Casual Santa Monica-adjacent Japanese restaurant Kotoya has closed. The place is boarded up as of March 18, with no sign of what’s to come next.
The loss of Kotoya is surprising, given the sustained success the restaurant seemed to have over the years. Offering a menu of simple pan-Japanese fare from sushi rolls to fried chicken to gyoza to ramen, the place was a staple in the greater Sawtelle neighborhood for more than half a decade. Kotoya even expanded back in 2016 with a ramen-focused offshoot over in Palms. That location remains active, while the phone has been turned off at the Santa Monica Boulevard location and a tipster says a note left on the front door says they are closed forever.
Thankfully, all is not lost. Sawtelle Japantown has continued to thrive as an option for all manner of Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese restaurants, from strip mall favorite Kato to chef Chris Oh’s Korean Super — and that’s to say nothing of the Tsujita complex and all the ramen still available along that stretch.