There are few restaurants in the nation dedicated to tempura, but Endo makes a legitimate case for this impossibly delicate and difficult technique. Its distinguished reputation in Japan has made inroads in LA, presenting the artistic style of cooking that is so much more than just “frying.”
For a true introduction, go for the priciest of the three prix-fixes and experience scallops stuffed with caviar. Then indulge in cool appetizers, such as “wild mountain plants” with vinegary okra. The main attraction centers on a handmade copper cauldron heating a blend of sesame and vegetable oil, as well as their distinct wine-based batters (one for coating fish, another for vegetables). What emerges, from summery corn to uni wrapped in shiso, is pure joy.