Sanuki Sandou and Hamada Ya at Mitsuwa Marketplace – Mar Vista

Going to the Mitsuwa Market on Sawtelle is like taking a quick trip to Japan. Not only is there a Japanese market, there’s also a small food court, bookstore and video store all focused on Japanese culture. On our recent trip, we ate at Sanuki Sandou in the food court. Most of the food purveyors feature plastic food displays, which I’ve always enjoyed viewing, so this was a treat!

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Sanuki Sandou offers udon, rice bowls and soba noodles, all expertly recreated in plastic. Since Halloween is coming up, the display had Halloween items like a black cat, skeleton, spiders draped over bowls of noodles and rice…at least they refrained from placing a rat next to one of the bowls.

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I especially love it when the chopsticks seem to be floating in the air.

Once you order at the counter, the biggest challenge is finding a place to sit. Apologies to the lady whose table I stole. I’m sorry! My daughter told me that she found a table, and I thought you were leaving.

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Pork cutlet and egg on rice – nice!

The food here is reasonably priced and much cheaper than eating at the food court at the local malls. I thought my katsudon  (pork cutlet and egg on rice) was a cheap and oh-so-tasty at $6.95…

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Turns out I got the most expensive item in our family. My daughter just got plain udon ($4.95,) while my husband got the curry udon ($5.95). We all made quick work of our food and soon our dishes were empty.

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I was still a little hungry though and wanted a little dessert. Luckily there’s Hamada Ya, a bakery and coffee bar located in the same food court. They don’t have a plastic food display but have the actual items on view. The bakery includes some unusual items like the Edamame Cheese pastry and Tuna Roll.

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Of course, there was also the Yakisoba Sandwich which always fascinates me but I’ve never dared to order in fear that I will like the carb on carb too much.

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It was another hot day in Los Angeles so all I could think about was something cold. When I saw that they had soft serve ice cream, I was sold! Only two flavors – vanilla and green tea – three if you count the vanilla and green tea swirl – are available. We all ordered different flavors.

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I got the vanilla/green tea swirl and was pleasantly surprised to see what looked like mini graham crackers (maybe Golden Graham cereal) at the bottom. It was a nice touch.

After lunch, we browsed the bookstore which had a wide selection of manga, which is my daughter’s current obsession. The store was well-curated and had lots of cute stationary, books (in English and Japanese), magazines and other items. We also picked up a couple of things in the market (corn syrup-free mochi, which is pretty hard to find, and frozen manapuas aka steamed BBQ pork buns). We exited the market and immediately were back in Los Angeles – our quick trip to Japan completed.

Location – in Mitsuwa Marketplace 3760 S. Centinela, Los Angeles 90066
Website – none
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes

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