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May 29, 2007 11:53 AM

Izaka-Ya on Third

Izaka-Ya is a casual sushi concept by the people from Katsu-Ya. It is located on 3rd St in Hollywood, within a block or two of at least 5 other sushi restaurants. Last night, I went for my birthday meal.

We had planned on going to Zen (just because we knew they were open on Memorial Day), but when we got there, there was a big sign saying they'd lost their liquor license, so we walked one block to Izaka-Ya. We saw that it was "by Katsu-Ya", so we figured we were in for a treat.

When we sat down, a large easel was set down next to our table to show us the "specials". We noticed that most everything on the "special" board was also on the menu already.

Server was friendly, but not polished at all. Place seemed clean.

Izaka-Ya really let me down with their food. Everything was under-seasoned, and the fish (especially the “Blue Crab Roll”) didn’t seem all that fresh. Plates were beautiful, but we never wanted more of anything, and some items were left unfinished on the plates. Seaweed Salad was overdressed to the point of being nearly inedible. The one saving grace was the Spanish Mackerel, which was on the specials board. The board just stated "Spanish Mackerel" so we ordered Spanish Mackerel Sashimi. We were told we could onoly have it as Sushi. We didn't understand why, but it was very tasty.

Izaka-Ya’s service was of the “Are you ready to order” type. Our waters never went empty, and drinks never took any time to get, but in the middle of the meal, the server came to us and asked us which dishes we were still waiting for from the kitchen. It was a rookie mistake, and one I would forgive at a burger joint (maybe), but just shouldn’t be happening in a nicer place.

My experience at Izaka-Ya didn’t do anything to make me want to return. Mediocre food and blah service give me two good reasons to find another place.

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  1. Hey Dave and Stuff,
    I couldn't agree with you more about the mediocre food and blah service. I was there on Monday the 29th as well. We were rushed into ordering because the kitchen wanted to close and the employees were busy setting up for their lunch. We ordered salmon sushi and found it to be stale, and a dull color, as if they had prepared it earlier in the day. Also, the sushi rice was too gummy. All in all, it was too expensive for such lackluster food quality, uneven service, and lousy satelite radio music. It's not a place I'll return to any time soon.

    3 Replies
    1. re: barrider

      Not trying to defend any experiences on the part of anyone, nor the owners if they let you down.
      However, Monday of a 3-day weekend is NOT the day to expect the freshest of seafood. It is not only doubtful it was not delivered that day, it might not have been delivered on Sunday, meaning it might be nearly 3 days old by the time you ate it.
      Just a fwiw for the future.

      1. re: carter

        Yup, we took the 3-day weekend into consideration when we opted for sushi/japanese cuisine. But truly the quality of the cooked dishes like the shishito plus our appetizer sunomono left a lot to be desired as well.

        1. re: carter

          If they can't serve something up to standards, then they shouldn't open.

      2. I gave this place a try for dinner last night and enjoyed it very much. The service was excellent. Food and drinks came out quickly and the server was very knowledgeable about the menu and specials. One of the specials was red snapper... the server recommended it as sashimi. It was extremely fresh and beautifully prepared. The miso black cod and crispy rice with spicy tuna were were also very delicious. Other than a the lobster dynamite roll, which was a too saturated with a mayo sauce, I thought the food was quite good.

        1. Funny to have just read this - I recently had a really mediocre experience at the bar. Very, very slow service from the chef who seemed more intent on rushing out the tickets that he feverishly collected. Unseasoned scallops and snapper were noted, but the main thing that got we were my two crab hand rolls (blue and baked). Just bland and paltry. I usually head over to Studio City to the original location where the distinctive Katsu-ya dishes are quite consistent. It is also somewhat funny that they are using "izakaya" as a hip marketing buzz word as the menu and specials are almost identical to any other branch or off shoot in town. It is no Haru Ulala, that's for sure.