DTLA: Lunch at Suehiro

lunch at Suehiro


One Friday I found myself restless and without a clear plan of where to go for lunch. I hopped on the local mini bus (or DASH to all you LA denizens) and headed to Little Tokyo. I first poked my head into Daikokuya, having just written a post about the new Arcadia location and wanted to see if my impression of the original was better but as usual, it was slammed. So I wandered down to Suehiro. I’ve gone to this cafe plenty of times in the past but always late at night when we wanted to get some grub after some boozin’.

Suehiro looked different during the day yet not really. It was still jammed with tables with people eating noodles and rice dishes. I didn’t pay attention to the specials on the board with the kooky lettering but perhaps I should have as I found myself obsessing over the many types of octopus/squid dishes (okay, the 2-3 dishes) they had listed. Should I get an appetizer for myself?

pork katsu don

But no, I had already ordered my usual pork katsu don there. What? I have an usual dish? Sure, at Suehiro, I always get the pork katsu. The breading is neither light or heavy, it’s just right for the meaty pork. And the egg comes barely cooked so you can still mix the eggy goodness into the rice that has soaked up all the sweet onion gravy. Gravy? Would this be the Japanese version of home cooking? I would imagine so.

You start off with a familiar bowl of soup though the soup had thinly sliced pieces of an omelet instead of the usual tofu. Ah, egg and egg! Someone once told me they could never eat chicken katsu don because they thought eating the “mother” and the “child” was cruel.  Good thing I choose pork over chicken almost every time.

Since I was alone, I ate slowly, enjoying my homey lunch while unintentionally eavesdropping on neighboring tables. The two next to me seemed to know each other from work, an older guy and maybe someone who used to intern at the office. They both complained about dating. The older guy was divorced with children and the younger woman seemed like a typical 20-something. She had taken a photograph of her food claiming she did a visual food diary for the weight loss program she was on. The guy seemed unfazed by her nervous explanation. Maybe she was covering up the fact she actually had a food blog or something.

I lost interest in their conversation. Dating, it seems, was tough for everyone.

A solid lunch however, was much more attainable.



337 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-9132