Ozu East Kitchen

3224 Glendale Blvd.
Atwater Village, California 90039


  • Lunch: Tue.-Sun., noon-3 p.m.; dinner: Tue.-Thu. & Sun., 5-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-10 p.m.
Ozu East Kitchen, the sparse Asian eatery in Atwater Village, might be a model for the modern neighborhood restaurant, one with a low bar of entry (prices are reasonable), quick customer turnover (making those reasonable prices economically viable) and a menu that will satisfy food nerds and comfort seekers alike. The offerings from the kitchen come listed under three categories: snacks, smalls and bowls, plus bento boxes at lunch. There are also a few set dinner options, which combine a snack, a bowl and a house beer or wine for around $20. There's a porcine version of a Taiwanese beef roll, the dense, crispy, oily scallion pancake wrapped around juicy braised pork shoulder, proving once again that good barbecue is an international language with nebulous borders. It's kind of stupidly decadent and unbalanced and delicious. ""Avocado toast"" is actually a smash of guacamole that's had its lime replaced with yuzu, served atop a crisped rice cake and accompanied by something they're calling ""smoked kochugang."" Japan meets California meets Korea, and they all get along beautifully.

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