Tokyo Café Bids Farewell

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A painting depicts Tokyo Garden at its postwar location on Weller Street.

By GWEN MURANAKA, Rafu English Editor-in-Chief

Tokyo Café, a mom-and-pop eatery, closed on May 31 after decades serving Japanese dishes such as yakisoba, teriyaki and their popular chashu-shumai combination.

Tokiko Ishii poses in Tokyo Café on May 24.

Formerly Tokyo Garden, Tokyo Café has moved several times throughout Little Tokyo. It has been at its current location on Aiso Street since 2000.

Tokiko Ishii’s son Glen Seiji Ishii will be opening a new restaurant at the same location. Glen, who got his start chopping vegetables at the family’s restaurant, is currently executive chef at Noé Restaurant at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel.

He said the new restaurant, scheduled to open in July, will offer breakfast and lunch, serving American classics such as pancakes and omelets, but with a nod to his family’s traditions.

“My family is known for the chashu and shumai. So we’re going to do a chashu hash and eggs,” Glen said.

Although this is goodbye for Tokyo Café, Tokiko promises that she will be back helping her son.

“I don’t want to miss the customers,” she said, smiling.

Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo

Chashu and shumai combination.

 

 

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