Journalist Lisa Ling (left) visited with Otomisan owner Yayoi Watanabe (right) for her HBO Max show about Asian American-owned restaurants, “Take Out with Lisa Ling.” Behind them are Nao Hayashi, Watanabe’s daughter, and Roland Cruz.

Boyle Heights’ Otomisan will be represented on a panel entitled “L.A. Neighborhood Restaurants Grounded in Community and Tradition” on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 1 to 1:50 p.m. during the 18th annual Archives Bazaar, presented by L.A. as Subject at the Doheny Memorial Library on the USC campus.

The event will be held in Faculty Hall on the first floor.

The L.A. restaurant food scene thrives on diversity, with close to 25,000 restaurants in L.A. County representing cultures and cuisines from all over the world. Mallory Furnier, Special Collections and Archives librarian and curator of “Eating the Archives,” moderates a discussion with the owners and chefs of three landmark Southern California neighborhood restaurants, including Judy Hayashi, daughter of Yayoi Watanabe, owner of Otomisan. Founded in 1956, it’s the only remaining Japanese restaurant in Boyle Heights and the oldest continuously operated Japanese restaurant in the county.

In 2021, the L.A. City Council approved the Historic-Cultural Monument listing of the Nishiyama Residence/Otomisan Japanese Restaurant site.

Otomisan, located at 2506 1/2 E. First St., is a Boyle Heights landmark.

Also featured will be Paulina Lopez, co-owner of the James Beard Award-winning restaurant Guelaguetza as well as I Love Micheladas; Chef Keith Corbin, two-time James Beard Award-nominated executive chef and co-owner of Alta Adams and L.A. Times bestselling author of “California Soul: An American Epic of Cooking and Survival.”

For more than 20 years, the L.A. as Subject consortium has brought to life the diverse, often hidden stories that make Southern California such a fascinating place of discovery. In 2005, it inaugurated the Los Angeles Archives Bazaar to give anyone with an interest in the region’s history a one-stop opportunity to interact with dozens of archives, from large institutions to private collectors.

In all, more than 80 archives are represented at this event, which is free and open to the public. This year’s programming will capitalize on the rich culinary history of Southern California, where generations of immigrants have contributed to create today’s kaleidoscopic fusion of food.

For up-to-date information on featured programming at the bazaar, go to

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