Tsubaki

4.8
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343 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.
What 343 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JO
New York Area
36 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Amazing food and sake

JS
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was perfect, except waitress over charged us 150$...

JH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding as ever. Tsubaki is without a doubt the best restaurant I have been to in LA.

H
Los Angeles
28 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great experience to show off for out of town guests.

R
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff at Tsubaki went out of their way to accommodate us and make our meal special. Can’t wait to eat here again.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food always amazing but the service was very slow. Some items only had 2/3 pieces (and we were a party of 4) and the waitress didn’t inform us about the shortage/to order more than one plate, etc.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely environment

C
Los Angeles
247 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic array of Japanese delicacies and great place to enjoy nibbles before a trek to Dodger Stadium

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

Took a really long time waiting to be seated for a reservation

T
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it! This was our first visit to Tsubaki and really enjoyed it.

We had 5 different glasses of sake and all were good. Three were spectacular. And the food was just as impressive. Between two of us, we split 5 items from the menu—for us, that ended up being just the right amount.
Started off with the wagyu tataki. (Which was fine, maybe a little overwhelmed by the really delicious fermented chili and broth. Probably wouldn't order this again, but it was nice to try a different take on wagyu).
Next up came the Chawanmushi, steamed off custard. That was amazing! Definitely a must next time we go.
Then in tandem came the tako-ten (fried octopus) and a special of grilled diver scallops. Yes and yes!
To finish, the 48-hour short ribs were perfect.
Really, what a lovely place. Service was just the right balance of friendly-to-professional and dishes came out and the perfect pace.
Highly recommended and look forward to returning.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Food was outstanding. Great, attentive, pleasant servers. Looking forward to going back again.

DM
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dining at Tsubaki is a beautiful experience on so many levels! The food is a fresh spin on traditional Japanese flavors, it's complex yet effortlessly delicious. The ambiance is cozy NYC restaurant meets sophisticated Japanese design. Every time I dine here I marvel at something whether it's the perfect water glasses or the insanely cute chopstick rests, you'll love the elegant plating of each dish. Did I mention the wine and sake list? It's delightful and so is Tsubaki!

O
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

The place is charming, but three of our four dishes were tremendously over-salted.

DH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We had a reservation and arrived early, but were seated 10 minutes late... and my wife is 7 months pregnant.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The cuisine was amazing! Some of the best yakitori and izakaya to memory. Prices were a little high but quality made up for it. We would definitely return! Highlights: tofu salad!! Grilled Squid special, & Chicken Oysters. Great sake and wine selections...Valet available “on the street” but parking difficult otherwise.

R
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A must try! Allow the server to guide you a bit. We got sake afterward at OTOTO, which I very much recommend. Sorry for closing it out.

AV
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service & even more excellent food. 👌🏽

RM
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant is amazing but parking (even valet) is an actual nightmare especially if a Dodger game is happening. I would Uber.

B
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the place and were surprised at how crowded it was already at 6:00 pm. The food and service were great. We'd been there before several years ago as a result of watching Migrant Kitchen. I'm happy that Charles and Courtney are having such great success. They deserve it.

We ordered three rounds of dishes and were pleased by the order in which they were served. We also had three or four "carafes" of sake. All were excellent

On the downside, for our taste, (we're in our 60's and 70's), the music is a bit too loud.

P
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and sake selection.

a
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

An overall amazing gastronomic experience! My friend and I began our dinner escapade at OTOTO with a some sake, eggplant, and okonomiyaki, all of which were already great. We then proceeded with our dinner reservation at TSUBAKI and really appreciated how these two establishments really complemented each other and were so conveniently close together. The food at TSUBAKI was exceptionally flavorful and at just the right serving. Furthermore, the service was professional yet casual and friendly, and our seating situation by their front window really added to the ambiance. I was already itching to come back as soon as I had left!

AE
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 5

When Tsubaki took over Kush it was still good but it went downhill recently. One out of 4 dishes was good. They've lost the essence of Japanese cooking. The waitress kindly took one dish off the bill, a Kimchi-like tomato appetizer but it was just raw tomatoes on what tasted like bland Tahini-dressing. And it's gotten a lot more expensive. I was disappointed as it used to be top notch and more Japanese. The new bar next door is cute.

G
Western NC
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A must do every time I’m in Los Angeles. Foodies take note, Cheers!

b
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

No one should ever make "avocado mousse". It's tasteless and an insult to avocados. The pork shu mai and sake were the highlights. The soft shell crab was great, but again on that mousse. I just felt that the sauces were lackluster. I've had better izakaya heart skewers using less soy sauce on them, they just didn't shine in any way. The dishes just felt flat and one dimensional. Nothing innovative, but not truly authentic either. I'm asian, so I think if you're not going to improve on a traditional dish that's already delicious than the spin off isn't worth it. The lamb chops were boring and I thought didn't justify sacrificing a beautiful, pure little animal. I have no idea what the gelatinous sauce was underneath and the greens tasted inedible. The music could have been better curated. All hype, sorry. My friend highly recommended it, but as the person I went with commented truly, the website presented the food more elegantly than the actual plates. The yam beer was delicious. I'd recommend perhaps going to their sake bar next door, but not the restaurant.

WF
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Tsubaki: Over rated and expensive for the quality of food offered. With small plates, the food should be bite size. The octopus was tough, too large and impossible to eat. The chicken wings were good but pricey. The fried rice was the best dish!

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Food cold, but overall still very good

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. A must visit.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We’ve been here many times. It’s one of our favorite restaurants. The food quality is 5 stars. The preparation was perfect. Every dish we was delicious.
It was my daughters birthday. It’s her favorite restaurant. Although I pre-advised that it was a birthday they didn’t do anything special. That was a little disappointing.
However, I can’t wait to return soon.

K
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

CONSISTENTLY AMAZING! We have never left it disappointed. The new tomato salad with a white miso kimchi dressing is nothing short of outstanding. The black miso cod is delicious - but, then again, so is everything!

t
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tsubaki is the best restaurant in town right now. Period.

SB
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff was extremely helpful with dietary restrictions and created a welcoming experience. Food was FANTASTIC

NW
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun little spot with friendly service and lively vibe. Delicious take on Japanese Izakaya, excellent sake selection.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great as Always!

LL
Orange County
17 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good food per usual. A perfect restaurant from service to ambience to flavor. Love this place

OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Some of the best food I’ve had in awhile. Flavorful and delicious beyond expectations. Cute cozy restaurant. Sat at the bar and it still felt very intimate.

j
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We had to wait more than 15 minutes past our reservation time. They sent us next door to an apparently related bar-restaurant, which wouldn't let us sit down even when they knew it would be for just a short time and they had plenty of open tables. So boo to them, and to the server at Tsubaki who sent us over there.

But the food at Tsubaki was good.

I feel that the servers at these restaurants need more knowledge of Japanese ingredients and techniques, even if the food isn't traditional.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Drove from OC to try this much talked about Izakaya. I was not disappointed! The food was amazing and pair with excellent hard to get sake’s

b
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The offerings are styled after tapa. Food is good and on semi-creative side. The problem is the ambiance. Why does this place have to dim the light so much. I can barely read my menu.

The other problem is the price. I just came back from Spain. I can have food of equivalent quality and quantity in Barcelona, Bilbao, San Sebastien, or Madrid for half of the price. LA restaurant scene is too pretentious.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff was wonderful and the food is always great!

K
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the consistently remarkable restaurants in LA. Outstanding, creative food and great friendly service.
The menu changes enough to always allow you to find something new and interesting while the old favorites are still there.

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