Japanese eats: 3 new spots to try in Santa Monica

Photo: Silverlake Ramen/Yelp

Looking for your next great Japanese meal in Santa Monica? These new spots will satisfy all your cravings. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for Japanese food.


2212 Wilshire Blvd.
Photo: Sunny S./Yelp

LA's Kanpai has opened its latest sushi bar and izakaya in Santa Monica.

"Kanpai" is the Japanese word for "cheers" -- a fitting name for a bar stocked with 40 different types of sake. There's also a wide selection of sushi, sashimi and hearty dinners featuring a selection of appetizers, up to 15 pieces of sushi, miso soup and dessert, plus a chef's tasting menu.

The newcomer currently holds five stars out of five reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews.

Sunny S. noted, "So happy Kanpai has opened a location in Santa Monica! I have always been extremely impressed by everything: sashimi, sushi, chirashi, grilled yellowtail collar, fried oysters, ramen. The lunch sets are a great value."

Yelper Cameron L. wrote, "All the delicious dishes ranging from their scrumptious sashimi plate to their surprisingly genuine tonkotsu ramen was absolutely spectacular. The matcha tea is highly recommended with a good homemade taste."

Kanpai Santa Monica is open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Sunday-Thursday, and 11 a.m.-midnight on Friday-Saturday.

Bento Moderno

3101 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 105
Photo: Bento Moderno/Yelp

Bento Moderno is a sushi bar and Asian fusion spot.

On the menu, look for sushi burritos, poke bowls, tuna tartare nachos and milk teas with boba. The restaurant also offers gluten-free, keto-friendly, vegan and vegetarian options.

Yelp users are excited about Bento Moderno, which currently holds five stars out of four reviews on the site.

Yelper Tracey C., who reviewed Bento Moderno on Feb. 9, wrote, "This was absolutely delicious. They're like burrito-sized sushi rolls. They have bowls and bento boxes and boba as well."

Michelle K. noted, "Love this place. Super tasty, super fresh, super reasonable prices and super nice staff."

Bento Moderno is open from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday.

Silverlake Ramen

1319 3rd St. Promenade
Photo: JR B./Yelp

And then there's Silverlake Ramen.

The menu features traditional ramen offerings,such as tonkotsu ramen, shoyu ramen and vegetable ramen. It also offers sushi rolls, a variety of bowls and appetizers, like edamame, gyoza and pork buns. This is one of five locations in California.

Yelp users are generally positive about Silverlake Ramen, which currently holds 3.5 stars out of 99 reviews on the site.

Manolo D. noted, "Some of the best ramen I have had in California. I ordered The Blaze, medium spicy. The broth was tasty and thick, not too spicy. The egg was cooked to perfection. The chasu (pork) was unbelievably tender and thick."

Yelper Arya B. wrote, "Silverlake Ramen is probably my favorite ramen joint in LA. The prices are extremely reasonable, and the quality is amazing. The broth is flavorful, and the noodles are very chewy and just generally delicious."

Silverlake Ramen is open from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday.
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