New Lunch Options in Koreatown

For those of us who can’t get to downtown for lunch…

Kimuro Sushi

Replacing the short-lived Sheng Ramen in the corner of the 7th St/Vermont plaza, Kimuro Sushi offers a welcome replacement of the perennially awful, now-closed Wasabi Sushi as a japanese lunch option.

This is not to say that the fish here is particularly good - it is, at best, middling, even for a lower-tier sushi shop like this. However, there are some decent options here.

The Unagi bowl is fairly standard, but at the same time a very decent QPR (it’s hard to find any Unagi bowl for $8.89, let alone a decent one). Accouterments vary, but generally consist of some combination of pickled vegetables, kastuboshi, chopped shiso, and seaweed salad. The sushi rice is decent (appropriately vinegared, not hard/gummy, not cold).

The Beef bowl (now steak bowl) was a pleasant surprise. Unlike the usual “thinly shaved scraps of meat cooked extremely dry”, the beef here was relatively thick-cut, tender, cooked a nice medium, and, dare I say it - beefy. This is a solid step above any generic beef bowl you tend to find at low-budget sushi places. Topped with pickled ginger and green onions, comes with tamago, bamboo sprouts (?), and chopped lettuce on the side. The only real compliant was that there was a little too much fat/tendon left attached to some of the pieces, but it was fairly well rendered, so not a big deal. Rice was fine. Same price as the Unagi bowl.

All lunch items come with a complimentary miso soup, which is actually a little better than average (but not extraordinary).

Kimuro Sushi
698 S Vermont Ave #106, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Tokyo Hamburg

Recently opened on the corner of 6th and New Hampshire comes a new concept eatery - Tokyo Hamburg. I did not actually try their flagship item - the cook-it-yourself Hamburg - but the Chicken Katsu lunch special.

Accompanying rice and miso soup were nothing special. Miso-cabbage and corn-macaroni salads were… serviceable? I’m afraid I don’t have a good baseline to judge these on - they were fine, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for them. Thankfully the chicken katsu itself was very good - well-battered, thick, and juicy, this is a clear indication that somebody in the kitchen knows what they’re doing.

The pricing here - and quality - mark it as one of the few remotely upscale options we have in this area. I’m going to have to come back to try the hamburg, and maybe the desserts too.

Tokyo Hamburg
600 S New Hampshire Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005


6th / Kenmore also has a new poke place, Wai Poke. Family-owned/operated. What I had was okay, but there was a lot of confusion going on with the ordering and also some trouble with the POS card swipe. Very, very new, as in opened earlier this month.

Owners seem really nice, though, so I wish them the best with what seems like their first business.

Thanks for the suggestion!

I went to try Wai Poke today for lunch. The service was fine, but my main problem was that the scoops they used for the fish were tiny! Like, normally I expect roughly double the amount. This is even more unfortunate because in all other respects, Wai Poke is far superior to Wiki Poke on the Normandie plaza - the rice is much better, the saucing is better, and the fish is better. If only there was more actual fish… I left hungry, somehow. As far as I could tell there isn’t even an option to pay to add more fish (not that I think this should be necessary given the price point, but still…).

Maybe if they up the amount of fish they serve, I’ll come back, but otherwise I’ll stick to avoiding both Poke places within walking distance :frowning: