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japanese

Torihei – Torrance, CA

After a rather impressive showing at Kokekokko sent me into full blown yakitori hysteria, I found myself at Torihei just a few nights later for more skewered meats. The South Bay in general is a hotbed for Japanese food that certainly rivals both Little Tokyo and Little Osaka (Sawtelle) in Los Angeles.
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Kokekokko – Los Angeles, CA

If you let Yelp tell it, the only people who enjoy Kokekokko are regulars. How can you tell a regular? To start, they are served on special black plates that are purported to be from Japan and often have the customer's name engraved on them. Next, these VIP's have access to a "secret" menu with items that are unavailable to first-timers and those yet to leave a lasting impression.
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Kiriko – Los Angeles, CA

I sat down in front of Chef Shinji and watched as he finished plating a tiny mound of uni alongside rarely seen mantis shrimp. After giving his station a wipe and resetting his supplies, I requested omakase with no restrictions. I also made sure to order a round of beer for the chefs to show my appreciation for their serving me so late.
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Nozomi – Torrance, CA

My affinity for Japanese food has lead me to the Torrance quite a bit over the last several months. Sure, Los Angeles has both Little Tokyo and Little Osaka (Sawtelle), but Torrance is home to the country's second-largest Japanese population, and with that some truly great restaurants that cater to a much more "regular" crowd. One place that had been on my radar for some time was Nozomi.
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Yama Seafood – San Gabriel, CA

Based on outward appearances alone, I can only imagine the number of people who have overlooked (and missed out on) the gem that is Yama Seafood. Hidden in plain sight along Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel, the well-worn entrance doesn't exactly scream pristine fish.
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Raku [2] – Las Vegas, NV

At Aburiya Raku, an izakaya-esque Japanese restaurant located in a mini-mall off the strip in Chinatown, a stand out meal is the closest thing there is to a guarantee in Sin City.
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Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori – Gardena, CA

In addition to their top notch ramen, SSG also excels in yakitori which can be found at four of their seven Southern California locations. The original, in Gardena, is regarded by many as one of the top places to chow down on the charcoal-grilled skewers of meat (and a handful of veggies, although those are usually best when wrapped in pork belly).
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Ino Sushi – San Francisco, CA

There's something very liberating about eating at a sushi bar and leaving everything up to the knife-wielding man behind the counter. I trust that he'll serve me the best of what he has available, and he trusts me to be open-minded about tastes and prices (eating sushi this way is not cheap). No menu, no ordering, no worrying.
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Raku – Las Vegas, NV

It wasn't until my 25th birthday this past May that I finally made it out to Las Vegas. Late according to the standards of most of my friends, but I'm glad that I waited because that first trip (and all the drunken debauchery and regretful decision making that went with it) went about as well as anybody's first time in Sin City could go. However, what stood out the most from that weekend...
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Paiche – Marina Del Rey, CA

Award-winning Chef Ricardo Zarate continues to take his Peruvian cooking to new heights with his latest undertaking, Paiche. The same Peruvian and Japanese influences that made Picca and Mo-Chica successful ventures are still here, though this time around seafood is the center of attention.
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