chosen by the YMCA out of 20 developers after presenting the YMCA with an offer and plans on how he would develop the site. Osaka Residences I and II are each 3000 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths.  Each home will feature a custom kitchen with high end appliances, lime stone flooring, carrera marble bathrooms, white oak stairs and a roof top deck.  In addition, the homes will be energy efficient with solar panels on the roof and will be high tech “smart homes” with iPads controlling features within each home.

View of West LA Buddhist Temple

View of West LA Buddhist Temple

Space for Solar Panels

Space for Solar Panels

Rooftop Deck with View of Sawtelle

Rooftop Deck

The homes will be completed within 3 to 4 months.  Dot plans to list each home in the $2,000,000 range.

We will feature the completed Osaka Residences I & II in a future post for an exclusive first look for our SawtelleJapantown.com readers!

大阪住宅 I &II 

ソーテルジャパンタウンCorinthと La Grange Avenueの角に大阪j住宅 I & II が新築中です。2軒のモダンなカスタムホームは長年ソーテル在住のDotことDavid Owen Taylor氏とコントラクターJohn Kwan氏により建設されています。このプロジェクトの建築家はCardenes and Associates Andres Cardenes氏です。YMCA が土地保有者でしたが売買されることになりました。

White Oak Stairs

White Oak Stairs

Every Stair is Carefully Measured by Master Carpenter

Every Stair is Carefully Measured by a Master Carpenter



Floor layouts:

First Floor: scan8957

Second Floor: scan8956

For more photos of the Osaka Residences I and II go to SawtelleJapantown.com’s Facebook Page.

For more information on the homes, contact David Owen Taylor at:

dotyournot [@] gmail.com

The Osaka Residences I and II are located at:

11320 and 11322 La Grange Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Featured post

Daiso: The Japanese 99 Cent Store / ダイソー

April 5, 2015

Daiso Japan located in Sawtelle Place

Daiso Japan located in the Sawtelle Place Strip Mall

An Aisle at Daiso

An Aisle at Daiso

Daiso is the Japanese version of the 99 cent store. It’s fun browsing around the aisles and picking up things that can actually be very useful.   They have all kinds of items like kitchenware, stationery, kids’ items, beauty supplies, snacks, and craft supplies.  They also have seasonal items (e.g., Santa hats during Christmas and plastic eggs during Easter).  With most items priced at $1.50, it’s hard not to leave the store without picking up several items.  The checkout area is narrow and can be difficult to move around if there are people waiting in line.  Remember to bring your own bag as Daiso charges 10 cents a bag.  In future posts, we will feature “finds” at Daiso.

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Sewing Supplies

Sewing and Knitting Supplies


ダイソーは日本版99セントストアーです。お店をぶらつき便利な品物を見つけたり’することは楽しいです。台所用品、文房具、子供向け用品美容品、クラフトの材料等色々な品がそろっています。他にも季節限定品(クリスマス時にはサンタの帽子、イースターには卵等)が揃えられ来店する度にどうしても必要な品が見つかります。ほとんどの品は$1.50で数点の良いものはすぐ見つかります。お会計をする場所がたいへん狭くお客様が列になり並んでいる場合には 周辺の方たちは動きずらい場合もあります。マイバッグは必需品。お店の袋使用には 10セントかかります。



Craft Supplies

Craft Supplies

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Daiso Interior

Daiso Interior

2130 Sawtelle Blvd. Ste. 112 Los Angeles, CA 90025 (in the Sawtelle Place strip mall) www.daisojapan.com

Featured post

Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Rice Balls) / 焼きおにぎり

April 2, 2015

Yaki Onigiri

Yaki Onigiri

As a busy working mom, I am always looking for quick and easy snack options for my children.  The grilled rice balls by Nissui are my go-to snack which the kids love.  The rice balls have a soy sauce flavoring and come 6 to a pack.  It’s very easy to make – you just put one in the microwave for 2 minutes and then it’s done. You can find them in the frozen aisle at Nijiya Japanese Food Market and the rice balls sell for $5.99 which means each rice ball is roughly $1.   Sometimes, the rice balls go on sale for $3.99 and that is when I stock up!  You can eat with or without nori (seaweed).

