Monday, February 23, 2009

Tokyo 7-7 - Dining Japanese. I think I'm dining Japanese, I really think so.

You will have trouble finding it. Your GPS will insist, such as it does, that you have arrived at your destination and it will do so using that condescending British accent you've been meaning to change but you can't remember how and the manual has gone missing. Your eyes will scan the street and find nothing. You’ll decide to just park and find it on foot. You’ll park in the nearby parking garage and then through the iron bars of the garage you will see it:

Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop's in the alley.

Tokyo 7-7 is an American Japanese Diner. Its alley location isn't so odd from the Japanese perspective of alleys being streets that cars don't drive down. Stores and restaurants are often found down alleyways. A few years ago, I went to Japan on vacation and most of my time was spent wandering down alleyways.

In America, where alleys are for hobos and murderers, it is an odd place for a restaurant.

Inside, it’s like going to eat in your weird uncle’s den: wood paneling on the walls,

really odd…things…sticking out at you,

and like every weird uncle has—an autographed cast photo of Full House.

#1DC Antoinette, along with Diner Pal Paul (remember him?), took the opportunity on President’s Day to try out Tokyo 7-7. We rolled in at about a quarter to twelve, disappointed that we missed the super cheap breakfast specials which ended at eleven.

Our waitress went from sweet ol’ lady to exasperated in no time as after three check-ins with us we still had no idea what we wanted. The menu isn't expansive, but everything was so cheap that we were looking for the catch somewhere on the menu. “Do they charge for water? How can they afford this? Is salt extra?”

Sorry if the picture doesn't sell it, but there are no items in the double digits, and nothing above seven dollars.

Even though we missed the special super-cheap price for it, Paul ordered the French Toast breakfast. He liked the bacon and the french toast was pretty good.

Antoinette got the Portuguese Sausage and Eggs. The sausage was spicy. The eggs were okay. The home fries were rather boring; they tasted like boiled potatoes that were just kissed by the griddle.

I went in a different direction. I went East...FAR EAST! (Get it?!) I got the Tokyo 7-7 Special. Basically a Japanese breakfast with tamagoyaki (thin layered omelette), cha-shu (pork), sunomono (pickled cucumber), rice and miso soup. Everything was enjoyable at least. There's something about the way the Japanese prepare eggs that kind of disgusts me with the texture (wet and slimy), but it tastes pretty good. Clearly the Japanese dish was the way to go. It was also the most expensive of the three, topping out at--OMG--6 dollars!

Now a word about the coffee at the Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop. It's bad. It might have been the worst coffee I've had at a non-Starbucks. It took a lot of sweetener to make it through. The waitress was pretty good about refills...which wasn't necessarily a good thing.

Diner Pal Paul, insists that, on price alone, he'd eat there everyday. For the three of us, our bill came in at about twenty dollars. I would definitely go back if I ever happened to be in Culver City wanting breakfast. It's a unique little hidey-hole of a place. I felt comfortable there, probably because it reminded me of Japan and... my weird uncle.

Food- Good
Service-Good. She did get visibly annoyed when we didn't know what we wanted right away.

Price- Dirt Cheap. Remember, cash only.

Pie- No pie.

3839 Main St.
Ste B: Alley behind the street

Culver City, CA 90232

(310) 204-5728

UPDATE- 12/21

I just learned that this place closed down last weekend. Special thanks to Diner Photog Charlie Chu for sending me the link.

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