Tsubaki

4.7
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420 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Japanese
Tsubaki is a contemporary California version of a classic Japanese izakaya in Echo Park, Los Angeles. The food, paired with sake, wine, and beer, complemented by the warm, genuine hospitality that Japan is famous for, offers guests a peek into modern Japan through the lens of Los Angeles. Tsubaki’s little brother, OTOTO is now open next door.

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What 420 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, our server was very knowledgeable about the food and drinks and great at providing rec's. Even though everything was small-plates, they were still generously portioned. Excellent all around!

J
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came here for a birthday dinner with my mom – we had a fantastic time! Delicious food, kind staff, beautiful interior.

JM
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We LOVED this place. Everything was amazing. The food was next level, the flavors and pairings were out of this world. Our server was very knowledgeable and helpful in both her food and sake knowledge. Unfortunate part of the review (which really isn’t even bad, just pretty annoying) we had a reservation for 9:15 and checked in on time however this involved us finding someone to check in with because there wasn’t a traditional host. Upon checking in were told a few minutes which made sense since there were open pairs of bars seats available (to mention, we reserved bar seats). After waiting 35 minutes I went to check in on our “few minute” guesstimate from staff and was told “Yeah, so sorry for the wait we just have a three top we have to seat before you”. I knew that three top had a reservation at 9:30 because we had all been chatting outside. So, not really the biggest deal, but for such a nice restaurant I’d expect things to run a little tighter.

JS
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely sublime

C
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent variety and each dish has its unique flavors

ZM
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the food; our server was very helpful, she accommodated us when another person arrived so we could move to a bigger table; also loved stopping by Ototo next door for drinks before our reservation and then being able to walk our drinks over to Tsubaki.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing dinner!

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SM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this restaurant! The service and ambiance are amazing. The food is spectacular. I can't say enough about it

m
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

It has nice ambience, and they seem to really craft the experience well, however it was just over priced and the food was not outstanding, it was good, not great.

L
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Don’t think twice. This is one of the best restaurants in LA without a doubt.

TP
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They very kindly held our table. Food was delicious and service outstanding!

J
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite restaurants in LA. Best to go with a group to share multiple dishes. They had a Uni and steak toast that was amazing. The abalone is always a favorite.

k
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Disappointing. After hearing from people and seeing Tsubaki on ‘best of’ lists we expected much better. Not very authentic and server didn’t come around to ask us if we wanted a second drink. There are better Japanese places if you want something closer to what you’d get in Japan. I’ll not give away the names of the better places so they don’t get over run and harder for me to get a table.

OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

We arrived at the restaurant at 8:50p for 9p reservation, but we got the table and sat down at 9:30p. I do not know the point to make reservation if we still have to wait more than 30mins for the table...
foods are tasty but little bit pricy... lots of variety of sake. Maybe will pass in the future..

AK
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing creative interesting food! Super lovely staff. We had a wonderful meal and experience here.

OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great here. Pro status

AH
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sea bream grilled over charcoal was delicious, as was the yaki-onigiri.

OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely incredible. Can’t wait to go back. The black sesame balls, pork dumplings, sake selection, green tea soft serve and ambience were amazing! Love this place

e
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Excellent service and presentation. My partner and I went here for valentine's day, the ambiance was intimate yet lively in this small brick and mortar spot in LA. Although we have tried better versions of some of the Japanese dishes we ordered, I would go back to try other dishes and drinks. The Japanese IPA beer I tried was delicious. I already started to recommend to friends. Queer-friendly.

A
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic. I brought a friend and he loved it. I will be back soon!

Y
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Inventive, beautiful food. Outstanding sake menu. Amazing, kind service. They were so accommodating and understanding of a gluten intolerance we had at the table. Highlight dish was the kinoko mushroom dish, the sashimi (can't remember if it was from the menu or a special but it was incredible), and kani chahan (duck fat fried rice). Nothing was too heavy / over-bearing. Definitely on the lighter side. Would definitely go back!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Definitely worth more than a couple visits. Wonderful menu. Best yakatori I tried in LA.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food was exceptional.

AS
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service was very good . I’m glad I found this gem right in my neighborhood .

C
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We were seated 30 minutes late, despite a reservation, but the staff was very gracious and brought us a few free dishes. Overall, the food was excellent and we were very happy with the service.

U
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing especially with the sake. I recommend the abalone that was my favorite.

LS
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

I live on the westside and hate traffic. So even though I am a foodie, if I didn’t have to be in Echo Park for an event, I probably would not have tried it. I enjoyed my meal for the most part. The sea bream appetizer was good. The croquettes were delicious. I was not wowed by the rice balls in the soup. And the meat in the NY steak uni special was so tough,both my friend and I had to gnaw with our teeth for what seemed like minutes to bite through it. And the toast was so buttery, it tasted greasy. We did point this out to the server seeing as it was $28 for two teeny pieces. And they did take it off the check. All in all, the meal was good but not great.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super nice

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s
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

GREAT PLACE.
Super friendly and the food is so nice

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great food. Disappointed we had to sit at the bar. Service good. A bit loud. Very expensive.

b
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall2food4service2ambience4

Food was excellent but the portions were too small, even for a tapas style. The service was also slow.
The worse part was how bluntly they skimped on the alcohol: we ordered a $48- half bottle of sake. It was served in a pretty clay pot that only afforded two small shots. When we complained to the waitress, she said that she served what was left in the bottle, and that they only serve 1/3 of bottles not halves.
The two shots were not even a 1/3 of a bottle-We left her 10% tip, we should have left her even less.

CE
Los Angeles
79 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow what a great restaurant. A lovey place to enjoy an authentic and approachable Japanese meal. The ambiance is fantastic, and service was on point. Started the night next door at Ototo for a glass of sake and snacky snacks (same ownership) which I recommend, then we went to our reservation for dinner. Everything was delicious. No misses. Especially loved the duck fat garlic fried rice and the chicken thigh oyster skewers. So good!

JL
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

this might be the best restaurant in LA, but definitely the best on the east side. their attention to detail, service and of course the food was incredible. the dungeoness crab custard was a stand out, in addition to the braised short rib. great sake selection. everything was absolutely perfect.

i'll also add, that while dining there, an A++++ list celebrity tried to get a table without a reservation in the already fully-packed restaurant, and to my surprise, the restaurant did not punt a reservation to make it happen. the celeb very politely demurred and the restaurant kept their reservation.

more places should in los angeles have this much integrity. couldn't have loved it more.

b
Los Angeles
213 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience2

I liked the short rib, turnips and steamed egg very much. The tuna, spanish octopus, beef/uni toast, crab fried rice were ok

p
London
88 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

One of the great restaurants in LA at the moment. Everything we ordered was delicious and there is wide variety on the menu.

k
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was delicious and special!

PS
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Way too expensive ; friendly staff and nice interior.

OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Third time at least as good as the first! Avoid the rice dishes and definitely get the short ribs.

C
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is absolutely delicious! Enjoyed my visit and excited to come back again and try other dishes!

JG
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Every bite was extremely cared for and delicious. Why a thoughtful experience