Back of Package

Back of Package

6 to a Pack

6 to a Pack



Eat with or without Nori (Seaweed)

Eat with or without Nori (Seaweed)

For more information on Nissui, go to their corporate website.

Nijiya Japanese Food Market is located at:

2130 Sawtelle Blvd., #105, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (in the Sawtelle Place strip mall)

Featured post

Bar Method West LA/ バー メソッド West LA

April 1, 2015

Bar Method Uses the Ballet Barre

Bar Method Uses the Ballet Barre

Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s time for new life, new energy and new growth. Change up your humdrum workout routine with something challenging and exciting. Bar Method offers guests a unique, muscle-building workout in Sawtelle Japantown.

Bar Method has reached wide popularity for creating more than just a new body. The total experience allows you to work hard for long, lean muscles, as well as strengthen your mind and improve your self-confidence. Founder Burr Leonard designed the empowering workout. It incorporates the Lotte Berk Method and knowledge from physical therapists.

Instructor Kim Hoy Demonstrating the Flat Back Exercise

Instructor Kim Hoy Demonstrating the Flat Back Exercise

Bar Method targets muscles that play a huge role in changing your body. Working those muscles intensely, and yet safely, will result in long-term changes that give you a new self-image and respect for your body. If you want to slim down, check out the fast-paced class that uses interval training to maximize caloric burn. Even after the class, your body will be burning energy and fat stores to help sculpt that lean body you crave.

Reverse Push Ups Tone Your Triceps

Reverse Push Ups Tone Your Triceps

The class works in a specific order, with each section of the classroom designated for a different group of muscles. The workouts are a blend of toning and elongating muscles that create an aerobic experience and strengthen your heart. Bar Method is popular because of its benefits and accessibility. You don’t have to be a certain size or level of fitness to see results from the workout. It’s inclusive to a wide range of body types and ages, so you’ll never feel left out because you’re not quite like everyone else. The classroom environment is friendly and encouraging, as people of all types come together to improve their health.  You will need to wear socks in class.

Ballet Type Moves

Ballet Type Moves

The Sawtelle Bar Method location opened in 2003 and was the second studio in the country and the first ballet barre studio in Southern California. With over 80 locations now, Bar Method has become a national sensation, and it was named Los Angeles’ best workout by KCAL Nine on the Town in 2004. Stars like Drew Barrymore, Kyra Sedgwick, and Jennifer Aniston have used Bar Method and rave about the benefits.

So check it out for yourself. We’d love to hear your feedback after a workout at Bar Method. Leave a comment below to share your story!

バー メソッド West LA

新シーズン到来しました。今まで   のエクササイズを少しチャレンジングなレベルに上げませんか?SawtelleJapantown Bar Method は筋力をつけたい方にはユニークで最適な場所です。Bar Methodでわ細長い筋肉の新しい体を作るだけではなく心を強くし自信をもてるようになるということで幅広く人気が出ました。


Sawtelle BarMethodは2003年に全国2軒目、南カリフォルニア初めてのスタジオとして始まりました。現在は80軒と発展し全国的なセンセーションとなりました。Drew Barrymore, Kyra Sedgwick, Jennifer Aniston 等の有名人もその効果を雑誌などで語っています。

ご自身で体験し感想を お知らせ下さい。

Outside of Bar Method

Outside of Bar Method

Bar Method is located at:

1950 Sawtelle Blvd #110, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (Inside the Westside Health Center Building)

(310) 481-0005


Featured post

Tatsu Ramen / タツ ラーメン

March 30, 2015

Outside of Tatsu Ramen

Outside of Tatsu Ramen

By Malcolm Johnson*

I don’t know why, but the iPads along the wall didn’t surprise me.

No, we’re not talking some kind of restaurant “Spidey Sense”, but it seemed inevitable that one of these days our little Tablets were going to replace Menus, and…maybe Waitresses themselves.

It does give Tastu Ramen a slightly different feel.  A little more modern, a little more L.A.

iPad Ordering Stations

iPad Ordering Stations

Tatsu Ramen is one of the newer Ramen Joints that have opened up in the ever-growing, ever expanding Sawtelle District in West L.A.  With Tsujita L.A. literally across the street, you do have to do something to distinguish yourself.  So why not walk in, and before you’ve done anything else, place your order and pay for your meal with one of the iPads stationed along the wall.

