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10610 W. Pico Blvd. (Parnell Ave.) Send to Phone
The storefront signage reads “Deli,” but enter to find a Japanese beef paradise. Photo by T.Tseng / CC BY 2.0

Dinner nightly
  • Dress code: Casual dressy
  • Reservations required

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Totoraku, Los Angeles, CA

Totoraku Restaurant Review

: Totoraku is not easy to access. An old green awning above an unattractive storefront reads “Deli,” and it is beyond difficult to secure a reservation. In fact, often the only reason new guests are permitted is due to being there with someone who knows chef Kaz Oyama. The interior is just as stark, with fluorescent lights that shine brightly on a series of random tables. There’s no need to look at a menu, just follow along with whatever the staff delivers --- including a worn tabletop charcoal grill filled with “binchotan” white charcoals from Japan, notable for not releasing heavy smoke flavors into delicate meat. To start, there are vegetable sticks with umami-rich miso dip, beef tartare with a quail-egg yolk, and carpaccio covered in fennel and olive oil. One may encounter foie gras or uni, and momotaro tomatoes. What follows are platters of raw beef awaiting the grill. Pristine tongue, throat, flank and interior rib-eye, as well as filet mignon that disintegrates on the tongue, are almost plated art presented for the table.
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