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Koshiji
Yakitori at Koshiji
Matthew Kang

Meat on a Stick Always Wins at LA’s Best Yakitori Spots

Wonderful things happen with charcoal smoke meets meat

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Yakitori at Koshiji
| Matthew Kang

Los Angeles has an embarrassing wealth of outstanding Japanese eateries, stretching all the way from the Valley to Little Tokyo and Sawtelle Japantown on down to the South Bay. Dispersed throughout those pockets are yakitori specialists, restaurants that have perfected the art of skewering meat and vegetables before kissing them with a touch of charcoal smoke. Here now, the very best of the bunch, presented from west to east.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. H2O Sushi & Izakaya

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9301 Tampa Ave #144
Northridge, CA 91324
(818) 700-8300
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The name H20 Sushi & Izakaya carries across county and state borders, as the company has locations in Costa Mesa, Las Vegas, and Northridge. This Valley option is beloved by locals for its fresh seafood selection, but most tables also end up with a tray or two of skewers — especially during the reduced-price happy hour.

2. Nanbankan

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11330 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 478-1591

As one of Sawtelle’s premier yakitori spots, Nanbankan offers incredible variety in the chicken genre, without leaving red meat and seafood eaters behind. The open kitchen make for fun action shots, but the focus here is really on the skewers.

3. Sakura House

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13362 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 306-7010

Strip mall standout Sakura House offers some of Culver City’s very best kushiyaki, available both a la carte and as well-rounded set menus.

4. Yakitoriya

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11301 W Olympic Blvd #101
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 479-5400

The namesake dish at this Sawtelle staple come in varieties to please all sorts of eaters. Yakitori beginners can start with the popular chicken thigh before graduating to things like gizzards and hearts.

5. Izakaya M

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13573 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 981-0078
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Sherman Oaks staple Izakaya M offers a wide selection of Japanese staples, including a robust skewer section that offers things like pork belly and chicken gizzard as well as items like duck.

6. Aburiya Raku

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521 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(213) 308-9393
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Aburiya Raku is a stone-cold hit, packed nightly with in-the-know West Hollywood locals, a few celebrities, and a slew of chefs. This is the place to go spend some decent money on high-quality yakitori, drinks, and endless sides, with spendy options like foie gras making way for pig ear, chicken thigh, and a cavalcade of vegetables.

Raku Pork Skewers

7. Robata JINYA

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8050 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 653-8877
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With its prime West Third Street location, Robata Jinya is perhaps the most visible yakitori entrant in town. The bustling dinner spot hums with folks stepping in for drinks, skewers, and all manner of Japanese food.

Robata JINYA

8. Koshiji

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22807 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 378-3787
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A small yakitori and kushiyaki den in a large Torrance strip mall, this is one of the South Bay’s most legit Japanese skewer specialists. What’s special about Koshiji is that each skewer gets a gentle smoky flavor while focusing on the quality of the meat. The tradeoff is that much of the saucing is up to the diner at the table — a hit of lemon juice, a dip into mustard, or savory house sauce. —Matthew Kang

9. Hasu Kitchen of Japan

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2106 Artesia Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504
(310) 324-5435

Torrance’s Hasu Kitchen feels like an upscale kind of yakitori experience, but without the price tag. This South Bay gem pegs most of its solo skewers at $2.50 or less, while offering a tightly-packed but still enjoyable dimly-lit dinner experience.

10. Izakaya Hachi

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1880 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 618-8357
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Another South Bay favorite, Izakaya Hachi offers a wide range of meat and seafood options from its refined digs off Carson Street in Torrance. Semi-private booths make for intimate company, while the restaurant’s collection of fresh oysters, loads of chicken, and even some shabu shabu options means a great meal is always at hand.

11. Torihei Yakitori Robata Dining

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1757 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 781-9407

Torihei is a Torrance yakitori staple, long considered one of the best places in Los Angeles to get meats grilled to perfection. Add in cauldrons of bubbling garlic and plenty of alcohol to make it one of the better casual meals anywhere in Los Angeles.

Torihei Yakitori Robata Dining

12. Torimatsu

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1425 Artesia Blvd
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 538-5764
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The South Bay is known for its richness in Japanese eateries, not the least of which is Torimatsu. Unlike its neighboring yakitori restaurants, Torimatsu doesn’t offer much outside of the realm of grilled things-on-sticks. But when the charcoal-scented meats taste this good, no one is complaining.

Torimatsu

13. Tsubaki

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1356 Allison Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 900-4900
Visit Website

Tsubaki may well be one of the city’s best neighborhood restaurants, period. The Echo Park enclave offers refined robata classics with a heavy influence on skewered meats and smoke, plus a killer sake list and unbeatable hospitality.

Tsubaki Euno Lee

14. Honda Ya Japanese Restaurant

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333 S Alameda St #314
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 625-1184
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Little Tokyo’s Honda Ya is a standard-bearer for yakitori fans, with its heavy wooden tables, long drinking list, and steady stream of skewers emerging from the tight kitchen in the back of the third-floor mall restaurant.

15. Inko Nito

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225 S Garey St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(310) 999-0476
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The latest Arts District restaurant stunner comes from the popular Zuma team, offering a 360-degree view of grilling meat skewers and other robata classics. Inko Nito is already settling in as an upscale, trendy option for a neighborhood brimming with great meals right now, and the free-flowing drinks and boisterous room certainly help to keep the vibe alive.

16. RBTA Highland Park

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5629 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 259-6474

Highland Park hasn’t seen a place like RBTA in a long time. The narrow, colorful restaurant feels at once bright and compact, with locals and tourists tucking in elbow-to-elbow for skewers made fresh behind the glass in the kitchen. If anything, the best seats in the whole place may well be at the compact stools in the back, catching the flaming action in all its glory.

