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An Upscale Japanese Dinner Spot Re-Emerges Along La Cienega

Plus, Howlin’ Ray’s plots a Chinatown return, and charity food sales galore

A well-plated table of small bowls filled with Japanese snacks.
Gozen Japanese Sake Bistro
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.

West Hollywood’s Gozen Japanese Sake Bistro has reopened after an on-and-off few months, emerging along La Cienega with a whole new menu. The restaurant only briefly began settling in to the former Aburiya Raku space last November, just before broader shutdowns were announced, forcing ownership to transition to limited bento takeout boxes throughout much of the winter coronavirus surge and on into February. Now the project, from director Hideaki Hosono (aka Mr. Hide), will focus mainly on a kaiseki-style tasting menu and lots of sake, while keeping its to-go bento boxes. The group will also continue to run its more casual Gozen Express food truck.

In other news:

  • Grand Central Market is hosting a community bake sale, with proceeds benefitting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and their annual Make March Matter campaign. The sale starts Monday, March 29 and ends Friday, April 2, with boxes available from folks like Fat & Flour, Go Get Em Tiger, Friends & Family, Just What I Kneaded, and more.
  • Meanwhile, the folks at Steep LA in Chinatown are hosting a Stop Asian Hate charity sale on Sunday, March 28, beginning at 11 a.m. More than three-dozen participants, including Amboy, Katsu Sando, Last, Angry Egret Dinette, and Ototo will be in attendance at Mandarin Plaza.
  • Here’s a fun one: German cutlery and housewares brand Zwilling J.A. Henckels has opened a retail space at Santa Monica Place. Check out the shop below.
A knife and kitchenware shop, shown from an elevated corner. Zwilling
  • Howlin’ Ray’s is resuming in-person meal pickups at Far East Plaza in Chinatown soon, at least according to a new teaser on the extra-popular restaurant’s Instagram page. Expect an April or May return.
  • Benny Blanco is teaming up with Shake Shack for a one-day collaboration to support his new album Friends Keep Secrets 2. The Friday-only exclusive drops at the West Hollywood location as a $6.99 nacho burger topped with quest and crushed-up Cool Ranch Doritos.
  • The Montilla Meals delivery crew is recreating the original Chasen’s chili, a longtime staple of bygone LA restaurant Chasen’s on Beverly Boulevard. The chili is available for order but can also be won as part of a family pack giveaway. Details below.