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Downtown’s Newest All-Day Japanese Option Looks Seriously Promising

The secret stunner Kai Japanese Roots is here

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Kai Japanese Roots, Downtown
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

There’s a gorgeous newcomer in the Downtown dining scene, called Kai Japanese Roots. The casual corner izakaya comes to the Spring Arcade building between Spring and Broadway, occupying some tall, trim real estate right inside.

Early online menus for Kai Japanese Roots show a variety of favorites, from hand rolls to rice bowls for lunch, and an expansion into a more set yakitori and rolls menu for dinner. There’s not only beer, sake, and wine, but a full (and somewhat impressive) list of Japanese whiskeys available as well, plus craft cocktails from the bar.

The Spring Arcade has had its ups and downs over the years, despite first emerging as a possible contender for the title of “next great thing” after the boom of Grand Central Market began a few years ago. Plenty of concepts have moved in, including Guisados, Gelateria Uli, and the awesome Garçons de Café wine bar, but plenty of other names have dropped in and out of the conversation just as quickly too. Hopefully with the new arrival of this delicious-looking Japanese restaurant, some more folks will be drawn to the airy open arcade.


Kai Japanese Roots has been soft open since earlier this year, and is now keeping hours from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with an extension to 11 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, the place opens for dinner only, beginning at 5 p.m.

Kai Japanese Roots
542 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA