The Otomisan Japanese Restaurant and the Martha Sindell/Nishiyama Residence behind it may both be considered historical buildings in LA, if the application filed earlier this year is approved. At 2506 1/2 E 1st St, and 2508 East First St, respectively, the approval of this application will present these two structures as worthy of long-term preservation. On November 5, the Cultural Heritage Commission voted to take the nomination of the Residence and Otomisan Japanese Restaurant under consideration.
According to M. Rosalind Sagara of the Los Angeles Conservancy, the landmarking process includes several public meetings and then is adjourned with final approval from the City Council. The process can take upwards of nine months, Sagara told What Now Los Angeles. Furthermore, “COVID-19 will likely add to this timeline,” they said.
Even without preservation, they have held their own. The Otomisan Japanese Restaurant’s commercial restaurant was originally built-in 1925 by Ryohei Nishiyama and functioned as a Japanese-operated grocery store — until 1956, when it first became the Japanese restaurant Otemo Sushi Cafe, which later changed its name to the current Otomisan.
According to a Facebook post made by the Los Angeles Conservancy, “Since 1956, Otomisan Restaurant (formerly Otemo Sushi Café), located at 2506 ½ East First Street in Boyle Heights, has served Japanese homestyle cooking. Today, Otomisan is the last remaining Japanese restaurant in the neighborhood and believed to be one of the oldest continuously operating Japanese restaurants in Los Angeles.”
(Edited to provide an update for the landmark process)