The Last Days of Mishima (The Restaurant, Not the Author)
C. Pete Lee
If you look up Mishima on the Internet, you may discover a wide variety of things: It's the name of a city, town and village in Japan; it's the surname of one of Japan's most important authors, Yukio Mishima (see also: seppuku); it's a musical group from Barcelona; and it's even a style of pottery. You may also find a packaged food company founded by Yukata Mishima that owns and operates a Los Angeles-based restaurant with the same name. Mishima, the restaurant, on 3rd St. near the corner of La Cienega Blvd., which opened in 1993, will close its doors on Feb. 4.
Mishima isn't your ordinary neighborhood Japanese restaurant. Sure, they offer the standards -- udon, soba, donburi rice bowls, sushi rolls and more recently, ramen -- but their signature tofu salad may be the one single item on their menu that has people coming back for more. Like Yang Chow's Slippery Shrimp, Mishima's Tofu Salad is on almost every table you see. Another crowd favorite is Mishima's $1 Kirin Draft, offered Friday through Sunday.
Mishima will close to allow the company to focus their energies on their miso soups and packaged foods. The following day, Feb. 5, Takamaru will take over the kitchen. This will be Takamaru's first restaurant outside of Japan. Since the company owns a fish market, the staff suggests looking forward to fresh fish dishes on their new menu. The great news: The beloved tofu salad will still be offered as most of the menu will remain the same. The not so great news: The $1 Kirin Draft will most likely discontinue.
As you keep your fingers crossed for ongoing $1 specials, let's raise a glass and say farewell to 20 delicious years of Mishima and say hello to the arrival of Takamaru. Kanpai!
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