Diner Week: Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop
3839 Main St
Culver City, CA 90232
Having the current status of being not as rich as I used to and figured I'd do a special week on the diners in LA. I have a tremendous love for diners being that on the East Coast they are places that are often stuck in time with cheap prices that rarely go up and a staff that'll often stay working there for as long as they live. The food, while rarely being mind blowing, is always consistent and you can count on a certain standard of coffee. Los Angeles really doesn't have too many of these places. I remember one of the last one's, "Tiny Island" on Wilshire, was torn down a few years ago. My heart sank, especially considering that nothing has replaced the spot. I think it's just an empty lot now. I've already written on some diners in LA that I feel are pretty stand out, but I wanted to focus on places a little off the beaten path and or maybe places that you have heard of but never seen.
A prime example of all I have just talked about is Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop in the alleys of Culver City. You won't find this place unless someone has told you where to go specifically. My best advice is to get on Main Street in Culver City and look for Bottle Rock wine bar. There you'll see an alley. Walk through the alley till you are in the heart of the intersecting alleys and you'll find Tokyo 7-7.
Though it's a very secretive spot, you'll find that the place is pretty busy pretty often. Don't worry though, the service is fast and at worst you'll only be waiting for a few of minutes. There's a center counter with about 14 tables surrounding it. It's got a certain charm to it that has been all but lost in our city with the ever changing "impress me now" attitude prone to LA.
The French toast is always rocking. Light grilled and pretty classic.
American breakfast with Portuguese sausage for flair. Their eggs are what eggs should be with very "familiar" home potatoes.
The pancakes were fluffy and chewable (some mass to them), the texture uncompromised by the butter and maple syrup.
The prices for breakfast make you wonder how they're making any money! Notice the early bird special!!!
Lunch is insanely cheap too even with Asian dishes on the menu!
One thing that made me smile was the cashier lady who was knocking it down with the abacus! Each bill that came in was calculated super fast with this thing. It reminded me that in school they had taught us how you could do just about any computation on an abacus that you could do on a calculator, you only had to know how to work the computations. She is most definitely a master.
This place is hidden from prying eyes, but has all the clientele it could ever need. They don't take card which is pretty unfortunate, BUT it's cheap enough that you might even have enough in pocket for your meal without having to make a special bank stop. Parking is a actually a whiz with the parking structures right next door that give (if I remember right) 2 free hours. Next time you're on the west side and aching for some breakfast find this alley and pull up a spot on the counter.
Free Refills: No, but the price makes it about what you'd pay anywhere for a soda with a refill if you buy 2 servings of soda.
Entree Price ranges: Breakfast is $1.70 to $5!!! and lunch is $2.50 to $5!!!