Gonpachi restaurant is part of a chain of Japanese restaurants. They recently opened in Beverly Hills and supposedly spent 18 million dollars on decor. Upon walking in from the parking lot, it's a complete face lift from the Ed Debevic's that was here ages ago. It's like walking into a Japanese castle, the garden and pond is immaculate and manicured by hopefully a garden master.

The inside is like walking into a movie set. It's two levels, the second floor looking more like a Chinese movie tea house that you see in tons of films. You can imagine ninjas and samurai fighting in a place like this. It's amazing looking, and hard to believe. If you come at the right time, you can see them making the soba in a fish tank like booth. Showing off your homemade soba is a novelty that seems to not really pay off for most people. We'll see about this...

The menu isn't really outrageous and expensive as I'd expect. Soba is 7.50, the small izakaya dishes are $3+, sushi is fairly regular priced although I didn't think the sushi was special. I'd suggest the crazy shrimp ball, that seems to be a favorite. Try a little of everything, and you'll see Gonpachi is something like a mix of Nanbankan in West LA, Otafuku in Torrance, and a sushi place. The decor though, can't be beat.

link for Beverly Hills location

link for Japanese locations

134 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 659-8887

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