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The Top Restaurants In LA's Little Osaka, Sawtelle

The Top Restaurants In LA's Little Osaka, Sawtelle

Picture of Kaz Koltai
Updated: 9 February 2017
About 12 miles east of LA’s Little Tokyo, just past the 405, you’ll find a small but bustling Japanese neighborhood lining the few blocks of Sawtelle Boulevard between Olympic and Santa Monica known as Little Osaka or simply Sawtelle. Originally home to a dense concentration of Japanese-American owned botanical nurseries, some of which remain, Sawtelle has grown to include trendy restaurants and late-night watering holes of Japanese flavor and otherwise.
Tatsu Ramen
Soul Ramen, beer, and side dishes at Tatsu Ramen. Image courtesy of Tatsu Ramen.

Tatsu Ramen

Though the young crowd and nifty iPad ordering stations might have you reminiscing on your years in college, this isn’t your average dorm room ramen. Tatsu’s bowls of ramen are brimming with a flavorful broth, easily customizable ingredients, and noodles with just the right amount of chew. Try their Bold for a rich, umami punch or their Old Skool for a mellow, soul-warming meal.

Seoul House of Tofu

Attempting to choose between the countless Korean BBQ restaurants lining the streets of K-Town can be just as daunting as tackling a giant mound of extra spicy kimchi. But, if you want to enjoy some solid Korean fare on the Westside, Seoul House of Tofu puts out a wealth of banchan (those small side dishes of kimchi, vegetables, glass noodles, and assorted bites typically served with every meal) and a mean bowl of Soon Tofu stew served in a piping hot stone bowl.

Tatsu Ramen
Bold ramen at Tatsu Ramen. Image courtesy of Tatsu Ramen./

ROC Kitchen

Inspired by Taiwan’s official name (The Republic of China, not to be confused with the People’s Republic of China), ROC Kitchen brings solace to those on the Westside craving soup dumplings without having to make the trek to the famed Din Tai Fung. Beyond their xiao long bao, ROC’s menu is home to plenty of other satiating Taiwanese fare, including their scallion pancakes and chicken rice cake noodles.

Blockheads Shavery

A mix between Hawaiian shaved ice and ice cream, Blockheads puts out a generously large cup of some delicious creamy goodness that they call Snow Cream. They offer this fluffy frozen treat in four flavors of original, green tea, strawberry and black sesame with rotating specials. You can adorn your pile of Snow Cream with a wide spread of toppings ranging from the familiar ice cream parlor sprinkles and crushed Oreos to more Asian fare such as lychee, almond jelly and condensed milk drizzle.

Tatsu Ramen
Red ramen at Tatsu Ramen. Image courtesy of Tatsu Ramen.

Volcano Tea House

Boba Milk Tea, also known as Bubble Tea, has founds its way from a strictly Taiwanese treat to a popular order from the distinctly Southern Californian Urth Caffé. But if you want it done right, pay a visit to Volcano Tea House. Plenty of places that offer boba seem to struggle to get the texture or consistency right, but Volcano has got making those tapioca balls down. It’s cash only though so don’t forget to bring some bills with you.