Anyone familiar with a Tablet will get how it works.  Just go through the menu of options.  They’ll all be there.  Pick what kind of broth you like, what kind of extras you want, and what you’d like to drink.  Take your receipt, show it to the hostess, and let her find you a seat.  The very Multi-cultural (thus, very L.A. Kitchen staff gets to work making your food.)

After that food and drinks just start…arriving.

How they know where and who you are, I don’t know.  But they know.  It could be a quick check of the receipt with your order number on top and in bold.  But I prefer to think it’s that restaurant “Spidey Sense”.

Just let me go with it, okay?

Funny thing, I’m visiting Tatsu Ramen on a day (in early March) when it’s ninety-five friggin’ degrees.  Stepping inside the crowded restaurant, taking a seat at the counter near the stoves where they’re actually making the ramen, doesn’t make it much cooler.

But you know?  I’m totally having fun anyway.

Yeah, the Waitstaff is nice.  The other customers are friendly as well.  Now, granted, everyone is really into their Ramen, but it’s a good vibe all around.

Bold Ramen

Bold Ramen


You heard me.  Bold Ramen.

It’s their version of Tonkotsu (Pork bone based) broth with 11 “bold” ingredients.  (Their words, not mine).  It’s not as rich or milky as I’ve come to expect from other Tonkotsu broths I’ve had in the past, but the spices inside make up a lot of difference.  This broth has a lot of flavor, as well as a lot of kick to it.  The good news is that the spiciness level is not a full on assault on your taste-buds (like say at Pa-Ord Noodle), but it will sneak up on you.  The good news if you don’t like pain and pleasure in the same meal, is that your tongue will not be feeling those chilis for hours afterwards.

Like with Pa-Ord Noodle.  Damn, that stuff was hot.

Pork Bao Bun

Pork Bao Bun

Along that, I went and got a Pork Bao Bun, which was not bad.  It was sweet and creamy (thank you dollop of mayo) and a nice complement to the meal.  I probably should have gotten just the one, but when I see Steamed Bread, I usually lose my head.

And just go in knowing that the place is really, really popular.  Expect a crowd.

* Contributing blog writer Malcolm Johnson is the publisher of the food blog Is It Any Good?

Outside Seating at Tatsu Ramen

Outside Seating at Tatsu Ramen

 タツ ラーメン

日増しに発展しているソーテルの辻田のお向かい辺りにipadで注文するたつラーメンができ。入店するとまずiPadのメニュー(すべての料理、飲み物 サイドオーダー、やスープのオプション)で注文し支払はプリントアウトする。もちろんキャシュも可。ホステス嬢にそれを見せ席に案内してもらうと食べ物飲み物が次々と運ばれてくる。


お勧めはボールドラーメン(Bold Ramen)でしつこくない豚骨スープに11種のものが入っているそうだ。つゆはとても味が出ていてピリ辛ではあるが後味に残る物ではない。肉まんも美味しい。あんがクリーミーだ。このレストランへは中々の人気店なので混むことがある。

Tatsu Ramen is located at (next to Kitchen Story):

2123 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 684-2889


Hours of Operation:

Sun – Wed: 11am – 2am
Thu – Sat: 11am – 3am


Featured post

For Sale: 11527 Nebraska Ave. / House 売家

March 26, 2015

House Sits on Corner Lot

House Sits on Corner Lot

View from Colby

View from Colby

“For Sale” signs catch my eye when walking around Sawtelle Japantown.  This house caught my eye because of its size — a 756 sq. foot home on a 2,162 corner lot with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. The current owners were in the middle of fixing it up to rent out the home, but decided to sell the home instead without completing the project. This house is a fixer and does not have a kitchen or a bathroom, but does have wood floors, an exposed wood beam ceiling, and good natural light. There is a small yard and a one car garage.

Interior Living Room

Interior Living Room

Wood Ceiling

Wood Ceiling

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Bathroom In the Middle of Being Rennovated

Bathroom In the Middle of Being Rennovated

The house is being marketed as “sold for land value” and priced at $665,000.  Note that It may be difficult to get traditional financing for this home because lenders are usually not willing to lend on a home without a completed kitchen and bathroom, but the listing agent tells me that a buyer may qualify for a renovation loan which provides loans on homes which are not fully complete.

