Inko Nito: Unconventional Japanese Eatery in the Arts District

Inko Nito. Images by Karin E. Baker

Located in the heart of Downtown’s Arts District, Inko Nito serves what’s billed as “unconventional Japanese,” with a few Korean influences thrown in. 

Come to this tucked-away, laid-back restaurant for sashimi, robatayaki, grilled vegetables, skewered meats and seafood, the nine-course omakase menu, and adventurous cocktails.

This is a space with ambiance to spare, thanks to soaring ceilings, exposed beams, light wood furniture, an abundance of greenery, and glazed handmade tile accents. 

The bar, located in the center of the spacious eatery, overlooks chefs presiding over the robata grills. Sit there to enjoy the culinary show, or maybe take in some fresh air on the plant-bestrewn patio. 

Begin with a starter such as a yellowtail sashimi salad drizzled with yuzu truffle dressing, crispy fried tofu with miso mayo and nori, or kimchi rice with Korean miso, scallions, egg yolk, and sesame.

Bone Marrow with Garlic Toast at Inko Nito.

Dive deeper into the menu with bone marrow, presented with smoked soy, shallots and garlic toast, Wagyu steak with wasabi ponzu and Japanese BBQ sauce, Branzino filet with shiso, jalapeno salsa, or the well-crisped yellowtail collar with brown butter ponzu and chives. 

Also of note are the big, meaty grilled scallop skewers, maitake mushrooms with white sesame, daikon cress, and fresh black truffle, and wild Scottish salmon sashimi. 

Slake your thirst with an Ume Julep (mezcal, passion fruit, shiso shochu, and peach), a Mule made with pineapple sake, vodka, ginger, and citrus, or, if you’re in the mood for a low- or no-alcohol evening. a Seedlip cocktail like the Spring St. Punch or the No Fashioned  

Save some money at Inko Nito’s Social Hour. Every Monday through Friday from 5 pm to 7 pm, you can savor $5 Kirins, $6 cocktails, and five food choices, four of which are just $5, including brussels sprouts topped with wasabi mayo and sesame furikake or crispy panko chicken with chili garlic yogurt. 

Dine LA Restaurant Week runs through January 31, making this a great time to sample what Inko Nito has to offer. Through January 31, you can indulge in a four-course meal here for $49. Course choices include a three-sashimi starter, scallop skewers, baby back ribs, Branzino filet, and creme brulee or Asian pear salad with roasted rice for dessert. 

Inko Nito is located at 225-227 Garey Street, Los Angeles, 90002. 

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