The 15 Best Japanese Steakhouses In LA, Ranked

Nothing beats a traditional Japanese steakhouse. If you consider yourself to be true and tried carnivore, you'll love the endless array of quality cuts that Japanese BBQ and steakhouses offer. While some establishments allow you to have a more interactive yakiniku experience while you grill your own meats, more high-end Japanese steakhouses prepare everything for you, and sometimes, in front of you.

Whether you're visiting or a local, Los Angeles is home to several different kinds of Japanese steakhouses including fine-dining, Michelin-starred options along with more casual, chain restaurants. From A5 wagyu to tender filet mignon, many of these steakhouses serve the best of the best when it comes to beef. While you'll definitely need to make a reservation for the more upscale spots, many of these classic and casual joints can be dined at on a whim. That said, get ready to grill because we've ranked the 15 best Japanese steakhouses in LA!

15. Gyu-Kaku

If you're new to Japanese BBQ, Gyu-Kaku is a solid place to start. You definitely won't get the highest-quality cuts, but the experience is fun, consistent, flavorful, and filling. There are locations all throughout Los Angeles stretching from Santa Monica to Pasadena with several in between. Availability varies between locations, but most Gyu-Kaku's offer an all-you-can-eat option for those that are extra hungry.

That said, the a la carte menu is most popular for patrons looking to choose all of their own meats and appetizers. Start off with the light and spicy cucumber salad before digging into the hearty selection of meats. When it's time to get grilling, explore different cuts like the popular prime Kalbi short rib or beef tongue. If you visit during happy hour, meats like the filet mignon and premium sirloin can be ordered at a discounted price. Gyu-Kaku also has a few poultry and pork options to choose from as well.

14. Habachiana Grill

Looking to enjoy some teriyaki steak on the go? Located in downtown Los Angeles, Habachiana Grill is a fast-casual spot that is ideal for takeout. From rice bowls to combo plates, the food is simple yet tasty. All Habachihana entrees and combo plates are served with grilled veggies and steamed rice, but you can always upgrade to fried rice (and it's well worth it). When it comes to the Habachihana entrees, the New York steak and filet mignon are top contenders for carnivores, but you can also choose between shrimp, salmon, chicken, and more.

That said, if you love steak and seafood, the combo plates are where it's at. Enjoy a mix of lobster, filet mignon, and shrimp for some surf and turf, or get your protein fix with filet and chicken. There are also five different sauces to choose from such as diablo sauce, garlic butter, and yum yum teriyaki.

13. Shogun

With eight different locations in Southern California, Shogun is a local favorite that serves up some of the best teppan steak and sushi. The Los Angeles location is in Pasadena, but even if you live on the other side of the city, it's well worth the drive across town. While you can always try walking in, reservations are definitely recommended, so do your best to plan ahead before visiting. Start off with a refreshing and smooth sake or opt for the sake sampler to get a true taste of what Shogun's selection has to offer.

Shogun also has a variety of signature cocktails, many of which are on the sweeter side. When it comes to food, there are tons of sushi rolls to choose from if you want to kick off your meal with a lighter bite. However, once it's time for steak, the filet mignon sumo cut is a must-order.

12. RedRock

Located in Torrance, RedRock is a strip mall eatery that serves American beef in a very relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Despite the very casual counter-ordering service and simple interior, the food at RedRock is consistently impressive. That said, the most popular and iconic dish at RedRock is without a doubt the sliced roast beef don. This tower of meat is just as eye-catching as it is mouthwatering, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart. Though the regular size is plenty for one person, you can also order the large to share (or tackle on your own).

The cut steak don is a saucy and savory bowl, but the Angus don is also a local favorite. No matter which you order, all "don" dishes are done traditionally, just as they are done in Japan. If you're in need of a quick lunch on the go, grab the beef tongue lunch box or the Hawaiian loco moco.

11. Tokyo Kalbi

Tokyo Kalbi offers a premium yakiniku experience in West LA. All of the meats are grilled over Binchotan charcoal, which is a special charcoal sourced from oak trees. Thanks to the fact that there are no flames or smoke, the meat remains tender and juicy. Though there are several different cuts to choose from, the best of the best is without a doubt the Kalbi gold. The marbling is stunning and the flavor is unparalleled. Once you are ready to eat, simply dip your steak in some spicy soy or shio and savor each bite.

