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‘Discoveries’

SaSaYa

WHY Excellent izakaya is paired with a vast collection of sakes and shochus. Good weeknight happy hour, too. WHAT In a rustic, wood-paneled space that looks like a Japanese country inn, customers share tips at the massive communal table. Signs in calligraphy describe special sakes and seasonal dishes that are simple yet perfectly cooked. 11613 [...]

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Iccho

WHY Pitchers of Japanese beer, bottles of sake and fun small dishes, from the udon-and-yakitori standards to such novelties as fried kim chee with pork and caterpillar sushi rolls. WHAT In the shopping-intensive locale of Rolling Hills Plaza, this family-style izakaya comforts everyone with an enormously long menu that ranges from the basic to the [...]

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Yuzu Torrance

WHY It brings the spirit of washoku—the revival of traditional Japanese flavors and methods updated with today’s artisanal ingredients—from Japan to California. WHAT The two bars, a wine bar, an open robata-style kitchen, tatami rooms and outdoor seating add up to a luxe, sexy environment to indulge in some elegant and traditional Japanese fare: sashimi [...]

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Bistro Beaux

WHY Beef carpaccio salad, soft scrambled egg with mentaiko (spicy cod roe), salmon fried rice… and a 1 a.m. closing time that draws the late-night crowd. WHAT Corrugated aluminum siding decorates the walls of this South Bay design-forward restaurant serving such Japanized Mediterranean cuisine as flash-fried calamari, spicy cod roe spaghetti, scallop gratin and seafood [...]

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Japonica

WHY Sake, romance, careful service and excellent izakaya. WHAT Curtained booths allude to the tatami rooms of the past at this sleek South Bay looker serving great food and an extensive sake list that includes several flights. Every dish, including crunchy fried baby Spanish mackerel, fresh salmon roe omelet and seared albacore with spicy sauce, [...]

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J & J Restaurant

EatLA-559

WHY Soup noodle dumplings, scallion pancakes, Shanghai fried noodles and other such comfort food. WHAT The mini-mall storefront offers a selection of traditional eastern Chinese breakfast items on the weekends and good and inexpensive noodle soups, dumplings and traditional northern and Shanghai dishes all the time. WHO Noodle and dumpling lovers on a budget who [...]

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Wang Jia

WHY Fine home-style cooking for a bargain tariff. WHAT This spot’s spartan white room is as brightly lighted as any hospital operating room; it’s the varied crowds that give the room its color. Following Shanghai custom, meals begin with small eats: roasted peanuts flecked with herb-like dry seaweed, seasoned jelly fish strips with scallions or [...]

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Mandarin Chateau

EatLA-560

WHY When you’re in the mood for red-cooked pork ribs or lion’s head meatballs but don’t want to head out to the San Gabriel Valley, this venerable spot (formerly known as Mandarin Shanghai) is the ticket. WHAT Hidden in a strip mall, this little place is a good find off the Chinatown tourist path for [...]

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Mei Long Village

EatLA-561

WHY Go for the Shanghai-style dumplings filled with crab and pork and the light, pastry-style dumplings filled with sautéed leeks—but also try the Shanghai spareribs and the jade shrimp with a spinach purée. WHAT Originally known as Dragon Villages, this was one of the first formal restaurants to introduce Shanghai-style cooking to Los Angeles. The [...]

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Southern Mini Town

EatLA-557

WHY The spot-on cooking at this supremely nondescript place is something no food lover will want to miss. WHAT With small appetizer plates of Shaoxing wine-marinated blue crab, red-cooked Jia Xing duck and cool jade celery seasoned with sesame oil, plus a few orders of satisfying pastries and dumplings, you might be tempted to forgo [...]

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