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Low-Key Izakaya Morinoya Closing This Saturday on Sawtelle

One less Japanese restaurant along Sawtelle

Inside Morinoya, Sawtelle
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.

One of the Westside’s most unsung izakayas will close its doors for good on December 16. Morinoya, which opened back in April 2012, announced quietly on its website that Saturday will be their last day of business.

The second floor restaurant was tucked into the Olympic Collection, a large corner mall along Sawtelle and Olympic. The second story location, which kept it hidden from the main drag, gave it a truly Tokyo-like feel, while izakaya enthusiasts held high regard for the expansive menu. They served until late every night and specialized in hot pots, sushi, and desserts, the latter of which isn’t a normal specialty for izakayas.

Its closure leaves a few other izakayas along Sawtelle, like Bar Hayama, Furaibo, and the more skewer-oriented Nankanban and Yakitori-ya. Izakaya Sasaya and its darn adjoining Sasaya Lounge remain a bit further north on Santa Monica Blvd. Sawtelle was once the Westside bastion for quality Japanese food, and remains one of the best places for ramen. But with the loss of Morinoya, some of that uniqueness goes away. Unless perhaps another izakaya opens in its place. Morinoya’s final message is posted below:

To Our Valued Customers:

It saddens us to inform you that morinoya will be closing our doors on Saturday, December 16, 2017. It was a wonderful privilege to be a part of this community and we greatly appreciate all the years you have allowed us to serve you.

Thank you again for all the years of your loyalty and support and apologize for the sudden notice.


morinoya Management & Staff