When it comes to appetizers, kick things off with the kimchi starter before indulging in Tokyo Kalbi's beef tartare. Though you can definitely order all of your meats a la carte, the restaurant also offers set combo plates if you find that to be easier. Don't forget to order a side of rice to pair with your grilled meats.

10. Yazawa Japanese BBQ

In addition to having locations in Tokyo, Kyoto, Milan, and Singapore, Yazawa Japanese BBQ has also made itself right at home in the heart of Beverly Hills. The focus of the menu is on none other than premium Wagyu, ensuring that patrons get some of the best beef available on the market. In fact, all of the cuts used at Yazawa Japanese BBQ are flown in from Japan, and since they are never frozen, the flavor and freshness are apparent in every bite. While you can order a la carte, there are also three different omakase menus to choose from.

The signature omakase features three different Wagyu appetizers followed by tongue and harami from the U.S. and a variety of Yazawa Wagyu. The chef omakase is pretty much the same as the signature menu but also includes a wonderful filet mignon course at the end.

9. Sakura Japanese Steak & Seafood House

As the name suggests, Sakura Japanese Steak & Seafood House is one of the ultimate LA eateries for premium sushi and steak. Located in La Cañada Flintridge. Sakura Japanese Steak & Seafood House is a bit off the beaten path but definitely worth the trek. This traditional teppanyaki dining experience is communal, meaning that all of your guests must be present in order to be seated at your table.

Patrons are able to choose between a teppan steak and seafood dinner or the sakura sushi dinner. If you're craving both seafood and steak, order the filet and shrimp or filet and scallops. You can also go all out with one of the steak and lobster combos. Don't miss out on the side of sautéed mushrooms and the sakura fried rice, especially if you're ordering steak. There are even vegetarian options if you're visiting with a plant-based diner. Though reservations are required, they are recommended.

8. HIKARI Japanese BBQ & Grill

The outside of Hikari Japanese BBQ & Grill might be unassuming, but the quality of the cuisine is top-notch. Located in a strip mall in Lomita, Hikari Japanese BBQ & Grill specializes in all things grilled meat. From Wagyu ribeye to bone-in short rib, the portions are rich, sizable, and flavorful. However, if you're wanting total freedom to order what and how much you want, this might not be the place for you since Hikari Japanese BBQ & Grill exclusively serves a prix fixe menu.

The Hikari Omakase BBQ is priced at $90 per person, at the time of publication. The meal starts off with three different appetizers and is followed by six different cuts of meat along with your choice of a rice or noodle dish. Other more unique highlights include ram chop, beef cheek, and beef liver. Pair your meal with some seasonal sake and or a crisp Sapporo and dig in.

7. Manpuku

Located in the foodie haven of Sawtelle, Manpuku offers indoor and outdoor yakiniku experiences. Each table comes with its own grill, allowing patrons to cook their meats and veggies to their liking. The massive menu features everything from sushi to ramen to tempura dishes, but Manpuku's signature dish is none other than beef tongue with green onion (specifically, Tokyo Negi).

However, if you're looking to get a true taste of what Manpuku has to offer, order the American Wagyu tasting. This menu requires at least two participants and is $89 per person, at the time of publication, but the feast is amazing. Start with an assortment of kimchi, shishito peppers, and the house salad before getting into the meats. Steak courses include the Kobe filet, Kobe short rib, and more, and there are also some seafood courses featuring shrimp and scallops. The garlic fried rice is also a highlight that will definitely have you coming back for more.

6. Mori Teppan Grill

Enjoy a true hibachi experience when dining at Mori Teppan Grill. This Glendale staple is open seven days a week, ensuring that you can get your fix Monday through Sunday. While you can opt for lighter proteins such as chicken, shrimp, salmon, or even lobster, the tender steaks are the highlight of the meats at Mori Teppan Grill. Though there are only two cuts, both are premium quality. Regardless of if you prefer filet mignon or New York steak, you can't go wrong with either.

