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Korroke dish with corn and yellow peppers on a white ceramic plate with a pink and green backdrop.
Korroke dish with corn and yellow peppers at Yapa
Jakob N. Layman

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Little Tokyo’s Inviting New Cocktail Hangout Leans on Peruvian-Japanese Flavors

Yapa comes from industry vets Richie Lopez and Josh Goldman

Josh Goldman and Richie Lopez want you to know that Yapa means “a little something extra” in Quechua, exuding a sense of hospitality and generosity at their new Little Tokyo restaurant and cocktail spot, opening October 17. Everyone gets a welcome beverage once they sit down in the corner space, which was once Seoul Sausage, but now looks pretty different with warm tones and tons of hanging greenery.

Richie Lopez, previously of Mo-Chica and Paiche, draws from his Peruvian heritage and tutelage under Ricardo Zarate. Yapa’s menu is more forward with Nikkei, or Peruvian-Japanese, flavors, but isn’t afraid to take on inspiration from LA’s dining scene as well. Lopez worked with Josh Goldman for at Santa Monica’s Brilliantshine, and the idea is to pair the food with Goldman’s excellent cocktails. An autumn-appropriate Pine & Dandy mixes agave with elderberry and pine for a luscious red cocktail as Lopez constructs a fried korokke with corn and yellow peppers.

Design comes from Alexis Readinger of Preen Inc. while gardening help comes from Natalie Vie, who will tend to that lush patio that shields diners from the street. Jess Starwood of Sunraven Apothecary will be the assigned forager, finding seasonal and wild ingredients to use in the kitchen and beyond. Yapa will be open 6 to 11 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday.

Yapa. 236 South Los Angeles Street, Suite G. Los Angeles, CA 90012. 213-947-3399. Reservations available on Resy.

Yapa Little Tokyo
Inside Yapa Little Tokyo’s dining room
Bar area at Yapa in Little Tokyo with stools.
Bubbly cocktail in a tall glass at Yapa restaurant.
Night spa with vodka, gentian, and tonic
Bright red cocktail with green garnish in a cocktail glass at Yapa, Little Tokyo.
Pine & Dandy cocktail with agave, elderberry, and pine.
Spirit cocktail with chiseled ice in a glass at Yapa in Little Tokyo.
Faint of Heart cocktail with whiskey and orange amaro.
Korroke dish with corn and yellow peppers on a white ceramic plate with a pink and green backdrop.
Korroke with corn and yellow peppers
Tiradito with stripe bass, plum, and sudachi at Yapa.
Tiradito with stripe bass, plum, and sudachi
Chef Richie Lopez (left) with line cooks at Yapa in Little Tokyo.
Chef Richie Lopez (right) with line cooks
Jakob N. Layman
Jakob N. Layman
Yapa poster with banquettes and tables at Yapa.
Table set with clay accents and metal chairs.
Table at Yapa in Little Tokyo
Exterior of Yapa with patio, lush greens, and modern building.
Outside Yapa, Little Tokyo
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