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Oct 12, 2006 10:36 PM

Looking for the next great Izakaya


I've thoroughly inspected to both Mushas, Izayaka Kan Yuzen (Torrance), Izayoi (Little Tokyo), Sake House Miro (Mid-Wilshire), Haru Ulala (Little Tokyo) , and the fantastic Ikko in Costa Mesa, now my tasting parts crave new pleasures.

Where should I go?

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  1. although i have not been yet, perhaps terried sake house in west la? it is next on my list of places to try.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wilafur

      wilafur -- I like Terried Sake House enough, but it is a little dreary inside. I so do wish they would clean up a bit, but I don't care for the pub decor much. The food is good, but I think the Mushas are yet better!

      We did not like Haru Ulala at all; I posted on this awhile ago. We just went to Ita-Cho on Beverly this past weekend and found it to be pretty fine and very healthy. The shishito peppers were amazing -- for my tastes. Everything else we had was quite delicious: lotus root with sesame, eggplant, cut-up squid steak, some seafood shu-mai, and I can't remember what else. I would like to return to try some different items, and several more plates of the shishito peppers!

      7311 Beverly Boulevard
      Los Angeles #323.938-9009

      We arrived when they opened, about 6:00-ish, and by the time we left nearing 7:00-ish, they were quite crowded.

      1. re: liu

        I second Ita-Cho (I’ve been eating at this restaurant since it was on Highland). The service is fantastic and the food is consistently excellent. Call ahead for a reservation to make sure you can order off the specials page. I often do not arrive at Ita-Cho until after 9PM and, if it’s been busy, all the super special good stuff is gone.

        Go, if you must, to Terried Sake House, but I would recommend that you instead try SaSaYa Japanese restaurant (which is next or two doors east).

        SaSaYa Japanese Restaurant
        11613 Santa Monica Blvd
        Los Angeles, CA 90025
        (310) 477-4404

        1. re: yinyangdi

          Great! Thanks for Ita-cho and Sasaya. I had not known about either. I'm excited to check them out.

          Unfortunately, I agree about Terried Sake House...a bit dingy, grungy and mangy. Great if you're a starving student, but less so if you're not.

    2. How about Wakasan? Recommended by the chef at Urasawa. It's prix fixe (like $30 pp). I haven't been, but some who have say it's more like homestyle cooking than pub food. Mix it up!

      1929 Westwood Blvd,
      Los Angeles
      (310) 446-5241

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cicely

        Yes, Wakasan is indeed excellent. It FEELS very Japanese, as if you've stepped into a different dimension as you cross through the door. The Prix Fixe is a deal!

      2. Sasaya - I was there once and it just wasn't on my list for a return visit.

        Wakasan - I agree with everything that was said above this post; the prix fixe is something around $30 as I recall (from about a year ago, so it may have increased since) and it is a lot of courses. You will be very satisfied. However, there were a few of the dishes that were too "stew-y" and wet for my tastes, so I would still prefer the Mushas or Ita-Cho.

        I have yet to try Izayoi, but I have read good things about this one which is in Little Tokyo.

        4 Replies
        1. re: liu

          Izayoi is truly fantastic. If you go, please consider ordering the duck and eggplant dish. I dream about it. Their fish quality is superb and the dishes are creative and tasty. The lunch bento is a dreamy bargain, but go early. Closed on Sundays.

          Have fun!

          1. re: SecretAsianMan

            Thanks, SecretAsianMan, for the lunch idea. Could we go on a Saturday for a bento lunch? It's a nice option in liu of dim sum for a change, huh?

            1. re: liu

              I *don't* think they're open for lunch on Saturdays. Sadly...

              However, SAKANA on Baldwin in Arcadia IS open on Saturday and has a fantastic lunch special as well. (Must arrive before 11:30).

              (626) 821 - 9800
              713 W DUARTE RD STE H
              Arcadia, CA

              I'd like to know why Sasaya wasn't on your return list... Thoughts?

              1. re: SecretAsianMan

                We ate there probably six-nine months ago, and I don't remember exactly why. My system is to remember the ones that I want to return to and to forget the ones that I don't love. I think it was more of a "compared to what" reaction. I really like both Mushas.

                HOWEVER, now that you caught me on this and really made me focus on it again, I think I will have to give it another try -- do you think? Perhaps I was too harsh... Please do let me know, SecretAsianMan, if you think it is really, really worth a return visit AND what should I not miss?