Tsubaki

4.8
226 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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Japanese
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Sunday; Tuesday - Thursday; 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM; Friday & Saturday; 5:30 PM - 11:00 PM;
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Phone number
(213) 900-4900
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Charles Toshio Namba
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Sunset Boulevard
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Parking details
We offer valet on Allison Avenue directly in front of the restaurant. $5 per car.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Non-Smoking, Wine
What 226 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
4.8
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always!

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T
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Refined and delicious modern Japanese food. A hidden gem. A little on the pricey side, but worth it for a special occasion.

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K
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tsubaki is consistently excellent - with creative, delicious and authentic Japanese food served by
helpful and friendly servers in a cozy, minimalist setting.
Love their tempura, sautéed mushrooms, rice balls, jidori chicken terrine, yakitory and pretty much everything. One cannot go wrong in this restaurant. They also offer flights of sake and wine by the glass.
Hojicha ice cream dessert is spectacular!

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OT
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

They ran out of almost half the menu

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RS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The proprietors and employees are all so gracious, the ambience of the restaurant so enchanting, I would recommend this place if they served up paper plates of cat food. Fortunately, each dish is beautifully conceived and is downright transportive. Sitting at the bar is definitely the way to go because the window into the kitchen allows the diners to see the staff working together amicably- and even breaking their focus to admire an exceptional plating of the most flavorful lamb chops anyone has ever created. The fried octopus with pistachio puree and chili agrodolce was my favorite because it harkened to the greasy decadence of junk food, but when the numerous flavors married in my mouth, it was like a joyous riot that I will always remember with a smile and a pat on the belly. I cannot recommend this izakaya enough.

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NK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible cuisine. Great obscure Sake and Japanese Beers. I loved the abalone

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KW
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Tsubaki is a GEM. The food is very original and delicious. The service lovely. It's a little loud, and a little pricey, but worth the cost.

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VH
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing! Very innovative menu and Courtney recommended some terrific saki options. Overall a terrific place. I'm afraid to post this and then it gets so busy I can't go back.

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JJ
Los Angeles
26 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous experience.

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N
San Francisco
48 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Delicious, authentic Japanese cooking with California ingredients

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous as always

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 5

$165 two people sharing

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OT
Los Angeles
27 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and friendly service. Have dined here many times and enjoy its changing menu.

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AG
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food but be aware portions are small. It is tapas style which I love but the price point is too high for a meal that requires at least 3 plates per person.

If you are prepared for the price and size offering, the food is very tasty.

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SY
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I don’t know what took me so long to try this place. The food was fantastic. Everything was super fresh and the quality was top notch.

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LS
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Tsubaki is a great addition to the LA Japanese food scene. It's authentic and many of the dishes are Japanese comfort foods to those who know it. So glad I went and I would definitely recommend it to my friends.

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CM
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Japanese food isn’t just sushi or ramen. Tsubaki reminds how creative use of fresh ingredients can make this cuisine vibrant, intriguing, fun and oh so tasty

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SW
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

... Best Japanese food in LA! Amazing dishes OISHII!!

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r
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good friends

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s
Los Angeles
53 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

my favorite place for itzakaya and the sake menu is the best in L A or just about anywhere. Courtney really knows her sake

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CP
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My experience has been that Tsubaki is consistantly excellent--creative, perfectly prepared food and good service.

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LT
Los Angeles
43 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I love hitachino beer and they have it on tap!! Happy hour chicken sando!

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W
Los Angeles
27 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, Tsubaki has unique and flavorful dishes which maintain the interest level. Ingredients utilized are top notch, and the servers are engaging.

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MA
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tsubaki is consistently EXCELLECT! Never a moment when I'm not surprised at the creativity and quality of the food and the high standards of service/hospitality.

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s
Los Angeles
53 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

love the sake list but it's the food that brings me back all the time( without a doubt)

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LL
Orange County
10 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always amazing. Every course was beautiful, service was wonderful.

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M
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Top ten restaurants in Los Angeles. Every time we go it just gets better. They understand hospitality here, and so much more. Love this place

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OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

Service was pretty poor. Our dinner took about 2.5 hours, mostly spent trying to flag staff down. It took 30 mins for them to pour a single glass of wine. Sad, because food was great.

We left hungry because we wanted to order more but didn't want to spend another hour there waiting for our order.

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OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spectacular sake list. We enjoyed every dish. Great restaurant!

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B
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Overall, not a great experience. We were seating 30 min late for our reservation despite arriving a bit early and checking in. The hosts were distracted and very absent. Our order was incorrect, so had to be fixed. The price point is quite high for the portion sizes. The food was hit and miss. The mushroom dish was wonderful, as were the chicken wing yakitori. The meatball yakitori, sashimi, steak dish, and tofu salad were just ok.
I think the ambiance was great and the location very convenient, but the food and service have a ways to go before they’re going to compete with other local restaurants.

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DF
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Eating at Tsubaki is like traveling to Kyoto and having a fine dining experience without the jet-lag. The food is delicious and classic. My dear friend from Osaka said the seafood custard reminded her of her grandmothers’!

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DO
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The very best as always. Awesome food great drinks and exceptional service

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J
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

delicious asian flavored dishes and great service!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommend this well appointed and inspiring restaurant for its flavors and savory bites!

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PC
Los Angeles
43 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

I was excited to try out this restaurant, but I left very disappointed and unsatisfied. This is a small neighbourhood restaurant in Echo Park. Restaurant business is tough and I would love for this restaurant to prosper. I hope the owner can keep in mind the importance of service, quality, taste, portions, and price.

We ordered the following: tofu salad which was ok, grilled sea bass that tasted ok but not enough for sharing (about 2 oz.!) chicken wings we only had three skinny wings, kani chahan (you could barely find much crab in the rice). We hardly order desserts in other restaurants, but here since we were still somewhat hungry we got two of their deserts (parfait and grilled peach) none of the desert we liked or even ate much of.

Over all the proteins are very small even for a tapas restaurant, taste is unbalance, service is uncaring, and price is too high.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good food. Always great staff. It is an LA treasure and I can’t wait for their expansion.

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CW
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed incredible food at Tsubaki. While the service was good, it was really the quality and creativity of the cuisine that stood out. We ordered the tomato salad, the foie gras torchon, the sea bass, and a grain dish. The flavor variety in what we ate was impressive, the portions were reasonable for the price, and the ambiance lovely. We sat at the bar with a reservation but it was more comfortable than we expected.
I would definitely return to Tsubaki and plan on trying dessert and bringing friends next time.

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OT
Los Angeles
28 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent creative fusion cuisine. Changing menus help encourage repeated visits!
Have dined here multiple times this year...love all the new dishes!

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MF
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Overall not bad but the dishes did on occasion lack imagination. I guess I just had higher expectations. For example the foie gras came with regular white toast and generally wasn’t something I could not have easily recreated myself. Something more imaginative could have elevated that dish. The steamed mushroom dish tasted good but was lacking something... Upon further discussion we realized what it was missing: a starch! The rice balls we ordered along with everything else were the last thing served to us and it was - literally - just rice balls with a slightly crispy outer shell. No real taste. Those for example would have been great in combination with the mushrooms but the dishes were weirdly brought out one after another, so they could not really be mixed and matched. I will say however that the dessert was great and not something I’ve seen elsewhere so far. Great textures and flavors in the parfait!

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