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Kushikatsu Tanaka Closing Oct 31 Because of Stiffling Rents on Sawtelle

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The short-lived fried katsu joint wasn't willing to pay the ridiculous sums of rent that Sawtelle now commands.

Kushikatsu Tanaka
Kushikatsu Tanaka
Matthew Kang
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

A drop by Kushikatsu Tanaka shows a variety of issues: generally slow traffic on that part of Sawtelle and a relatively benign atmosphere. While the fried skewers featured everything from bacon and asparagus to oreo and mochi, it wasn't enough to draw the traffic required to pay the crushing rent of $12,000, which amounts to a $8 per square foot excluding any other fees. By the end of their run, Tanaka was offering $1 happy hour specials and $1.50 beers - not a road to long term success.

That's a tall task for any eatery to schlep out, let alone a kushikatsu specialist on Sawtelle. According to management, the place is closing at month's end, with an eye toward the South Bay for lower rents and a more eager crowd. What concept should go into this premium slot on Sawtelle?