Need knives sharpened as well as those used by the famed fishmongers who expertly slice sushi at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market? Look no farther than Hitachiya, an unassuming storefront in Torrance's Rolling Hills Plaza, where Hirota Masazumi personally primes your knives. The original outpost of Hitachiya is located in Tsukiji itself (since 1956!), so consider yourself one lucky cat to have access just a jaunt down the San Diego Freeway. The shop stocks Japanese cookware coveted by pro chefs and home cooks alike, including copper omelet pans, bonito shavers, bamboo strainers and wooden boxes for serving hot rice. Be prepared to discover that one gadget you never knew existed, let alone needed, but must have right now. Hitachiya also hosts monthly in-store workshops on traditional Japanese utensils and ingredients, like how to dry vegetables or make tofu from scratch. 2509 W. Pacific Coast Hwy., Torrance. (310) 534-3136, —Derek Thomas

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