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Apr 11, 2007 09:49 PM

Best Izakaya in Southbay?

I think the Southbay definitely has a stranglehold on the most izakaya spots in LA, probably owing to the high number of Japanese transplants (not Nisei or Sansei). Thought I would start a thread to ennumerate the different restaurants and rank 'em.

I personally really love Musha by Mitsuwa market in Gardena. Their pork belly and flamed mackerel are awesome!

I've recently been to Izakaya Yuzen Kan in Torrance on the corner of Crenshaw and PCH about three times now. The first time I went, I loved it, but the last two were disappointing. The waitress forgot my dad's order completely and the tempura was waaaay too oily.

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  1. Have you tried Azuma on Western in Gardena? Very popular with the local Japanese population. I like it quite a bit.

    2 Replies
    1. re: young_chower

      hmm.. definitely will try azuma. sounds tasty.

      1. re: lakeshow318

        Hey YC, do me favor, will ya? STOP pluggin' Azuma -- the wait sucks as it is! My wife keeps complaining about standing out in the parking lot...

    2. i tried kan for the first time fairly recently. was pretty satisfied by the experience. musha is a fun place but there food tends towards the japanese version of fusion. i know shin sen gumi yakitori doesn't really count, but even at izakaya i wind up ordering mostly grilled meaty things. that and copious quantities of beer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rameniac

        "... mostly grilled meaty things. that and copious quantities of beer." You're my idol... and that of all salarymen in Japan...

      2. I like Daruma on Western, south of Redondo Beach Blvd., West side of the street. Great tsukune!

        1. Can you explain what Izakaya is? Assuming it is a regional and or style of Japanese Cuisine. We live in Hermosa (recent transplants from Westchester) and love sushi and Japanese food in general. For most part, we are very disappointed in quality available locally-lots of "crazy rolls" and volcano this and that. Very interested in exploring a more authentic approach, however, we are not into animal parts. We eat fish and shellfish and vegetables. Is it worth a trip to Gardena?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Densible

            Not an absolute expert but we go a lot. Izakaya is Japanese "pub food." Small plates kind of thing that you might find at a neighborhood pub. This is meant as a good thing since here most pubs serve lousy food. More like Tapas I guess with a Japanese spin. You can get most everything from Sashimi salad, grilled meat, broiled miso fish, etc. I like Musha quite a lot and though I have never been, I have been told the Gardena Musha feels much like a Izakaya in Tokyo. I believe it, it certainly has that festive pub vibe. If you go, make sure and read the thread about what to order there. So much to try you will be overwhelmed without some guidelines.


            1. re: BeachGrub

              Thanks BG. This helps alot and we are going to check it out very soon!

              1. re: Densible

                If you decide to go to Musha, call way in advance and find out if any reservations are available for when you plan on going... I was trying to go this weekend but was totally shut out - I called Wednesday... There's one in Santa Monica as well - you can try them if the Torrance location is full... :)

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  was there couple of days ago...
                  sad news, the health inspection dept rated their restaurant a big red "C"...

                  1. re: radgirl

                    Well, it definitely has terrible ventilation, so...

                    1. re: radgirl

                      Hmmm.... C-rating... I'm still going... can't be worse than my kitchen with two rugrats and two four-legged children to boot...

            2. If it's the South Bay, I also go to Musha and Kan. Until Kan opened, my friend who lives near PCH and Crewshaw would go to Iccho (across the street on Crenshaw, where Whole Foods is).

              25310 Crenshaw Blvd
              Torrance, CA 90505

              I personally like Kan better, but Iccho also has a lot of the Izakaya items on their menu as well. Another place I went to once is Housenka near Mitsuwa. They also had a bunch of Izakaya items and were great ---- I remember getting full and not being able to order my gohan (rice) dish at the end!

              1880 W Carson St # A
              Torrance, CA 90501

              One of my favs on the Westside is Raku on the corner of Barrington and Olympic Blvd. It's also open til 1am (on most nights, I believe.... and closed on Tues)

              11678 W Olympic Bd
              Los Angeles, CA 90064
              (310) 478-3090

              I think Raku has a lot of original/unique dishes - some with a bit of a Korean twist - and a lot of daily specials.