Japanese Lunch Specials in LA

We're living in a time where the economy doesn't allow for extravagant lunches right now, we're all looking for GOOD lunch bargains. This week, I visited two Japanese places that really have that old skool flavor, taste, and price.

Karaage Chicken Bento
Bento Man

Bento Man is a small takeout place with picnic tables. All the food is "a la minute" or cooked to order and that makes it better than those found at the Asian grocery store. It's a bit more American taste, probably why I like it so much, without being too traditional Japanese. It's also a bargain, I've purchased the same fried chicken bento at Mitsuwa for $6.99, not sure how long it had been sitting in the grab & go case.

My only concern, with a name like Bento Man, the bento menu is small. Other items on the menu are ramen, udon, curry, and sushi rolls. But the bento is the real deal here.

Bento Man
1500 S. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 733-5316
They just changed their hours

Lunch Special
Sushi Dragon

Chicken teriyaki, tempura, California roll, salad, miso soup, and rice for $8.99. Some might say that $8.99 is expensive for lunch, but the quality of the food is the hidden gem here. I've spent the same amount of money at a takeout place that has everything pre-made and Sushi Dragon is a place that is restaurant quality and serves "a la minute" or cooked to order.

These days it's really hard to find a good tempura, most restaurants don't really know how to make it like back in the 70's. The kitchens that I've worked in they all have their tricks in how the batter should be. Some use ice cubes to keep the batter really cold, some use soda water, others add more potato starch to it. The secret is the oil temperature, but not many people know this. Regardless, Sushi Dragon is one of those places that know how to make tempura.

It is a true Hidden Gem in the San Fernando Valley...

Sushi Dragon
8069 Vineland Avenue
Sun Valley, CA 91352
(818) 768-4507

Please share any food finds, I'd love to check it out...


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