The best Japanese restaurants in Los Angeles are hard to find, and Osawa is no exception: hidden away in Pasadena, like Katsu-ya in the Valley and Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo’s maze. The menu is quite simple: izakaya appetizers (called otsumami), sushi and shabu-shabu. Go easy on the otsumami (shishito tempura stuffed with spicy tuna, beef tongue with furofuki daikon …) to save room for what’s coming up next. If you’re walking in on a Saturday night, you’ll be seated at a regular table where you can order sushi, bento box and chirashi. But the lucky ones seated at the bar will order shabu-shabu, a Japanese fondue with Kurobuta pork, rib-eye or Wagyu. Shabu-shabu? So nice you say twice.

Address: 77 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 11:30AM-2:30PM and 5-9:30PM

Menu: theosawa.com

Reservations (626) 683-1150 or OpenTable

Style: Japanese

Price: Otsumami $4-15, Shabu shabu $23-89

Neighborhood: Pasadena

Best for: Lunch, Dinner