Yuko Kitchen Yuko Soup Bar DTLA Downtown LA
Downtown is teeming with restaurants, cafes, and hole-in-the-wall eateries. Somehow though, it can still be tough to find a solid lunch for $10. Thankfully, tucked away on 5th Street between Main and Spring lies Yuko Kitchen and sister cafe, Yuko Soup Bar. Quality, affordable food is the name of the game here, and that’s a welcome sight in comparison to the more expensive Japanese options around.
The owner, simply known as Yuko, drew inspiration for the menu from her childhood in Japan. Her mother’s recipes with her own, Californian element added are what give her creations such unique flavors.
The interior of the the kitchen and soup bar are designed to best integrate nature with city life, this is due to Yuko’s time in the Japanese countryside. The facade of the kitchen consists of large windows that overlook a patio filled with vegetation of all types.
Yuko’s own murals spread along the entirety of the walls in both Yuko Kitchen and the Soup Bar, creating a unique sense of personality not common in most restaurant spaces.
A few small tables are scattered around the space, while communal tables line the center of the space. There’s also counter seating along the windows, and single seat tables along the plants lining the patio area.
The menu at Yuko Kitchen is centered around Japanese comfort food. With fresh sushi rolls, lunch plates, rice bowls, udon and more being served.A popular dish is the chicken plate special, which comes with a bit of everything – teriyaki chicken, rice, salad with homemade carrot dressing, side soup, a spicy salmon roll and an assortment of cookies.
At the Soup Bar there is a rotation of soups that changes almost daily, options like pumpkin miso, chicken and kale, and beef and cabbage are some featured. Also available are rice bowls topped with either chicken, beef, or tofu.
To wash it all down, grab a tasty boba beverage, or one of the crisp, fresh lemonade drink they offer. Favorites include the mint lemonade and the strawberry lemonade soda.
Don’t forget to grab a dessert on your way out or on your way to work at Yuko’s bakery section. Coffee, teas, and baked goods are available for eaters on the go, including vegan, and gluten free offerings.