Monthly Archives: March 2015

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


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

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

Nijiya Japanese Food Market is located at:

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


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


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

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

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 Introduction / ご紹介

March 12, 2015 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  Submissions will be governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Thank you for visiting! 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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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: