Tag Archives: Sawtelle Japantown

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

 

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.

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Love Bake is  located at:

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

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

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

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.

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

ソーテルジャパンタウンは今や美味しい食べ物屋さん通りとして有名だがその他にもソーテルジャパンタウンをホームと呼ぶ人達がいる。その一人が音楽プロデューサー、シンガーソングライターのジョーアイロンことクレッグ岩本氏だ。氏はウエストエルエイのヴェニス地区で生まれソーテル育ちだ。

氏はうじたみのる氏にスカウトされ日本でミューッジックプロデューサーとして働き八年でトッププロデューサーの仲間入りをした。ミックステープという彼の作品はヒップホップ界で大ヒットをした。氏は日本のラッパーAK-69や違うジャンルのアーティストをアジア各地でプロデュースしている。

東京で氏とランチをした際自分は典型的ウエストLA人だと言っていた。戦前氏の祖父はもとセーフアンドセーヴのあったあたりの土地を所有していた。子供時代はソーテル協会の日本語学校やボーイスカウト、合気道に通った。家族は仏教会に属しにアメリカンジャパニーズコミュニティの活動に参加した。子供時代ソーテル道りの店の人達を皆知っていてお店の裏口から入ってゆき日本語学校をさぼったりもした思い出もある。

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。。

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.

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.

ソーテルジャパンタウン内のソーテルブルバードを北に走ると紫色と灰色のアパートや他の建造物に
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
で外に集会場と地下三階の78台が駐車できる建造物をたてる。

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

三階建ての低層住宅で30軒の住居と地下2階の建造が今年の初め竣工した。市の記録では建築家は
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。

 

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
Newman.

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?

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.