>> Sakura-Ya | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday 26 June 2020


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EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (22 January 2024) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
Sakura-Ya on S. Western Avenue is the type of place that has caused plenty of ink to be spilled about how it never seems to change, or maybe that you walked through a time warp when you open the front door, or possibly how much there is to wax poetic about the generations of history involved behind this counter.

And for good reason. These pages would have done the same thing had there not already been plenty out there to read already. You know about Sakura-Ya already; maybe you have never been or maybe you have been coming since you were a child like our friend LauHound who was the first to insist on a visit.

As seen on the ever-changing menu above, those $1.90 balls of goodness are available in two varieties: The more popular mochi rice flour and also manju wheat flour. While the mochi are classic, and incredible here, it always pays to grab a few manju just to enjoy the difference.
Sweet azuki bean with soy bean powder.

The price seems to slip up a nickel or a dime on each visit (admittedly too infrequent), but for the price there is hardly better bang for your buck. The recipe and style of everything has not changed much from when they first opened in 1960, which tells you just about everything you need to know.

Don't fix what is not broken.

Sweet azuki bean.

In some modern shops you will see modern interpretations, and while there is obviously nothing wrong with this, there is just something pure and real about the mochi and manju at Sakura-Ya.

You can buy as many as you like, but the shop has never "upgraded" to any wholesale business, making walk-in customers not only their priority, but their livelihood.

Sweet white bean.

Japanese mugwort with red bean.

Mashed sweet potato.

Crushed chestnut.

16134 S. Western Avenue

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