Little Tokyo just might be my favorite neighborhood on the east side. I'm lucky to only be a 5 minute drive away, so whenever I'm low on matcha or craving some ramen, takoyaki, or sushi, off I go.
Where to park
My favorite place to park is Aiso Street Parking Garage. I usually end up only paying $2, there are always spots, and it's right in the center of the neighborhood.
What to do
Little Tokyo is centered around a great outdoor mall that is aptly named the Little Tokyo Mall.
There are a few tourist-trappy restaurants (be wary of places with giant pictures of food in bold fonts), but a few fantastic places. When in doubt, look em up on Yelp.
Stop by Mitsuru Cafe for takoyaki (above). There's indoor seating but the easiest thing to do is just go to the counter and order to go. At $2.50 each, these little savory balls of goodness are the perfect appetizer while you walk around the square.
For all your japanese grocery needs, look no further than Nijaya Market, which is a few steps away from the cafe. Here you can get matcha for a decent price.
The last time I was at the mall it was almost New Years, so there was a wishing tree where you could write down your wishes for 2019.
There are also tons of shops that sell little Japanese trinkets for great prices.
Where to shop
This is my favorite clothing store in DTLA: Leola Lace. I forgot to take pictures inside, but trust me you'll want to stop in for their minimalist jewelry and lovely clothes. Everything is so reasonably priced it might make you a little surprised!
Where to eat
Be warned: this place almost always has a crazy wait. I've only been here once. The ramen they do is super traditional (aka very heavy). Okonomi in Brooklyn has kind of ruined traditional ramen for me so I'm not a huge fan of this spot but I trust those ramen enthusiasts that say its the best around.
Sushi Go 55
We actually ended up going here after another sushi place had a 90 minute wait that turned into a 2hr one. This ones a 7 minute walk from the main Little Tokyo area, but it's so worth it. Tucked in to the third floor of an unassuming galleria, Sushi Go 55 has some of the best, most authentic sushi you can find in the area. The lunch specials had more than enough food (three courses for $20).
We got the nigiri sampler and sashimi plate. Both were incredible.
That's it for my guide to Little Tokyo! Hope you enjoy, and visit soon :) If you have any more suggestions for the area, let me know in the comments <3