Tempura Endo (Beverly Hills): A Pictorial Essay

The opening of Tempura Endo in Beverly Hills ushers in a different type of high-end Japanese dining to Los Angeles. Based in Kyoto, Tempura Endo features exquisite meals centered around Kyoto-style tempura dishes.

There are three menu levels available, clearly described on their website. We decided to go with the complete package: The “Matsu” menu ($280 per person).

Our ingredients for tonight’s “Matsu” menu!!! The shrimps jumped seven or eight times to try to escape!

Drinks: “Born” Tokusen Junmai Daiginjo & Choya umeshu…

Appetizer: Nasu (Japanese eggplant), from Kyoto, served with minced shrimp & ginger dashi gelee…

A variety of different salts are presented for dipping: Sea salt, matcha (green tea extract) salt, rice salt, truffle salt, and rock salt. Each salt truly imparts its own characterstics to the taste of the tempura.

Amuse tempura: Corn & Shrimp Toast… Delicious! The corn is grown in Japan, and tastes quite different than corn from elsewhere. The frying technique is delicate and light. Cottonseed oil is used for the frying, in keeping with Kyoto tradition.

Sashimi: Awabi (abalone), honmaguro o-toro (fatty bluefin tuna belly), aji (Japanese horse mackerel), and wagyu (A5-grade Japanese beef) from Miyazaki Prefecture… Each bite was pristine.

Kuruma ebi (Japanese imperial prawn) from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo… These guys were just jumping a few seconds ago.

Grated daikon radish…

Bafun uni (sea urchin roe) from Santa Barbara, wrapped in nori (seaweed)… Excellent.

Tarabagani (king crab leg)…

Shiro-gisu (Japanese sillago), wrapped in shiso leaf…

A wrapped package shows up next. Chef Matsuda tells us to unwrap it with only a small opening at first, and smell the aroma within… The smell is intoxicating.

Satoimo (taro) with black truffle… Superb!

Pea croquette… The peas are from Japan, and are super fresh-tasting. There is also minced peas inside - It is a deceivingly labor-intensive dish to make. Awesome!

Gari (pickled young ginger)… To refresh the palate.

Awabi (abalone)… Let’s add some butter to that - So tasty…

“Refreshment” tempura: Flambéed sweet potato… So sweet - This could be dessert right here.

Yuzu granité… Such a unique citrus flavor - Always welcome…

Caviar with edible gold flakes for the next serving…

Hotategai (scallops) from Hokkaido, with black truffle inside… Beautiful.

A textural and gustatory experience: Slightly fried pillowy scallop, with the brininess of the caviar, and just a hint of the earthiness of the truffle… So complex!

Agedashi gomadofu (fried sesame tofu, with ponzu and green onions)…

Wagyu (Japanese A5-grade beef)… Divine.

Endo “Special Salad”…

Hot tea…

Tempura bowl: Ten-don, with egg yolk, served with tsukemono (pickled vegetables), and miso soup…

Housemade Japanese-style candies…

Tea Ceremony: A scene from Kyoto comes alive in Beverly Hills, as matcha tea is prepared to accompany the dessert…

Kuromitsu (Japanese molasses) sorbet…

Gifts to take home…

I felt transported to the Gion District with this meal. The service was gracious, and the food of course was fantastic.


Tempura Endo
9777 Santa Monica Bl.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210


My god that looks amazing. BUT…

How does it make you feel knowing that you are partly responsible for this American bastardization of Japanese cuisine?

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This looks incredible.

Thank you so much for visiting and more importantly, sharing the pictures and review with us!

How is their sake list, particularly the high end premium reserve stuff (any Zankyo Super 8, Dassai Beyond type of baller sake)? Website only lists some placeholders unfortunately. The sake glass (blue dots) is very pretty.

What is the actual tempura in the ten-don?

The caviar (with the edible gold flakes) looks almost like Okinawa umi-budo (sea grapes)!

Somehow the awabi with butter picture reminds me of a pristine piece of Hong Kong style deep fried French toast (done the proper way). I’ll have to stop imaging pouring some syrup over it…

Thanks again.

Wow. The food looks stunning. This meal was the same base price as Urasawa, correct? Which one do you think is more accessible for those of us who aren’t super knowledgable about Japanese cuisine (and, yes, I know the food is totally different at each place)?

Will be getting some more Powerball tickets in a few days… :wink: ::snort::

I freely admit that I am a lucky bastard.


I appreciate your kind words.

The sake list on my visit was shorter than the list shown on their website. I made the mistake of not taking a photo of the sake list, so I cannot recall exactly - My apologies.

My one impression of the list was that the price was about double that of other restaurants in L.A. (for similar grade sakes) - “Beverly Hills markups” are needed to pay the overhead, I suppose…

At $280 (food only) for the most expensive set menu, Tempura Endo is still a less expensive meal than Urasawa.

I think the food is definitely accessible for relative newcomers to Japanese cuisine.

In fact, I would argue that a meal at Tempura Endo could potentially be an eye-opener to those who don’t want to buy an airline ticket to Japan to try this sort of cooking in its native land. I think that here in the U.S., tempura has long been (improperly) relegated to the category of “cheap deep-fried food”. The elevation of tempura meals/cuisine to a very refined level is well-known in Japan, but has not been available here in Los Angeles. Until now.

Also, keep in mind that there is a $180 per person menu, which I think would be great if you’d like to bypass the sashimi course (we already “do” sashimi pretty well here in L.A.)…


Runny egg yolk, and kakiage (small shrimp, scallops, abalone & nori). The tsukemono were really nice as well.

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Thanks JL! What is the tsukemono behind the cucumber? It looks like pickled radish with seaweed strips?

The square box with the small spoon next to the miso soup of the ten don set, is that a condiment or salt of some sort?

(1) Pickled gourd.
(2) Matcha pepper (which I had already sprinkled onto my ten-don in the photo).

Were you full from it? Interestingly enough I was at Shunji trying the truffle gohan and the person sitting next to me had just come from Tempura Endo, spending $800 for a party of two, but said he wasn’t full so he went to Shunji after.

I was feeling pretty full. Shunji had seating space last-second?!

very nice pictorial essay, thanks for sharing. I can affirm that the food here is really amazing, and probably saves you a trip to Kyoto. That said, it’s bonkers expensive.

Great report as usual @J_L. :slightly_smiling:

Baller status! LOL. I can live vicariously through your report again. :wink:

Or we can just have a FTC Meetup! Tempura Endo $280 + tax + tip per person. Go big or go home. Or maybe not. :stuck_out_tongue:

It looks delicious, but I would say, I’m not sure if it’s totally accessible to most people in terms of economics. Would people who have never had great Tempura gain more value out of, say, a trip to Inaba (Torrance) with their Tempura specialist at a fraction of the cost of Tempura Endo? Or is Endo so far superior to Inaba that it’d be like comparing Sugarfish to Mori?

Barrier to entry keeps the riffraff out.

“i love me some tempura”


Mori Sushi’s Maru-san has been already per his Facebook page.

As has Shunji-san…

I have not been! need to go ASAP.