RBTA
Wonho Frank Lee

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1. H2O Sushi & Izakaya

9301 Tampa Ave #144, Northridge, CA 91324

The name H20 Sushi & Izakaya carries across county and state borders, as the company has locations in Costa Mesa, Las Vegas, and Northridge. This Valley option is beloved by locals for its fresh seafood selection, but most tables also end up with a tray or two of skewers — especially during the reduced-price happy hour.

9301 Tampa Ave #144
Northridge, CA 91324

2. Nanbankan

11330 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

As one of Sawtelle’s premier yakitori spots, Nanbankan offers incredible variety in the chicken genre, without leaving red meat and seafood eaters behind. The open kitchen make for fun action shots, but the focus here is really on the skewers.

11330 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

3. Sakura House

13362 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

Strip mall standout Sakura House offers some of Culver City’s very best kushiyaki, available both a la carte and as well-rounded set menus.

13362 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066

4. Yakitoriya

11301 W Olympic Blvd #101, Los Angeles, CA 90064

The namesake dish at this Sawtelle staple come in varieties to please all sorts of eaters. Yakitori beginners can start with the popular chicken thigh before graduating to things like gizzards and hearts.

11301 W Olympic Blvd #101
Los Angeles, CA 90064

5. Izakaya M

13573 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Sherman Oaks staple Izakaya M offers a wide selection of Japanese staples, including a robust skewer section that offers things like pork belly and chicken gizzard as well as items like duck.

13573 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

6. Aburiya Raku

521 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048
Raku Pork Skewers

Aburiya Raku is a stone-cold hit, packed nightly with in-the-know West Hollywood locals, a few celebrities, and a slew of chefs. This is the place to go spend some decent money on high-quality yakitori, drinks, and endless sides, with spendy options like foie gras making way for pig ear, chicken thigh, and a cavalcade of vegetables.

521 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048

7. Robata JINYA

8050 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Robata JINYA

With its prime West Third Street location, Robata Jinya is perhaps the most visible yakitori entrant in town. The bustling dinner spot hums with folks stepping in for drinks, skewers, and all manner of Japanese food.

8050 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

8. Koshiji

22807 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

A small yakitori and kushiyaki den in a large Torrance strip mall, this is one of the South Bay’s most legit Japanese skewer specialists. What’s special about Koshiji is that each skewer gets a gentle smoky flavor while focusing on the quality of the meat. The tradeoff is that much of the saucing is up to the diner at the table — a hit of lemon juice, a dip into mustard, or savory house sauce. —Matthew Kang

22807 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

9. Hasu Kitchen of Japan

2106 Artesia Blvd, Torrance, CA 90504

Torrance’s Hasu Kitchen feels like an upscale kind of yakitori experience, but without the price tag. This South Bay gem pegs most of its solo skewers at $2.50 or less, while offering a tightly-packed but still enjoyable dimly-lit dinner experience.

2106 Artesia Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504

10. Izakaya Hachi

1880 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

Another South Bay favorite, Izakaya Hachi offers a wide range of meat and seafood options from its refined digs off Carson Street in Torrance. Semi-private booths make for intimate company, while the restaurant’s collection of fresh oysters, loads of chicken, and even some shabu shabu options means a great meal is always at hand.

1880 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501

11. Torihei Yakitori Robata Dining

1757 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501
Torihei Yakitori Robata Dining

Torihei is a Torrance yakitori staple, long considered one of the best places in Los Angeles to get meats grilled to perfection. Add in cauldrons of bubbling garlic and plenty of alcohol to make it one of the better casual meals anywhere in Los Angeles.

1757 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501

12. Torimatsu

1425 Artesia Blvd, Gardena, CA 90248
Torimatsu

The South Bay is known for its richness in Japanese eateries, not the least of which is Torimatsu. Unlike its neighboring yakitori restaurants, Torimatsu doesn’t offer much outside of the realm of grilled things-on-sticks. But when the charcoal-scented meats taste this good, no one is complaining.

1425 Artesia Blvd
Gardena, CA 90248

13. Tsubaki

1356 Allison Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Tsubaki Euno Lee

Tsubaki may well be one of the city’s best neighborhood restaurants, period. The Echo Park enclave offers refined robata classics with a heavy influence on skewered meats and smoke, plus a killer sake list and unbeatable hospitality.

1356 Allison Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026

14. Honda Ya Japanese Restaurant

333 S Alameda St #314, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Little Tokyo’s Honda Ya is a standard-bearer for yakitori fans, with its heavy wooden tables, long drinking list, and steady stream of skewers emerging from the tight kitchen in the back of the third-floor mall restaurant.

333 S Alameda St #314
Los Angeles, CA 90013

15. Inko Nito

225 S Garey St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The latest Arts District restaurant stunner comes from the popular Zuma team, offering a 360-degree view of grilling meat skewers and other robata classics. Inko Nito is already settling in as an upscale, trendy option for a neighborhood brimming with great meals right now, and the free-flowing drinks and boisterous room certainly help to keep the vibe alive.

225 S Garey St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Related Maps

16. RBTA Highland Park

5629 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
RBTA
Wonho Frank Lee

Highland Park hasn’t seen a place like RBTA in a long time. The narrow, colorful restaurant feels at once bright and compact, with locals and tourists tucking in elbow-to-elbow for skewers made fresh behind the glass in the kitchen. If anything, the best seats in the whole place may well be at the compact stools in the back, catching the flaming action in all its glory.

5629 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Related Maps