A sleepy block in Culver City just got livelier with the arrival of Tokyo Guild. This hip Japanese restaurant took over the space formerly occupied by East Borough and Ramen Bangaichi and given it a makeover. They’ve extended the bar out into the dining room, with a cocktail menu as long as the food menu to match. Wacky Japanese music videos play on the TV, while hip hop music thumps in the background.
Their efforts in attracting clientele seems to have paid off. A week after their opening, tables at lunch were occupied by diners eager to drink and eat deep fried food.
The menu is divided into bites and salads, ramen and finger sandwiches, perfect for pairing with that cocktail menu. Their ramen is perfectly serviceable, with an ajitama included.
The ramen noodles are of medium thickness, and the broth is acceptable, not spicy nor particularly strong in flavor.
The marinated egg was a little on the salty side, though that yolk was cooked perfectly. If you’re seeking ramen, I wouldn’t recommend Tokyo Guild, but if you happen to be here and have the urge to slurp noods, it’ll do.
On the sando side, the tamago was ok, a fairly straightforward rendition of eggs mixed with mayo and some dill. I was a little disappointed that it lacked that soft-cooked jammy egg yolk that seems to be popping up all over my Instagram.
The katsu was the better of the two, with cabbage and mustard, instead of mayo. The katsu wasn’t as juicy, nor the bread as fluffy and pillowy soft as others, but it managed to fulfill that katsu craving.
We added a side of skinny fries, served with a mustard-mayo and ketchup. They could have used a dusting of some kind of spice to make them a bit more interesting, but we ate them all, nevertheless.
A 15% service charge is automatically included – leaving one the somewhat awkward choice of including an additional tip if you’re inclined to tip around 20% (or more). The 15% is split amongst all the hourly employees (so I assume the kitchen gets a share, as well), but I’m not sure how any additional gratuities are shared.
There’s metered street parking along Washington and free parking available in the public garage – perfect for walking off those fried food calories. While I can’t say the food is knock-your-socks-off spectacular, Tokyo Guild would be the perfect place to enjoy some food and cocktails – especially if they add a happy hour (hint, hint).
Location – 9810 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Website – https://thetokyoguild.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Friendly – Yes
Note: Tokyo Guild has closed and been replaced by Dobowa.