Echo Park Japanese izakaya joint planning major expansion

Tsubaki plans to expand into the former salon next door

ECHO PARK — Tsubaki, a California version of an informal Japanese bar/restaurant known as an izakaya, is planning to double in size only a few months after opening.

The Planning Department has scheduled a public hearing for June 21 to review Tsubaki’s plans to expand into the former salon (Novak) next door, creating a 2,014-square-foot restaurant. That would allow Tsubaki to seat 59 customers instead of the current 25 in what is a pretty tight dining room.

Tsubaki opened in February,  replacing Kush Sake Bar, which closed a little more than two years  after opening for business.  The same brick-walled space on Allison Street near Sunset Boulevard once housed Cortez, which closed after 18 months.

The Japanese eatery received a thumb’s up from Besha Rodell of the LA Weekly. Apparently, the food, drinks and sake list make up for the compact and loud space that makes one feel as if they have to eat and leave rather than hang out and socialize, with the latter being typical of a traditional izakaya spot.

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