There is an open house this Sunday, March 29th from 2pm to 5pm.

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Small Yard

Small Yard

House  売家

ソーテルジャパンタウン を歩いていて人形の家のように小さな土地に立った小さな家を見かけて興味ぶかかったので不動産会社のKeithEndow氏に中を見せて頂きブログ用に写真を撮りました。Nebraska に立つこの家は2162sqの角地にある756sqで2ベッド1バスルームです。

リモデル中に売り出されたためでキッチン、バスルームはありません。 床は木で天井には木の梁が見えていて太陽は良くさし込みます。小さな庭とガレージも付いています。


興味のある方はオープンハウスが下記行われます。オーペンハウスは日曜日 3月29日です。

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One Car Garage

One Car Garage

For more photos, go to Sawtelle Japantown’s Facebook Page.

Listing Agent:
Keith Endow
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
(310) 722-2562

Property Address:
11527 Nebraska Ave. (Corner of Colby and Nebraska)
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Featured post

Imuraya Castilla (Kasutera Sponge Cake)/ 井村屋 カステラ

March 24, 2015

Sample Table at Nijiya Japanese Food Market Featuring Imuraya's Castilla

Sample Table at Nijiya Japanese Food Market Featuring Imuraya’s Castilla

IMG_3742 (1)

One of the best things about shopping at Nijiya Japanese Food Market (Sawtelle location) on the weekends is that they offer samples of products.  I am the type of person who always tries samples, even if I am already familiar with the product.

A few weeks ago, the sample table featured Castilla (kasutera in Japanese) by Imuraya, a famous confectionery manufacturer originating in Japan.  This Japanese style sponge cake is made out of flour, eggs, starch syrup, and sugar and is fluffier, moister and lighter than its Western pound cake counterpart.  Imuraya offers original, “cheese” (cheesecake) and green teen flavors with 10 pre-cut slices in each package.  At Nijiya, the Castilla sponge cake sells for $5.99.  My favorite is the green tea flavor as it has just the right hint of green tea flavoing in the cake.

井村屋 カステラ

週末 ニジヤマーケッでお買い物する時の一つの楽しみは 沢山の試食品テーブルが有ることです。私はすでに製品を知っていても試食してみます。先日試食テーブルに日本の有名菓子メーカー井村屋のカステラを見つけました。この日本式パウンドケーキはアメリカの品より軽くホワホワでしっとりしていて粉、卵、シロップと砂糖から作られています。オロジナル、チーズケーキ, グリーンテイー味を提供しています。一本は10切れに切り分けられ食べやすくニジヤマーケットでは$5.99で販売されています。

10 pre-cut slices per package

10 pre-cut slices per package


Take off paper at bottom prior to eating

Take off paper at bottom prior to eating

Green Tea Flavor

Green Tea Flavor

For more information on Imuraya, go to their corporate website www.imuraya-usa.com.

Nijiya Japanese Food Market is located at:

2130 Sawtelle Blvd., #105, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (in the Sawtelle Place strip mall)


Featured post

Hashimoto Nursery / 橋本植木屋

March 22, 2015

Outside of Hashimoto Nursery

Outside of Hashimoto Nursery

Large Selection of Flowers, Plants, Moss, and Trees

Large Selection of Flowers, Plants, Moss, and Trees

Hashimoto Nursery

Walk into Hashimoto Nursery and you are immediately transported into a state of Zen.  A wave of calmness will overcome you as realize that you have found a hidden gem in Sawtelle Japantown.

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In addition to carrying typical Japanese plants, the nursery has an amazing selection of plants.  They range from flowers, mosses, vegetables, fruit trees, herbs and all types of succulents.  Not to mention gardening supplies, and a plethora of beautiful pots.  The nursery is organized in a way that makes it really easy to navigate throughout the space.  But the true draw to the nursery is its rich history, and its Japanese and Asian plants.

