This week in L.A. restaurants: Izakaya and sushi den Kodo opens, Ricardo Zarate brings Nikkei to Silver Lake

A photo of Kodo's salmon-wrapped cucumber sashimi topped with ikura. A hand drips a spoonful of more ikura on top.
Housed in the forthcoming Rykn hotel, new izakaya Kodo and Rykn Cafe — from the team behind Hollywood’s Kensho — are serving Kyoto-inspired flavor in the Arts District.
(Gry Space / Kodo)


A haute Kyoto-inspired izakaya from David Wynn, owner of Hollywood wine bar and restaurant Kensho, is now open in the Arts District in the boutique hotel Rykn from Wynn’s Kensho Group. With a sushi bar, indoor and outdoor dining, a fire pit and private dining room, Kodo , is led by executive chef and Hamasaku vet Yoya Takahashi, who collaborated with Kensho to launch temari sushi operation DSCO last year. At Kodo, the menu ranges from binchotan-grilled robatayaki (a specialty of chef de cuisine Jaehee Lee, formerly of Cafe Stella and Lazy J’s) to maki, sashimi and omakase overseen by head sushi chef Alex Kohsuke Suzuki. The all-day Rykn Cafe, in the Rykn lobby, serves coffee, matcha, wine and sake, with a limited food program to follow. Kodo is open 5:30 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays; Rykn Cafe is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

710 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 302-8010,

A moody photo of the minimalist sushi bar at Kodo, which features open shelving and a marble sushi bar.
Kodo features a sushi bar, where the team of shokunin craft nigiri, maki and sashimi for guests at the counter.
(Gry Space / Kodo)


Chef Ricardo Zarate’s Peruvian Nikkei restaurant Causita is now open in Silver Lake next to the reimagined Bar Moruno. The chef, who is also behind the program at Fairfax’s new Short Stories Restaurant, is serving the distinctly Nikkei cuisine formed by Japanese migration to Peru. At Causita, look for Nikkei nigiri served with potato instead of rice; udon with Peruvian pesto; foie gras churros with lucuma and more. The pisco-forward bar program from Ramsey Musk (formerly of Ma’am Sir) features Japanese whiskey, agave spirits and Peruvian- and Japanese-inspired cocktails; a biodynamic-focused wine list is curated by David Rosoff (co-owner of adjacent sibling concepts Bar Moruno and Rápido). Causita is open 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays thorough Thursdays and 5 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

3709 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 546-0505,


A photo of a bowl of Causita's ceviche ceviche mixto on a wooden tabletop.
Causita brings ceviche mixto — with kanpachi, calamari, shrimp, scallops and leche de tigre — to the former Sawyer space, just off Sunset Triangle Plaza.
(Anne Fishbein / Causita)


Bernhard Mairinger, formerly of BierBeisl and the Patina Group, has spent the last few years working as a private chef; in early 2023 he’s set to return with a new restaurant. An all-day spot called Lustig is planned to open in Culver City’s Helms Bakery complex with a mix of Austrian, German and other European cuisines in the form of truffle chicken liver mousse profiteroles, uni deviled eggs, and pan con tomate with tuna tartare. Joining Mairinger will be water sommelier Martin Riese.

8703 Washington Blvd., Culver City,

Banh Mi My-Tho expands

Banh mi stalwart Banh Mi My-Tho — already in Alhambra and Rosemead — has expanded with a second location in Rosemead. The third restaurant has taken over a former Wienerschnitzel and is selling the local chain’s banh mi from the takeout-only A-frame space. Expect the signature, $5 banh mi in varieties such as Vietnamese meatball, grilled pork, and caramel chicken, along with summer rolls and coffee and tea. The new location is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

7434 Garvey Ave., Rosemead, (626) 545-2008,

A photo of a grilled-pork Banh Mi My-Tho banh mi sandwich split in half.
Banh Mi My-Tho’s newest location sells the local chain’s signature banh mi and summer rolls seven days a week.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Changes at Magic Castle

Famed performance venue and restaurant the Magic Castle has announced that a new head chef will lead its culinary arm: Benoit “Ben” LaFleche, formerly of the Griffin Club and of Huntington Beach’s Waterfront Beach Resort, is now the executive chef. With the announcement also comes the addition of a bistro-inspired outdoor area, first to be used for private events, then for non-event cocktails and dining. The Magic Castle came under fire in late 2020 for a range of allegations, including sexual assault and discrimination; a new owner, Randy Pitchford, is in the process of purchasing the Magic Castle, including its restaurant and adjacent hotel.

7001 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 851-3313,

AAPI pop-up market

New online shop Combap Mart hosts monthly pop-up markets within San Gabriel’s new Blossom Market Hall and on May 7 will hold a special event in honor of Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month. The pop-up mart, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., will sell food and home goods from Asian American makers and companies, including ceramics, special-reserve fish sauce from Red Boat and a collaborative baked-goods box set made with Vietnamese pop-up bakery Ba Kỳ. The pop-up also will offer a range of limited-run T-shirts celebrating L.A.’s Asian neighborhoods and enclaves.

264 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel,

Emo Brunch

A new pop-up series is riffing on emo and 2000s nostalgia: Emo Brunch, running Saturdays and Sundays through May 22, takes over the Bourbon Room’s second floor in Hollywood with dishes such as Pancakes! at the Disco, Hash-Brown Confessional, and a Taking Back Sundae. Each ticketed, 90-minute session costs $50 per guest and includes one entree and choice of mimosa or nonalcoholic drink, with additional food and drink available for purchase.

6356 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles,