By Ivan Cazares
Don’t let the disposable plates and utensils fool you. Established in 1944, Juanita’s Cafe serves some great home-style Mexican food.
Juanita’s small menu is made up primarily of combination, most of which include rice, beans and a simple salad served with Italian dressing.
The beans are served with melted cheddar cheese which adds another layer of flavor. The rice is perfectly cooked, unlike at many restaurants. Its beef is tender and flavorful.
The chicken is tasty as well. Its guacamole is delicious and compliments the majority of the food. Juanita’s tacos are perfectly fried and have a satisfying crunch.
They are sold in a variety of combinations like tacos with enchiladas. Customers also have the option to make their own combinations.
Juanita’s two-sope combo will fill most customers. However, the low prices make it affordable to add more to a plate. For those who like a challenge, the establishment sells a ridiculously large burrito.
Mike’s Burrito is big enough to feed two people. The locale adds to the restaurant’s homey feel. Juanita’s is easy to overlook because of several larger restaurants on the historic Olvera Street.
The front of the restaurant is made of brick, and the rudimentary grills are built into the brick. T
he only thing that separates pedestrians from the cooks is a thin piece of glass. This setup makes it possible for pedestrians to see the cooks while they prepare the simple but satisfying food. The staff is friendly and welcoming.
The walls are painted in traditional Mexican fashion. The small quarters makes it feel like an authentic Mexican cenaduria. Juanita’s Cafe is located on 20 Olvera St., Los Angeles near Union Station.
Kula Revolving Sushi Bar
By Anastasia Landeros
Fresh sushi lovers will appreciate the variety, quality and price of Kula Revolving Sushi Bar in the heart of Little Tokyo.
Unlike other revolving sushi bars, where decorative designs on the plate designate a different amount, each plate on the conveyor belt costs just $2.25.
Quality and price are the most attractive reasons to try Kula, but their futuristic ordering system and clean-up routine is a highlight of the dining experience.
If a customer wants to order something that is not on the conveyor belt, a touch screen above the table can assist with ordering.
When the order is ready, the item is brought to the table via another conveyor belt above the revolving sushi below. Clearing the table is also easy and fun.
When plates are ready to be cleared, they can be pushed through a small slit at the edge of the table. The more plates that are pushed through the slot, the higher the chance of the table receiving a prize.
If sushi doesn’t quite hit the spot, Kula also offers an assortment of ramen, oyju (a single entree dish over rice served in a small box), fried and tempura meats, and seafood. The ramen doesn’t hold up to more ramencentered restaurants, so that can be skipped if there’s only mild interest in trying it.
The nigiri are the freshest items on the conveyor belt, specifically any one of the salmon options. Kula offers fresh salmon, soy sake marinated salmon, seared salmon with Japanese mayo, umami oil salmon and, the tastiest option, garlic ponzu salmon.
Although the sushi roll selection is limited, the freshness of the ingredients is the selling point. Kula Revolving Sushi Bar is located at 333, E. 2nd St., Los Angeles near the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.
By Jorge Aldaco
For those looking for a great ramen joint, the Shin-Sen-Gumi restaurant in Little Tokyo is the place to go.
Located on Central and 2nd Street in Los Angeles, the restaurant is a popular place because of the diversity in ramen toppings and other food options.
When entering the restaurant, everyone working greets you and not just the greeter inviting you in. Customers are greeted by the waiters and the kitchen staff as well.
The most popular choice is the Hakata ramen. Pork broth topped with ginger and onion forms the base. Customers are given a list of toppings to add, ranging from pork, bamboo, spinach, eggs, and even seaweed and a curry bomb.
Unlike most places that offer the standard ramen bowl, Shin-Sen-Gumi gives customers the opportunity to customize and create with many choices. The flavors and variety of choices are almost endless.
Alongside ramen, curry rice bowls can be customized as well. Rice Curry bowls have fewer options in toppings but have a decent selection that can be added.
Each topping is charged separatly for both ramen and curry and range in price from $1 to $4. Shin-Sen-Gumi also offers hot and fried dishes, usually seafood like octopus, squid and chicken.
There are hot plates of rice bowls topped with fried chicken, beef and pork with a hint of ginger and onions. Its friendly atmosphere, proud sense of service and its cultural touch within the restaurant make this spot a highlight of the Little Tokyo scene.
It helps give this part of Los Angeles its uniqueness . Shin-Sen-Gumi is located at 132 S. Central Ave. Los Angeles near the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.
By Ivan Cazares
The German restaurant Wurstkuche offers a variety of gourmet and exotic hot dogs that are worth trying at least once.
However, the taste is hit or miss. While its classic mango jalapeno sausage and gourmet Filipino maharlika are delicious, its vegetarian Mexican chipotle is bland and dry.
It’s worth noting that the establishment offers three vegetarian sausages. The Filipino Maharlika is made of sweet pork with soy sauce and ginger.
It’s flavor-packed. Customers can pick two out of four toppings to customize their hotdogs. Caramelized onions and spicy peppers complement any of the sausages offered.
In addition to two toppings, customers are able to serve themselves a variety of gourmet mustards and ketchup.
Throw in an order of Wurstkuche’s thick cut fries and it’ll make a very satisfying meal.
A small order includes a dipping sauce, and a large order includes two. Its exotic sausages range from rattlesnake and rabbit with jalapenos to pheasant with herbs de provence. It’s rattlesnake and rabbit with Jalapeno peppers sausage is good.
However, the texture takes some getting used to. The meat is inconsistently chewy and won’t be to everyone’s satisfaction.
However, the variety will appeal to any foodie and those who like to experiment. In addition to food, Wurstkuche offers a large variety of draft beer and bottled beer.
The seating arrangements make it feel like a communal experience. The majority of the seats are long benches and the tables are covered with paper.
Customers are provided crayons to draw or doodle on the tables.
This is perfect for games of tic tac toe. While Wurstkuche offers a great dinning experience, some won’t think spending $7 on a hot dog is worth it when street vendors sell bacon wrapped hot dogs for half the price.
Wurstkuche is located on 800 E. 3rd St. in the Arts District near the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.