Honda-Ya Down Hill?
Went last night and ordered some of my usual items(fried oysters, some skewers, ramen, etc.) Nothing was great and somethings werent even good. Nothing seemed fresh and the ramen had an off smell to it. Service was great as usual, but I am really hoping this was an off night.
Actually, their sushi never was any good. I had their poke bowl once and it was bad. This was three or four years ago, and since then I stuck to the cooked dishes. (Although not once have I ordered ramen -- I know it will never surpass Santoka, so I don't bother.)
I just went last night after a haitus of six months, and had the usual:
Garlic Greens wih Bacon
Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab
Homemade Crab Shumai
Chicken Karaage and Salmon Teriyaki (2 Item Combo)
Sticks of Bacon Wrapped Okra
Sticks of Grilled Quail Eggs
Kani Cream Croquette
Green Tea Ice Cream.
All were exactly as I remember, except the kalbi (which was a touch too sweet).
So for me, it was fine. And I really was looking for missteps last night after reading this thread.
What's even more surprising was their service was really efficient and top-notch last night. They anticipated exactly when we needed more refills, cleared plates, etc.
I know this topic is old, but just found it... I agree Honda-ya has totally gone down. Izakaya Kan Yuzen in Torrance is my favorite Izakaya right now. For sure won't take family members from Japan to Honda-ya when they are homesick.
I think Honda-ya got so popular and just started coasting on their reputation. My wife is convinced that the food is frozen.
Maybe three weeks ago, my husband and I met up in Costa Mesa with six of members of my family. During the day, we girls went shopping, hung out at the beach and tried out several local places for breakfast/lunch that I've read about here on Chowhounds (my favorite stop was the Mitsuwa market). We planned to have dinner at Honda-Ya on a Saturday evening and reserved seating in a tatami room. I was very excited to finally have an opportunity to check the place out for myself.
Honestly, I was entirely nonplussed. While the service was good, only one person in our party of eight was happy with any of the food. We ordered at least ten different dishes, none of which impressed me. The garlic greens were a new experience for everyone and I did like them well enough (solidifying my belief that everything tastes better/great with bacon), but everything else...I just didn't get.
Happily, this thread has been enlightening for me as I found Honda-Ya terribly disappointing and left the restaurant entirely bewildered by all of the positive reviews I've read for it here. Now I realize that perhaps the praise was not off, but rather Honda-Ya was off.
Unfortunately We have had the same experience twice in the last year and I don't get what the big deal is about Honda Ya other than it's open late?
Same goes for Tommy's Sushi around the corner, absolutely terrible! I looked at the Fish in the Sushi Bar Case and walked out, frozen gassed tasteless Ahi.