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Another Japanese Hand Roll Bar Arrives in LA, This Time in Highland Park

And in other news: A closure in Burbank, an opening in the South Bay, and new gluten-free pasta

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Hands holding three Japanese hand rolls with veggies inside.
Hand rolls
Fresh n Lean/Ella Olsson
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.

Another new Japanese hand roll option is coming to Los Angeles soon, this time in Highland Park. The unnamed standalone project should hit at 5629 N. Figueroa Street in just a few months’ time, in the former RBTA space. Owners Wade McElroy and Russell Malixi and partner Andrew Corbett also own and operate Cafe Birdie next door, as well as Ma’am Sir and Horse Thief in Downtown.

While certain details on the project are still coming together (like the name), McElroy tells Eater that the plan is to open by early summer. The menu will be a mix of classic hand rolls and some interpretations from the chef (who hails from Little Tokyo), including a more expansive vegetarian menu, plus a broader focus on beer, wine, and sake as well. Expect dinner hours only to start, with a possible push into lunch and later-evening service down the line.

In other news:

Little Sister is opening a new location at the Point in El Segundo this coming May.

Crawford’s Pass has closed in Burbank.

— A new low-carb, gluten-free pasta option is coming to Beverly Hills soon. It’s called Impasta, and it comes by way of Croft Alley’s Adam Rubin and partner Harry Litvack. There’s only delivery service at the moment, with a storefront in the near future.

— Clifton’s Republic quietly reopened last month for dinner service only; the cafeteria is still going through renovations, and should come online in several months.

— A ton of local restaurants are participating in Make March Matter, with a portion of their proceeds going to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. They include everyone from the H.Wood Group to Porto’s to Panda Express.

— There’s a wild new art and food show happening this coming Saturday, where chefs like Kwang Uh and Mina Park from Baroo will be making soups and tarts live as artists perform two-minute pieces. Tickets are $20.