Colorful Pots

Colorful Pots

Japanese Maple Tree

Japanese Maple Tree

History of Hashimoto

Hashimoto Nursery was the retail business idea of four Japanese brothers.  One of the brothers settled in the Sawtelle area around 1928, which was then a burgeoning Japanese community.  Realizing an opportunity, he summoned his other three brothers to join him and together they opened the O.K. Nursery.  Years later, the name was changed to Hashimoto Nursery.

The nursery in located in Sawtelle Japantown.  80 years and 3 generations later, Hashimoto Nursery is still family owned and operated, providing quality plants and friendly service to the Westside.

Herbs and Lettuce

Herbs and Lettuce



Hashimoto Nursery       橋本植木屋

ウエストサイド真ん中の歴史的な街Sawtelle Japantownにある植木屋さん橋本はいちばん古くて大きな植物の小売店です。お店に足を入れると禅の世界へ吸い込まれるようです。静けさとともにSawtelle Japantownで隠れたお庭を見つけた事に気ずくでしょう。



橋本植木屋は4人兄弟のアイデアで出来た小売店です。1928年頃兄弟の一人がSawtelle に定住しました。当時Sawtelleは丁度日本人コミュニティの芽が出始めていました。他の3人兄弟に来てもらい協力してOKナーサリーを開店。後に橋本ナーサリーと改名し80年間三世代ウエストロスアンジェルスでファミリービジネスとして現在も質の良い植木とフレンドリーなサービスをウエストサイドに提供しています。

Hashimoto has Its Own Parking Lot

Hashimoto has Its Own Parking Lot

More photos of Hashimoto Nursery can be found on our Facebook Page.

Hashimoto Nursery is located at:

1935 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 473-6232


Hours of Operations:

Monday – Saturday: 7:30am – 4:30pm
Sunday: 8:00am – 4:30pm


Featured post

Kitchen Story / キッチン ストーリー

March 21, 2015


Dishes from Kitchen Story

Dishes from Kitchen Story

By Kristie Hang*

Los Angeles natives know that West L.A. has never been known to be the ‘it’ place to go for authentic Korean food. But the newly opened Kitchen Story is serving to change that stigma with delicious and affordable Korean cuisine right in the heart of Sawtelle Japantown. From cheese-laced ramen and abalone porridge to Korean-style fried chicken, there’s something for everyone.

The most popular dishes are Kitchen Story’s fried chicken and beef kimchi fried rice. Korean fried chicken has been quite the foodie trend in recent years, mostly due to the popularity of the snack being frequently featured in popular Korean soap operas. This restaurant most definitely does the dish justice.

The Popular Fried Chicken

The Popular Fried Chicken

Korean-style fried chicken is very different from the typical American-style friend chicken we are accustomed to. Rather than a thick, batter-laced crust, the Korean style is ultra thin and crispy with a juicy meat interior. The fried chicken packs a crunch and is less greasy than the American kind due to it being fried twice. Kitchen Story’s fried mini drumsticks are served with a side of sweet and sour and mustard sauces. They also have a sweet and sour drumstick version where the drumlets, as they call them, are marinated in the sauce and fried.

Kimchee Fried Rice with Egg

Kimchee Fried Rice with Egg

Another specialty on the menu is the beef kimchi fried rice, which arrives tableside on a sizzling cast iron plate with a raw egg. In fun, mix-it-yourself fashion, the egg has to be mixed on the spot to cook with the rice. For those that enjoy a spicy kick, this is a must-order.

Side Dishes

Side Dishes

Each meal comes with complimentary Korean side dishes (banchan) such as kimchi daikon, sesame glass noodles, and seaweed, which are refilled throughout the meal. And the best part? You can eat well without burning a hole in your wallet. Expect to make it out for less than $10 a person.

* Contributing blog writer Kristie Hang is a globetrotting tv host, journalist, and food writer based in Los Angeles.

キッチン ストーリー

 ロスの住民はウエストLAを韓国料理を 食べに行く場所だとは思っていません。新しくオープンしたキッチンストーリーではチーズがレースのようにかかったラーメンからアワビのおかゆ、韓国風フライドチキンまで万人が喜ぶおいしくてお財布にやさしい店を開店しました。



Kitchen Story is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Kitchen Story is located at 2129 Sawtelle Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA

Telephone: (310) 444-9955

Featured post

Lemonade is Opening March 28th! / Lemonade Sawtelle Japantown店3月28日オープン!

