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LTSC Hosts ‘Starry Night in Little Tokyo’

A scene from last year's event, "Sake on the Rocks." (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

A scene from last year’s event, “Sake on the Rocks.” (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Starry Night in Little Tokyo, the 10th annual Little Tokyo Service Center sake and food tasting event, returns to Little Tokyo on Friday, July 29, on the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s plaza, 244 S. San Pedro St.

Starry Night in Little Tokyo features tasty bites from some of the Southland’s finest restaurants and food providers and an array of sake samplings from more than 40 breweries provided by Mutual Trading Co. Inc. Featured restaurants for 2016 include Maison Akira, Roy’s, Izakaya & Bar Fu-ga, Baldoria, Feast from the East, Blue Star, and many more.

“We wanted to bring the event back to Little Tokyo for another year because it’s our home base, and especially now with active construction of the Regional Connector transit project impacting the area, we want to make sure people know that ‘Little Tokyo is Open for Business,'” explained LTSC Executive Director Dean Matsubayashi. “It’s important that we do all we can to make sure that the small businesses, churches, temples and community organizations that make Little Tokyo the special place that it is survive the disruption and eventually benefit from the completed transit line.”

Rafu Bussan, which recently relocated to Honda Plaza, is among the businesses to be honored. (NAO NAKANISHI/Rafu Shimpo)

Rafu Bussan, which recently relocated to Honda Plaza, is among the businesses to be honored. (NAO NAKANISHI/Rafu Shimpo)

As part of the evening’s festivities, special recognition will be given to Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, U.S. Bank and three longtime Little Tokyo businesses: Bunkado, Fugetsu-do and Rafu Bussan.

Santiago represents the 53rd Assembly District, which includes Little Tokyo. He is a strong advocate for preserving the rich resources of ethnic communities, education and the environment.

U.S. Bank is a major financial institution and longtime generous supporter of the work of Little Tokyo Service Center.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago

The three businesses will receive special recognition for contributing to the unique character and cultural life of the community over the years. Featuring an array of things Japanese, Bunkado celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2016. Fugetsu-do, a traditional Japanese confectionery, is the oldest business in Little Tokyo, founded in 1903. Rafu Bussan is the place for essential Japanese household, art and gift items and has served the community for more than 58 years.

Starry Night in Little Tokyo kicks off a weekend of culinary experiences called “Delicious Little Tokyo” from July 29 to 31 with more than 50 local businesses and organizations participating offering special menu items, discounts, workshops, food tours and more. For more information on Delicious Little Tokyo, visit

All proceeds from “Starry Night in Little Tokyo” benefit the Little Tokyo Service Center, a social service and community development organization committed to “positive change for people and places.” LTSC provides culturally sensitive social service programs serving youth to seniors in five different languages.

In partnership with local community organizations, LTSC has built more than 1,000 units of affordable housing with on-site supportive services from South Los Angeles to the San Gabriel Valley. Committed to the preservation of Little Tokyo, one of three remaining Japantowns in the nation, LTSC works with Little Tokyo community partners to foster a shared vision of a vibrant, culturally rich and sustainable Little Tokyo community.

Tickets for “Starry Night in Little Tokyo” are $100 pre-sale and $125 at the door (subject to availability). Attendees must be 21 years of age or older. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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