View Full Version : Cutlery in LA?
05-17-2005, 04:04 PM
Hello, all. I'm wondering if anyone would know of a knife dealer or cutlery shop in the greater Los Angeles area where I would be able to handle some good quality, relatively traditional yanagibas, takohikis and usubas.
I spend a fair amount of time in Little Tokyo, Gardena and on Sawtelle, and I'm not aware of a place. I guess anything above supermarket quality would be of interest to me.
05-17-2005, 04:26 PM
Wow, sounds like you hit all the Japanese neighborhoods I can think of. Stnadard Cutlery in Beverly HIlls has been there for over 50 years and used to carry fine Japanese knives many years ago. I think it has changed hands though, and I have not been there in many years. Oh, how about Japanwoodworker?! They have a store in Alameda. Here's a link.
05-17-2005, 04:48 PM
Alameda would be a heck of a drive...
I remember Miliken & Fernniger wielded japaneese steel years ago, and I remember something like First St. Hardware, over in the area of little tokyo,
But seriously...order form Koki...for $7 you can't drive or park in LA, and it'll still get to your house faster....
05-17-2005, 05:05 PM
Koki is so good that I just want to order stuff to amaze my friends. It's like magic.
Mikemac; he did say he wanted to handle the knives, so I figured this was not an option. Hey, Alameda's not that bad. He can pick up a chisel or two and some good stones. What more can you ask for? Sure, his nerves will be frayed and he'll probably yell at his wife and kick the dog when he finally gets home, but you and I do that every day! right?
05-17-2005, 05:12 PM
oops! Wrond town. You would think that after 46 years in L.A I would know that Alameda is in NorCal. There is an Alameda Blvd somewhere around here. that's what I was thinking aobut.
05-17-2005, 05:21 PM
Crap - I had that backwards...must be that 15 min. commute
Seriously Tad - If you can't find something , especially in the Little Tokyo area, than go to Sur La Table, handle a Shun, go home and order from Koki, or Shin, or Murray...thats as close as you'll get. Heck - most places can't fathom carrying Wustoff AND Henckles> An interesting note - if you're a 'pince-griper' than the handle seems more of a balancing object than a comfort item
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... yell at his wife and kick the dog when he finally gets home, but you and I do that every day! right?LK
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05-17-2005, 09:29 PM
A Tojiro Dp is in the area of $50 or $60 so, considering gas, time, and parking it might be worth it to test the waters there first. I don't think Shun really represents Japanese Cutlery that well. Sure, it's got Japanese flair but, I like my worst Japanese knife better then the Shuns. YMMV /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
05-17-2005, 10:42 PM
Thanks, everyone! You guys are so helpful.
I'll make it to Japan Woodworker one of these days, but it's a bit of trek up to the 415, haha. barbouni, thanks for the Standard Cutlery tip - I'll check it out. Of course, you are correct that Alameda Blvd is a major N/S street through the downtown area.
mikemac, I believe the place in J-Town you mentioned above is Anzen Hardware. Very nice owners - if I recall correctly, they carry Western style gyutous (Kiyotsuna?) and some chisels and gardening tools. The next time I'm down there, I'll doublecheck about hocho.
I should elaborate about what I'm looking for. I have a Tojiro DP 240 and a 10" Shun chef's knife. I'm quite happy with them for general use (I intern in a restaurant kitchen a few days a week). I'm learning about traditional hocho before investing in some well made, but not too precious steel. If all goes as planned, I'll spend a few days in Tokyo this fall, and shop for knives in person. The reason I'm looking for a place to handle the knives is to start getting familiar with the feel and balance to decide what sizes to get.
Ross Cutlery, near Grand Central Market, is another cool place to shop, but unless I am mistaken, I don't think they carry any hocho.
I'll report back as I learn more. Thanks again.
ps, no wife or dog to worry about! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
05-18-2005, 08:39 AM
The referance to shun was a sad acknowledgement about the state of 'retail' in LA....so hold it-look at it, now buy something really nice based on FF and KF inputs...
Here's an idea though...call or visit a resturant supply house, and try to find out who supplies LA...I've been a glazed eyed junkie at STAR Resturant supply on Sepulveda in the valley for 20 years /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
05-18-2005, 09:56 AM
"I've been a glazed eyed junkie at STAR Resturant supply on Sepulveda in the valley for 20 years"
Me too! I worked in Van Nuys in the 80's and I used to go there on my lunch hour. I also bought a Wolf Range there, which I had never seen in a home before that time. Pilot lights and no insulation. It was SO cool at the time though to be the first kid on the block with one.
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