Artelice Patisserie (Sawtelle Japantown): A Pictorial Essay

The dreaded Japanese “regular vs. non-regular customer syndrome” strikes yet again, I’m afraid. Sorry you had that experience at Yakitoriya. (I’m not a “made man” there, either, so I know how cold it can be.) For what it’s worth, the food at NanBanKan is awesomer, anyways (and no such dichotomy in customer care there)…


Thanks for sharing your ratings on Tomo vs Balconi. Went inside Tomo to take a look last year and didn’t seem interesting to me.

Balconi was very good. Easily runs circles around most of San Francisco’s hipster coffee.

I’m assuming you’ve had regular coffee or JP style iced coffee at a Kissaten in Tokyo (where they also serve cakes, sometimes spaghetti, sandwiches etc). What’s the closest Kissaten experience in LA and/or Torrance/Gardena, where the coffee is actually done properly (beans not under roasted, hipster style)? Anything similar in style/approach to Hi-Collar in New York, for example?

1 Like

Respectfully disagree - though I am a fan of both (for different reasons) - for me the yakitori at Yakitoriya (yy) is far superior to Nanbankan (nbk). Better quality and flavor of chicken. But there are limited vegetable, kushiyaki, seafood and kitchen offerings at yy.
So when I want a broader palette (or, when I am just craving nbk’s excellent onigiri, which happens a lot) with inferior chicken, it’s nbk. For pure yakitori and the best soboro don I’ve had in the US, it’s yy.

welcome to my blacklist!

Yes CB, but you are a “regular” there…

Perhaps, but not more so at one place over the other. I would say I have been a pretty solid customer at both nbk and yy for a few decades.

I will say the staff at nbk is a lot more accommodating, less harried and friendlier than yy. But I truly don’t think that it is any different for regulars or newbies.
Here’s what I mean. I have a buddy who is a true “regular” at yy. He goes at least 2x a month, and takes out weekly as well. And he owns a building further North on Sawtelle, near Plan Check. And he has thrown a small party there for their Duck Shabu Shabu which I reported on previosly Holy Duck - Go off menu and try the Duck Shabu-Shabu at Yakitori-ya

Yet, he tells me how they ignore him, almost always, for a good twenty minutes after seating. That is their m. o.

1 Like

Tomo has excellent iced coffee - so without bitterness it tastes almost sweet! They can run out by late afternoon.

1 Like

So why go there? I can’t imagine any meal being worth that level of condensation and disinterest.

I do not like feeling as though a chef is doing me a favor to feed me in exchange for :heavy_dollar_sign:I’ll eat elsewhere, where the chef enjoys feeding people.

Yeah, I once had a “too sweet” issue with my bowl there as well. I think Sergio was not cooking that day. Anyways, please complain to the kitchen when that happens. I did - They actually care, and wrote down the issue for Boss Popcorn to review.


Yes, I guess I did not explain it very fairly: their “m. o.” sounds like it is willful and - as you suggest - condescending and disinterested. That’s not really the case.
They are caring but they run a very thin operation - the husband/chef, wife/server (she may do some kitchen work as well). I think that is it, on weekdays - with another server on weekends. When I said they “ignore him” I meant it takes a while to get any attention.

I go there because (to me) it’s the best yakitori I can get without going to 30-40 minutes away (Torihei). The service is always slow and it is more expensive than Torihei, but to me that is worth it, and I don’t think it is meant to be discourteous.


I’m a big fan of Balconi but the iced coffee at Tomo is pretty great

As it turns out I am going to yy tonight with my “regular” friend.
I plan to keep a very close eye on the time of arrival-to-ordering for this thread. Sadly, I don’t think my chronometer will permit me to calibrate time-of-ordering to actaul eating :slight_smile:


where is clauis kasinki ? i don’t see it.

Place was jammed on Friday.
Only the husband and wife there.
Everyone waited quite a while to get food (prob about 45 mins) and drink (prob about 20 mins).
Walk-ins - without a reservation - had to be turned away.

Food was excellent. Soboro Don was especially wonderful.

Perhaps not the right thread for this, but… I was walking by the former Ohana Burger earlier this wk, and it’s definitely closed for good. There’s gigantic signs in the window saying that “Killer Noodle” (dan dan noodles, apparently) by Tsujita will be coming soon. Not much more info on Eater LA:

I saw that Eater blurb about Killer Noodle. Since it’s from the Tsujita folks, I’m guessing it will be Japanese-Chinese food? If so, Benitora right up the street may not be long for Sawtelle.

I was wondering the exact same thing. The giant gyoza at Benitora at still great, though. While I think they’re dan-dan noodles, it’ll be interesting to see what Tsujita’s take on it is and if that encourages Benitora to up their game…

1 Like

I’m not so sure about that assessment at this time. Benitora ain’t exactly a one-trick pony. Lots of people (myself included) eat the other stuff on their menu besides their daigyoza and dan dan mian. Plus, we don’t even know if Tsujita’s DDM will suck or not.

1 Like

What else do you like there? I thought their fried rice was only so-so (pleasant, but not crave worthy). Can’t remember if partner might’ve had udon there once? (if he did, it was unexceptional enough to be unmemorable)

I like their chicken paitan broth with noodles.

1 Like