Each entrée ordered for the teppan grill comes with soup, a small shrimp appetizer, steamed rice, and a variety of grilled veggies. Since Mori Teppan has a full bar to work with, sip on everything from wine to sake to beer while you watch your food cook to perfection right in front of you. If you're looking to enjoy dinner and a show, this is the perfect place to bring the whole family.

5. Wa Dining

Wa Dining is a Japanese steakhouse located in Torrance. The plating is beautiful and the ambiance is relaxed while still being refined. If you're able to visit during lunch, there are a handful of specials to choose from that allow patrons to get a true taste of all that wa-dining has to offer. The lunch special is perhaps the best deal, as it includes five courses with the option for your entree being an eight-ounce filet or a 12-ounce ribeye. There are also a couple of seafood options to choose as your entrée, but if you're coming to Wa Dining, you should come for the steak.

In addition to standard filet mignon, New York steak, and ribeye, the absolute best cuts served at Wa Dining are without a doubt the Wagyu filet mignon and the Wagyu New York steak. Both are priced at $120, at the time of publication, so expect to spend a pretty penny ... but know that it will be well worth the cost.

4. Yamaya Japanese Wagyu & Grill

Looking for an interactive yet high-end dining experience in Torrance? Yamaya Japanese Wagyu & Grill is the ultimate date night spot for steak lovers looking to experience the best of beef. Yamaya only serves two different kinds of beef: The first is Washugyu from Oregon and the second is Wagyu from Japan. Quality is a top priority at Yamaya and where the restaurant sources from is of the utmost importance.

If you're looking to branch out and try a cut that you never have such as beef tongue or large intestines, Yamaya is ideal. The most luxe steak on the menu is definitely the A5 Miyazaki Wagyu steak cut, but if you're celebrating something special, it is a splurge that you won't soon forget. Though the meats are pretty pricey, the appetizers are all under $10 and range from edamame to soy-marinated cabbage.

3. Matū

Matū is in our top three thanks to its sleek atmosphere and premium meat. Matū exclusively serves wagyu steak that is 100% grass-fed, resulting in a quality taste and texture in every bite. The Wagyu beef sourced by Matū comes from First Light Farms in New Zealand, and the featured cuts range from center-cut filet to ribeye. Since the butchers prepare the steak every morning, availability differs from day to day. While you can request that your steak be cooked longer, the standard practice at Matū is for all meat to be warm red.

There are four different coursed menus to choose from, with the first being a filet dinner that is three courses. The picanha diner and ribeye dinner are both courses, while the Matū dinner for two is $85 per person and five courses in total, at the time of the publication. You can also order different a la carte starters and sides such as steak tartare, shrimp cocktail, and creamed spinach.

2. Totoraku

In addition to being one of the toughest reservations to score in Los Angeles, Totoraku is also one of the best Japanese steakhouses in the city. To say dining at Totoraku is exclusive would be an understatement. In order to get a reservation, you literally have to either know Chef Kaz Oyama or someone who knows him. Basically, having solid connections in the foodie world is pretty much the only way you'll get in. The ambiance is far from what you'd expect at such a renowned (and expensive) restaurant, but that also adds to the overall charm of the experience.

Though steak is definitely the star of the show, guests can also expect to enjoy everything from sashimi to foie gras. When it comes to the meat, at least the kind that isn't intended to be consumed raw, you'll cook it yourself over old-school grills. Also, Totoraku is BYOB, so bring your favorite bottle of wine and get ready for one of the most coveted dining experiences in LA.

1. Niku X

Our pick for the best Japanese steakhouse in LA goes to none other than Niku X in DTLA. Whether you're celebrating a birthday or anniversary, everything from the service to the quality of the meats makes dining at Niku X a top-tier experience. While you can order a la carte, it's best to opt for one of the tasting menus. The interactive Yakiniku Tasting Menu is 14 courses of pure decadence, featuring some of the most luxe seafood and steak options available.

Expect raw and fresh seafood like spot prawns and uni to start. Once you've moved onto the grilled portion of the menu, the fun really begins. Sit back and relax as the experts grill everything from A4 short rib to 45-day dry-aged striploin right in front of you. Each piece of meat is cooked to perfection and a few even melt in your mouth. For dessert, do not miss out on the lavender cake that is just as stunning as it is delicious.