Tsubaki is our new favorite restaurant presently, and it’s a just a hop skip and short drive from Home Somm HQ.
It is a classic Japanese Isakaya in the heart of Echo Park. A real hidden gem just across the street from Dodger Stadium. Fantastic classic Japanese cooking with incredibly fresh ingredients. This homey restaurant specializes in small plate shared dishes, with a killer sake list.
Charles Namba, the chef, worked for many years in NYC, and Bouchon, here in LA. He has gone back to his childhood roots to serve delicious, traditional food. This is what I imagine a Japanese tavern to be like. Small and cozy with extremely nice people who treat you like family, and serve food made with love. Courtney Kaplan who is the Manager oversees the sake list and always has something fun to taste if you are a sake fan like Christy and I. She not only speaks fluent Japanese, but has over a decade under her belt as a Sommelier. If you are not shy, allow Courtney to take you on a sake journey and explore all the flavors you may have never had before! There is also a very nice French wine list to choose from, if sake is not your speed. We recommend the house sake that is served in little glass jars that remind us of old jelly jars from days of old, with fun figures painted on them. And if you ask nicely, you can take a couple home with you.
Not only are there classic grilled “Isakaya” dishes there is also tartare, vegetable dishes, fantastic fried chicken, as well as grilled dumplings aka “gyoza” that are to die for. With their proximity to Dodger Stadium they also have a delicious riff on the exalted Dodger Dog made with chicken sausage, yuzu slaw and shishito relish. As well as always having a sashimi dish, which we can never not order. As well as a Japanese eggplant dish that I’ve tried replicate, to no avail. Basically we’ve never had one thing that we have not liked. And have absolute trust in everyone there to make our dining experience top notch.
They have a great bar to sit out that overlooks the kitchen, and a bartop set up along the front window to watch the traffic on Sunset Boulevard.
They have a happy hour from 5:30-7:00 Tuesday-Friday