March 20, 2015


Outside of Lemonade on Sawtelle

Outside of Lemonade on Sawtelle

Lemonade is Opening March 26th!

You may have noticed the Lemonade sign where the old Clusi Batisi Pizzeria used to be.  The Restaurant which serves “Seasonal Southern California Comfort Food” created by Owner/Chef Alan Jackson will be opening its doors on March 28, 2015.  This chain restaurant has 13 locations in Southern California (with 5 more coming soon).

We asked Ian Olsen, Chief Operating Officer for Lemonade Restaurant Group how they decided on Sawtelle as a location and he responded as follows:

“While we continue to expand the Lemonade brand, we want each location to feel like it is an integral part of the neighborhood and surrounding community. The Sawtelle neighborhood is walkable, friendly, and diverse and Lemonade fits in with this dynamic perfectly with outdoor seating right on the sidewalk.  It’s a smaller, more intimate space at 950 square-feet.”

Stay tuned for food reviews of Lemonade on Sawtelle once it officially opens.

 Lemonade Sawtelle Japantown店 3月28日オープン!

ピザ屋 Clusi Batisiのあった場所に Lemonadeの看板が出ているのに気がつかれましたか? 南カリフォルニアに13チェーンレストラン(5店近日オープン)を持つ オーナーシェフAlan Jacksonによる季節感一杯の南カリフォルニア心癒され料理店 Lemonadeが そこに2015年3月28日開店します。COO Ian Olsenに出店に至る経路を伺いました。Lemonadeブランドが拡大するにあたり 当社は各々の場所がその土地や周りのコミュニティーに交わることを望んでいます。 ソーテルは 歩き回れとてもフレンドリーで多様な人々が住む街で サイドウオークに面しアウトドアーでのお食事も可能です。Lemonadeが出店するにはぴったりな場所と思いました。 950スクエアーの店内は小ぶりですが親しみの持てる空間です。

正式にオープンした際には お食事の評判をお届けしますので お楽しみに!

Lemonade on Sawtelle is located at:

2047 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025


Featured post

Sawtelle Japantown Sign Unveiling and Community Celebration on March 29th/ 3月29日 Sawtelle Japantown 除幕式

March 20, 2015



Invitation from the 11th District

Invitation from Mike Bonin, the LA City Council’s  11th District Representative

With the new name Sawtelle Japantown, there will be 2 Sawtelle Japantown signs on Sawtelle Blvd. at Olympic and Santa Monica Boulevards.  A sign unveiling ceremony and community celebration organized by Mike Bonin, the LA City Council’s 11th District Representative has been planned. Event details are as follows:

March 29, 2015 at 12pm – 1:30pm
Unveiling: Corner of Sawtelle Blvd. and Olympic Blvd.
Reception:  2110 Cornith Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025 (Japanese Institute of Sawtelle)

しくSawtelle Japantown の呼び名が決まり Sawtelle Japantown の標識が2ヶ所Sawtelle Blvd上 OlympicとSanta Monicaに設置されます。11区Los Angeles 市議員 Mike Bonin氏による 除幕式が下記の予定で行われます。

時時 2015年 3月29日 12pm ~ 1: 30pm

場所 除幕式 Sawtelle Blvd Olympic 交差点

レセプション会場 2110Comith Ave., Los Angeles CA 90025 (Japanese Institute of Sawtelle)

 Map of Reception Site
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SawtelleJapantown.com Introduction / SawtelleJapantown.com ご紹介

March 12, 2015

SawtelleJapantown.com was created by people who love the area – whether it’s by enjoying delicious foods at one of the many restaurants in the area, by discovering cool tchotchkes at one of the stores or by taking a stroll and looking at Japanese clay roof tile houses with bonsai trees juxtaposed to modern residences.

Our purpose is to feature information about restaurants, businesses, events, finds and real estate in this unique area so that you can enjoy Sawtelle Japantown as much as we do!  We may also feature information on events outside of Sawtelle Japantown if we feel that it may be of interest to our readers.

