Fans of the food court inside Mar Vista's Mitsuwa Marketplace will soon have more than just Santouka Ramen to line up for starting June 11. The previously vacated vendor space will be occupied by Hannosuke, a tempura specialist originally based out of Chūō, Tokyo, which specializes in one item and one item only: tendon, or tempura donburi, which consists of piles of mixed seafood and veggie tempura served over rice and laced with a super-secret "Edo-style" sauce. The space, which has already taken on a wood-paneled bubble-shaped veneer, will be the chain's first outpost outside of Japan.
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A small poster outside Mitsuwa outlines how Hiroyuki Kaneko, a former chairman of Japan's chef association known for his dedication to the art of deep-frying, opened a small restaurant in Tokyo in the 1950's that soon drew massive crowds for its golden-brown bowls of crispy tempura. The signage ends with by proclaiming that, "They may have tasted good sushi in the United States of America, but chances are they have never encountered authentic superb tempura." Bold words.
As a pot-sweeting bonus, the first 100 customers on June 11 will receive a free bowl of tendon.