The Japanese restaurant scene on Sawtelle just keeps getting richer and more varied. Though the block is losing one soba place for another Tsujita concept, Tanaka, a specialist in Osaka-style kushikatsu, opened April 1 in the old Robata-Ya space. Sporting a clean, minimalistic interior and an expansive menu of traditional fried katsu sticks, choices include lotus root, garlic, taro, banana and ham, or fish sausages, mountain potatoes, beef, and prawns.
The rules are simple: dip amply into the traditional sauce, but just once, as double dipping is considered taboo. In addition, some izakaya-style bites like vinegared saba mackerel or karaage chicken, as well as noodles and burgers, for those that find deep-fried skewers boring.
Finally, Tanaka is taking on a Japanese-style tipping tradition and kindly saying at the bottom of the menu that no tipping is necessary. Not sure if that means minimal service is to be expected, or that since this isn't a Michelin-starred establishment, tips aren't expected. Current hours run 5 p.m. to midnight.
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