Kula – Sawtelle Japantown

If you’re looking for high quality sushi made by a skilled sushi master, don’t come to Kula. If you’re looking for endless variations on a California roll, crazy versions of sushi you didn’t know existed, or just want the fun of watching your food pass by on a conveyer belt, then Kula is the place for you!

The newly christened Sawtelle “Japantown” is a culinary destination, attracting hordes of people from near and far. Come to Kula early or off-hours or you will have to wait. The wait here isn’t too bad as there’s the Nijiya Market and Daiso (the Japanese version of the 99 Cent Store, except most things are a $1.50) to keep adults and kiddos entertained.

Kula offers a dazzling array of various items all for $2.25 a plate. They have a few dishes that cost more like that Tonkotsu Ramen but they are special order and won’t be riding by you. Take as few or as many plates as you like. The server will count them up at the end of your meal to figure out your bill. Kids love this restaurant and will eagerly start grabbing dishes just for the fun of it.

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Soy Sake Marinated Salmon

I try to get items that I wouldn’t be able to buy prepackaged over at the Njiya Market – things like the soy sake marinated salmon or tuna, seared scallop with Japanese mayo (I’m a sucker for Japanese mayo), garlic albacore steak.

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Seared Scallop with Japanes eMayo

I’ll pass on the ubiquitous California roll and get one of its cousins (Dragon, Kula, Rainbow, etc). They all taste the same except for ones that have some sort of sauce. My daughter is in love with the chicken gyoza dumplings here, which are deep fried. Because they’ve been cruising around the restaurant, most of the fried items don’t work that well as they tend to be a little cold and soggy by the time you get them (like the fried chicken or any of the items on crisped rice). The chicken gyoza don’t last long so if it’s your kind of thing, grab it.

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Fried Takoyaki – I have no idea what this is

There are many items I haven’t tried (and probably never will) that fascinate me.

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Salmon Yukke – the name makes me giggle every time I see it

You can also order a freshly made hand roll for the same price. We’ve never done it, but I have seen it done.

There’s a parking lot too which is a big plus since parking in the area has become a lot more difficult now that it’s become a foodie destination.

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NY Cheesecake – I have never seen anyone take it and am convinced it’s the same piece of cheesecake that goes around each time we’re there

If you’re in the mood for dessert, go somewhere else. The mini mall also has a Beard Papa (which has great cream puffs) and a Yogurtland upstairs. If you’ve managed to find street parking, there’s also Blockheads (shave ice cream) and Brian’s Shave Ice across the street.

Kula uses organic rice and doesn’t use MSG. Hooray!

Location:2130 Sawtelle Blvd., Unit 111, Los Angeles, CA 90025. Additional locations in Rancho Cucamonga, Brea, Laguna Hills, Little Tokyo, Torrance and Irvine.

Website:http://www.kulausa.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No.
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly – Kind of.
Gluten-Free Options – Yes.

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