Charles Namba and Courtney Kaplan opened this understated Echo Park izakaya just blocks from Dodger Stadium in 2017. In the kitchen, Namba puts out tiny sharable gems like hatsu (chicken hearts, skewered) and ankoh (monkfish tempura, here daubed with fennel-pollen aioli). But the sommelier community comes for Courtney Kaplan’s exquisite sake selections, rarities like the Sempuku Shinriki 85, made from an heirloom rice recently saved from extinction. This spring, Namba and Kaplan will also open Ototo, a sake bar, in the space next door.
1356 Allison Ave. , Los Angeles, California
This story appears in the print issue of April 2019.
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