Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tokyo 7-7 @ Culver City

Tokyo 7-7 is just about the only place where I can say, "God, this is mediocre," but still return for more. The Japanese breakfast I had the other day was above average; tamagoyaki, cucumber tsukemono (lightly vinegared and sweetened), hot fluffy rice, miso soup (sans tofu cubes). It was all decent but the chashu pork--soaked in teriyaki sauce--was as dry as Thanksgiving leftovers. (Just to set the facts straight, chashu isn't typically eaten for breakfast in Japan. It's a Japanese Hawaiian thing.)

So what is it about Tokyo 7-7? Personally, I like the elderly Japanese waitresses who look like they're going to pass out trying to accommodate all the people who file in on any given Saturday morning. They remind me of my mom. Tense faces. Great work ethic.

The prices are tough to beat too. The Japanese breakfast was five bucks even. Other dishes average 3 to 4 dollars. You can literally order the entire menu and still have enough change for seconds.

The other thing that gets me is that it's located smack-dab in the middle of a city block. The cafe is decades old and it's as if it refused to move on as the rest of Culver City changed with the times. It's hard to picture if you've never been, but you have to walk halfway through a narrow alley to reach it. It's like how Dorothy's house sporadically fell into the middle of munchkin land. Very random.

Speaking of munchkin land, across the way is the former home of MGM studios (now called Sony) where they filmed "The Wizard of Oz." There's a hotel in front of the Culver Pacific Theater where the little people were supposedly housed during filming. It's fully rennovated but there's still something a bit spooky about it (given the lore about a munchkin suicide and all).

There's also a new wine bar around the corner and more restaurants on their way. Personally, I'm really excited about the new storefronts in downtown Culver City. It was feeling really empty for a while. Though I hope historic landmarks like Tokyo 7-7 never get plowed down for trendier places. Historic LA is so hard to come by.
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Anonymous said...

My wife and kids ate there the other day and really liked it and the whole atmosphere. To top it off, my son learned a lesson in compassion. A homeless man came in for a bowl of oatmeal but didn't have enough money. The waitress gave him the oatmeal and said he could pay her "next time." This act of kindness could only happen at a place like this. Old town charm, old time values...

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever had chasiu for breakfast in Hawaii. Grandpa usually makes Spam and eggs. Or Portugese sausage.

triplecreme said...

I went there years a go in high school, my classmate Eddie's parent's own it. I just love the location, tucked away in the alley.