Monthly Archives: April 2015

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

Photo by

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


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。











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)


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

Lune Noir Flea Market Sale / フリーマーケット開催

April 21, 2015

Flea Market Flyer (1)

Sawtelle Japantown boutique Lune Noir will be having a flea market sale.  Items for sale will be new and used items such as clothes, jewelry and furniture.

Details are as follows:

Saturday, April 25th from 12pm – 6pm

Address: 2003 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025

ソーテルジャパンタウン フリーマーケット開催

日時  4月25日 土曜日 12PM~6PM

場所  2003 Sawtelle Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90025

ソーテルジャパンタウンにある雑貨屋さんLUNE NOIR フリーマーケットが開催される。洋服、靴、アクセサリー 雑貨等素敵なアイテムが出品される。激安で買える可能性あり。

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.

We’re trying to build our Twitter following.  Please follow us on Twitter!

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 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。





1854 Sawtelle Boulevard: Mixed Use Development / 住居

April 14, 2015

There seems to be a lot of empty lots with activities of new building construction happening in Sawtelle Japantown.  One of these construction sites is 1854 Sawtelle Boulevard (corner of Sawtelle and Missouri).

Site of New Mixed Use Development

Site of New Mixed Use Development

050According to a Los Angeles City Planning filing, there is a plan to construct a 5 story, mixed use building with 23 apartments and 2 live-work units.  4 at grade and 2 subterranean parking levels on the site.  We will be periodically checking in on the site to see what develops.

ロスアンジェルス都市計画書によると 5階建て23軒の住居、2住居兼店舗と地上4、地下2階のパーキングエリアを作る事が登録されている。

Site location:

1854 Sawtelle Boulevard.  Los Angeles, CA 90025

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


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 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’s Facebook Page.

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

dotyournot [@]

The Osaka Residences I and II are located at:

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

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)