As we are a new blog, contributions are welcomed!  Please send event details, blog content and photos to info@SawtelleJapantown.com.  Submissions will be governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Thank you for visiting SawtelleJapantown.com!

SawtelleJapantown.com ご紹介

ソーテルは長年日系人が在住してきた歴史的な土地柄で その地を愛する人々により作られた町です。現在は 日本食をはじめ沢山のレストランや店が 立ち並び 界隈には庭に盆栽のある日本式瓦屋根の風情のある家や建て替えられたモダンでおしゃれな家が有るお散歩に適した楽しい街です。

私どもは このユニークなSawtelle Japantownを皆様がより楽しめますよう レストラン ビジネス 不動産, イベント, お宝情報ご紹介等するのを目的としてブログを立ち上げました。又, 時折Sawtelle Japantown以外にも読者の興味がある場合は情報提供する予定 にしております。

新ブログへの寄稿歓迎iいたします。イベント詳細 ブログ 写真等info@SawtelleJapantown.comへお送りください。 (但し 使用不可につきましては 我々の個人情報ルールにより決められます。)

ご購読 有難うございました。

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Featured post

The Naming of Sawtelle Japantown / Sawtelle Japantown 命名について

March 12, 2015

Sawtelle Japantown sign that will be placed in 2  places on Sawtelle

Sawtelle Japantown sign that will be placed on Sawtelle Blvd. at both Olympic and Santa Monica Blvds.


In the late 1890s, due to discrimination covenants against persons of Japanese descent, some first generation Japanese were forced to settle in West Los Angeles near Sawtelle, which, unlike other areas in California, allowed persons of Japanese descent to buy real estate in the area. Many Japanese American owned businesses, cultural and religious organizations settled in this area and a Japanese American community thrived.

Informally known as “Little Osaka” for many years, the Japanese-American community lobbied to officially name an area of West Los Angeles as  “Sawtelle Japantown” which would accurately reflect the historic culture of the Japanese immigrant community.

On February 25, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the boundary consisting of Santa Monica Boulevard to the north, Pico Boulevard to the south, Centinela Avenue to the west and the 405 freeway to the east as “Sawtelle Japantown” with whole hearted support from local leaders and the community. There will be “Sawtelle Japantown” signs on Sawtelle in the coming months.

 Sawtelle Japantown 命名について

1890年後半日本人子孫に対する差別の法律により 一部の日系人一世世代は当時でも不動産購入が可能だったWest Los Angeles Sawtelle 付近に不動産を購入し商売を始めた。文化団体や宗教団体もこの地に根をおろしコミニュテイは繁盛した。

長い間リトル大阪の愛称で呼ばれてきたが 地元の人々は長年議会に対しWest Los Angeles のこの地区を歴史、文化を踏まえたうえでSawtelle Japantownと呼ぶのにふさわしいと働きかけてきた。

2015年2月25日ロサンゼルス市議会は全員一致でSanta Monica Boulevardの北側からPico Boulevardの南側又Centinela Avenueの西側から405フリーウエイの東側に囲まれた範囲をSawtelle Japantownと正式に命名した。この決定は地元民より心から支持をうけた。近日Sawtelleの路上にSawtelle Japantownの標識がお目見えします。お見逃しなく!

For more information on the historic naming of Sawtelle Japantown, go to:



The application submitted to the Los Angeles City Council to rename Sawtelle Japantown can be found here:


The Los Angeles City Council Meeting Video can be found here:


New Restaurant Love Bake Serving Okonomiyaki

December 12, 2015

Okonomiyaki with Dipping Sauces

Okonomiyaki with Dipping Sauces

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese street food where the ingredients of flour batter, cabbage and other toppings are fried on a  grill.  It’s comfort food in Japan and can be found at Japanese street festivals.

There is a new okonomiyaki place in the Olympic Collection in Sawtelle Japantown called Love Bake next to the UPS store.  They serve both gluten and gluten free okonomiyaki and a customer can add toppings a la carte.  The okonomiyaki comes with 3 dipping sauces:  the traditional sauce, ketchup, and mustard.

054 (480x640)

Love Bake is  located at:

11301 W Olympic Blvd, Ste 122, Los Angeles, CA 90064