Updated: Aug 19, 2019
Ever have one of those places you love so much you almost don't want to tell anyone because you are afraid it will become over crowded? We had a spot like that when we were living off Main st. in DTLA. One glance at her Instagram account and you know Yuko Kitchen is run by an incredibly creative woman.
The food is just as beautiful as the interior with it's bold, colorful paint job. Sprouting avocados can be seen on every table and even the outside seating area manages to protect you from being hassled in DTLA (no one can ever eat in peace outside in Downtown). All three locations are great including one that is a dedicated soup kitchen.
I honestly never know how to describe the food. It's Japanese food but not your typical sushi joint (although they have sushi).
If you have no dietary restrictions go for the Beef Udon soup. Gluten free option would be the Shrimp bowl. The salmon skin salad is huge and amazing. After having it, you conveniently have the option to take home a mason jar of their dressing (DO IT).
Speaking of take home dressing, you can take home a pack of matcha from Yuko's dad's farm in Japan for only $10. Whaaa??
Even though they have huge portions and fair prices, their HAPPY HOUR is the best. 4-7pm and never packed, it's like Downtown's secret gem. $5 beer, sake and boba and a list of appetizers (get the Chicken Karage if you are okay with Gluten).
And dear God, please leave with a few cookies in your bag.
The only bummer here is if you have A LOT of dietary restrictions like my son. With his soy allergy the only thing we could really get him was the Avocado Rice Cakes (we would have the Salmon Rice Cakes). They will also do grilled chicken and plain rice (we'd ask for a side of vinegar to dip the chicken in). But what he LOVED more than anything was the green mint lemonade (we ordered it less sweet). Seriously, it's totally wicked and I recommend adding boba.
So if you ever find yourself near 5th and Main st. in DTLA, try out Yuko Kitchen. You won't regret it.