SAWTELLE JAPANTOWN may be THE place on the Westside to get your Japanese food fix of sushi, ramen, donburi, curry, or okonomiyaki but you can also find Vietnamese pho and banh mi or Korean bulgogi and bibimbop. Desserts aren’t left out either – try BEARD PAPA (heavenly freshly-filled creampuffs), B SWEET DESSERT BAR (more types of bread pudding than you ever imagined possible!), or HONEYMEE (healthy frozen treats). If you’re a fan of shave ice (like a traditional snow cone but with the ice shaved very fine), you can choose between BRIAN’S SHAVE ICE (where you can combine three flavors on your snow cone for no extra charge) and BLOCKHEADS (where they offer special toppings and drizzles).
If you’re thirsty, try VOLCANO TEA (boba – wonderful flavored Chinese teas with tapioca balls floating in the bottom). If you prefer coffee, get your fix at COFFEE TOMO, with a high-end (read: expensive) personally-roasted, hand-drip brew. They make fresh pretzel dough every day.
(Both Blockheads and Cafe Tomo are just off Sawtelle on Mississippi).
Want to shop? DAISO is Japan’s answer to a 99 Cent store (although most everything is actually $1.50). TOKYO OUTLET is a bit more upscale but if you want gifts of amazing cuteness this is the place to go. For something a bit more edgy, try GIANT ROBOT, which sells more cutting-edge Asian and Asian-American toys, t-shirts, books, and art. BLACK MARKET LA also has fun options if you’re looking for gifts for friends (or for yourself!).
It’s all happening on Sawtelle!