Okay, okay–so the games aren’t that bad, and there is something sort of cool about Japanese bootlegs which repeatedly remind you how it’s illegal for them to be played outside of Japan, but let’s be honest: This post is all about The Shojin. Ahh, the Shojin. A brand-spanking new, vegan Japanese restaurant on the third level of the Little Tokyo Shopping Center. LAist posted about it a couple of weeks ago, and I had to check it out. The restaurant feels totally out of place on the third floor of a fluorescently barren mall. It’s cozy and comfortable, with soft, warm lighting and mellow, earthy tones. Classy touch: They offered me a small basket to put my bag in, so it wouldn’t have to sit on the floor. They don’t have their liquor license yet, but they’re working on it. They do, however, have something called the “Detox” drink. A mix of cane juice, ginger, cayenne pepper, and ice water, the cleansing cocktail is both sweet and hot, and I could’ve sworn it had some kind of buzzy effect. My waitress insisted that it was very good for the heart. Generally speaking, the food was Good. Not great, but Good. Though I didn’t want to (“Let’s try something we’ve never had before…”), I did try their Japanese curry at the behest of my companions. I was glad I did: Unlike other Japanese curries I’ve had, this one was made from scratch and absolutely delicious. The things they do with seitan are very tasty indeed (they describe one of their bento boxes as “gorgeousness”), and the chocolate cake was damn good. I was with a couple who had never had “vegan food” before (that always makes me giggle), and they seemed to really enjoy it. With an ever-changing menu and lots of promise, The Shojin is definitely a do-over.
333 S. Alameda St. Suite 310
(Little Tokyo Shopping Center 3F)
Los Angeles, CA 90013