There are a few streets in Los Angeles that are mini-neighborhoods, Sawtelle Blvd. is a mini Japanese town on a street. The area used to be where all the Japanese nurseries were before it got built up, so the restaurants and shops still reflect the tastes of the old (and now new) residents.
There are countless favorites on the stretch between Olympic Blvd (where the conference center the Olympic Collection stands) and La Grange Street. Think of it as a Japanese Third Street Promenade.
Starting at the Olympic Collection, there is everything from the fusion restaurant Zip Fusion, to Pinkberry. My personal favorite is not Japanese at all but French, Crepes Dusigne located at 11301 W. Olympic Blvd #125, L.A., CA 90025 Tel 310-476-0903. It is a very small cute cafe with savory to sweet crepes and personable owners. I have had crepes all over Los Angeles, and these are by far the best I've had outside of Paris. Warm, soft, and delicate, the fillings are as fresh as the produce from the Farmer's markets where this cafe got its' start. They even have French television in the cafe!
On the same side of the street just north of the Olympic Collection is a mini mall which houses my favorite Ramen Place, Kinchans, 2119 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, Tel # 310-445-0031. I love their spicy pork ramen, but you can get everything from mushroom beef to spicy mabo rice. This is the soup you want after watching the classic noodle movie Tanpopo!
Two doors from Kinchans is the best Boba Tea place on this boulevard, Volcano Tea, 2111 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025 Tel #310-445-5326 They have flavors ranging from mango to lychee and everything in between, with or without milk, boba, and jelly. They even have Wifi!
Across the street is the Nijiya Market, 2130 Sawtelle Blvd. #105, Los Angeles, CA 90025 Tel# 310-575-3300, with everything you need to make any Japanese meal at home. They even have some prepared to go sushi and asian meals that are actually close to restaurant food if you don't feel like cooking. With a little patio outside, you can eat your lunch at the supermarket.
Next to the market is Beard Papa, 2130 Sawtelle Blvd. #110, Los Angeles, CA 90025 Tel# 310-479-6665 which makes....FRESH cream puffs! Best eaten right at the store or within minutes of buying them, you will not be disappointed!
Go get a taste of Sawtelle!