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Jul 28, 2006 05:08 PM

Good Izakaya restaurant near Irvine/Costa Mesa?

Anyone know of a good Izakaya (Japanese Tapas) restaurant near Irvine/Costa Mesa? Thanks.

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  1. Honda Ya Japanese Restaurant
    Address: 556 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92780
    Phone: (714) 832-0081

    1. I second Honda Ya
      it is EXACTLY what you are looking for.

      1. Yup, Honda Ya. It doesn't get better than this.


        1. elmo, have you done Shin-Sen-Gumi in Fountain Valley yet?

          3 Replies
          1. re: JAB


            Actually I have. And I think being such a regular at Honda-Ya skewed my opinion of Shin-Sen-Gumi. While I thought the food was good, my friends and I were a bit overwhelmed by the service -- I think we were in the mood for a quiet dinner that night and got the complete and polar opposite. Here's my brain dump of the experience which I wrote two years ago.


            1. re: elmomonster

              And how do these two compare with Kappo Honda, across the street from Shin-Sen-Gumi?

              I've only eaten at Musha in Santa Monica before Kappo Honda. I thought Musha was orders of magnitude better in terms of both atmosphere and quality of food.

              1. re: zzztimbo

                I think Honda Ya's cuisine reigns supreme. Although Kappo Honda is owned by the same people.

                But to be fair, they seem to be different types of experiences.

                Shin-sen-gumi's Robata is for a fun night out, with lots of lively entertainment from the waiters. The type of place you'd want to take people who are rowdy themselves.

                Kappo Honda is yakitori focused and is a smaller, cozier restaurant. The staff is demure, polite Japanese females who are the exact opposite of the testorone overload across the street at Shin-sen-gumi.

                Honda-Ya is bigger, in selection and in space. The food is all around great and the service is somewhere in the happy middle of Kappo Honda and Shin-sen-gumi.

                All worth a try to be honest. But if I had to recommend one, it would be Honda-Ya.


          2. Agreed with Elmo- Honda Ya reigns supremene (but dont bother with sushi there!)