Chef Ernesto Uchimura has moved beyond burgers, to an extent, since his Umami Burger days. But now the former executive chef of the chain is part of the city's new burger-focused eatery. Dig into the PCB, aka Plan Check Burger ($11), layered with dashi cheese, caramelized schmaltz onions, pickles and ketchup leather, or upgrade to the Habanero Cheeseburger ($13), with spicy and smoky chile cheese and bacon. Other standout dishes include Smokey Fried Chicken ($13)—crispy-coated Jidori chicken with smoked milk gravy, sweet yam preserves and spicy pickled okra in a cast iron skillet. Sure, there are salads, but why not pile on gut-busting comfort foods like Pastrami Nosh ($12), starring double-rubbed and double-smoked pastrami plated with molten Swiss cheese, kimchi mustard, pickles and a fried egg, and, for people who have the intestinal fortitude for dessert, cruller donuts ($6) fried to order. The bar offerings are equally tempting with Julian Cox-designed cocktails—try the bourbon and plum wine-mixed Little Osaka Sour ($12)—beers by the bottle and on tap and an extensive selection of Japanese whiskeys.
Downtown's Little Tokyo may have a 75-year headstart on Sawtelle Boulevard, the West LA enclave between Olympic and Santa Monica Boulevards known as Little Osaka. But amongst the bevy of stores and restaurants in the area a spate of restaurants have recently opened. This new crop of culinary contenders complement existing classics, turning the primarily Japanese restaurant row into a collective dining destination. Here's your LA city guide to the best eating and drinking on Sawtelle Boulevard.
RECOMMENDED: More LA city guides