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Jan 16, 2008 12:08 PM

Haru Ulala or Honda-Ya?

We are off to the MOCA downtown this weekend and want to have a fun dinner near by afterwards. I have researched and narrowed it down to Haru Ulala or Honda-Ya for izakaya. Which has the best food and fun atmosphere?

I considered Izayoi because of all the great reviews but was a bit turned off by the fact that they close at 10:00 and it seems like more of a quiet restaurant. We really want to enjoy the bar scene as well as the food. Am I wrong about Izayoi?

Any help deciding, and on any recs for what to order are appreciated.

Thanks so much!

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  1. Haru has more mixed scene in terms of the actual diners with, IMO, better food than Honda-Ya. Less raw fish, more homely / mama style dishes.

    if you do go to Haru, order off the specials written on the board and of course, go for d'frent skewers.

    1. It's a toss-up... Haru Ulala gets the award for for better tasting food overall, but Honda-Ya gets the award for ambiance.

      6 Replies
      1. re: J.L.

        "It's a toss-up..."

        Oh, "[i]t's a toss up," alright: both establishments are thoroughly mediocre. <smile>


        1. re: Erik M

          Original post simply asked for comparison between the 2. Agree that they are mediocre.

          1. re: J.L.

            i will third this sentiment. haru is the better of the two. izayoi much better.

            1. re: modernist

              Thanks for the info. Is Izayoi really quiet? That is my only concern, because its saturday night and we wanted to be in a fun atmosphere. But I also want to go to the best food. What do you recommend at Izayoi?

              1. re: CarlieInLA

                Izayoi has much, much better food. And no, it's not quiet on a Saturday night (how quiet can a place that sells pitchers of draft beer be?) and is indeed a lot of fun. I recommend the grilled yellowtail collar, anything with sardines (fried sardines, the sardine "burger"), braised pork with daikon, mustard green salad, fried eggplant, seafood croquettes. And I'm a fan of the nigiri sushi as well.

                1. re: Hailyn

                  Thanks! I think we will head to Izayoi then, I definately would prefer to go to where the best food is.

      2. Haru will be open later and if there is a wait you can put your name down and go next door to the jazz club for a quick cocktail. The small plates at Haru are more enjoyable then the menu selection at Honda ya, overall larger selection.