Stepping into Suehiro Cafe is like traveling back in time to when Little Tokyo was a little sleepier, when the massive crowds outside of Daikokuya and Marugame didn’t exist. An old-time cafe, Suehiro offers traditional Japanese home cooking at a no frills price. While the wait outside of Daikokuya and Marugame slowly grew, we had no problems walking into Suehiro Cafe and getting a table for lunch on the weekend.
I’ve wanted to come to here ever since I had read Jonathan Gold’s recommendation in the LA Weekly several years ago. He had described it as a “Japanese dive,” which conjured images of a dark, cramped and dirty space. To my relief, the restaurant was light, spacious, and more importantly, clean.
My husband and I both chose entrees that came with miso soup.
I couldn’t resist the siren song of katsu – in my case, a pork cutlet topped with eggs and onions over rice, pure comfort food. The cutlet had soaked up too much oil and wasn’t as good as the one that I get from Sanuki Sandou.
My husband and daughter made better choices than I did. My husband’s yakisoba was surprisingly tasty, a vast improvement over the flavorless yakisoba from Feast from the East, one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
When my daughter took her first bite of her ramen, she said, “Yum.” This coming from someone who eats ramen constantly and is pretty picky about her ramen. I tried it, and she was right. The broth had a good flavor and not quite as salty as some of the ramen broths out there.
During the week, Suehiro offers lunch specials for $5.25. Yes, you read that correctly – $5.25. Who knew such a bargain could still exist? This even reflects a recent price hike at the beginning of this year.
The next time you find yourself in Little Tokyo and hungry, do yourself a favor and avoid the wait. Walk past Daikokuya and Marugame and enter Suehiro Cafe for some Japanese comfort food at a decent price.
Location – 337 E 1st St, Los Angeles, 90012
Website – https://suehirocafe.wordpress.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – Yes
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes