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IZAKAY BINCHO

oakjoan Sep 2, 2010 05:20 PM

So we're driving down to L.A. tomorrow and had hope to meet friends and have dinner at Izakaya Bincho. I've called several times and have gotten no answer. Anybody know the status of this place? Are they still there in Redondo Beach? I just tried to reach them a few minutes ago without success.

We are staying in Silver Lake and don't want to drive all the way out to the beach if the place is no longer open. We also wanted to make res. because there will be 5 of us and want to make sure there'll be room for us in this tiny place.

Any info appreciated.

-----
Izakaya Bincho
112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

  1. n
    ns1 Sep 2, 2010 05:24 PM

    Yes, there was a very recent post

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/726439

    2 Replies
    1. re: ns1
      y
      yogachik Sep 2, 2010 05:46 PM

      Don't think I've seen someone link the OPs post back at them before.

      I would keep calling throughout the night.

      1. re: yogachik
        OCAnn Sep 3, 2010 01:25 PM

        LOL.

    2. e
      exilekiss Sep 2, 2010 05:56 PM

      Hi oakjoan,

      As an FYI, they are a small operation, literally a husband and wife team (Chef Tomo and his wife Megumi who runs the front of the house). Based on past experience, they are usually so busy they don't have time to answer the phone (I know, it's unfortunate), and they sadly have never set up an answering machine message from Day 1 until now.

      I was last there maybe ~1.5 months ago and didn't hear of them closing or moving at that time. As yogachik said, I would keep trying to call periodically throughout the evening tonight (Thurs).

      I hope you enjoy the visit. :)

      2 Replies
      1. re: exilekiss
        oakjoan Sep 2, 2010 06:07 PM

        Thanks to all of you. I'll keep trying.

        1. re: exilekiss
          m
          mrhooks Sep 3, 2010 12:11 PM

          Last year, there were two guys there named Tomo (though a different kind of Tomo - Tomomi vs. ...?), but I don't know what happened to the other one. I didn't see Megumi there my last two visits; there was a new girl, but she didn't seem very competent - got orders mixed up, unfamiliar with the menu, etc. - and on my last visit, she was gone (no idea if that's for good). It was Tomo flying solo, doing everything. Even with the restaurant being as small as it is, I imagine things were really hectic.

        2. e
          exilekiss Sep 3, 2010 04:55 PM

          Hi oakjoan,

          Not sure if you'll see this post or not, but I just got through to Tomo-san at Izakaya Bincho. :)

          He is thankfully still open and in business, and he mentions they have regular hours during Labor Day weekend (except they're closed on Monday, Labor Day Holiday). So I hope you enjoy your visit. :)

          -----
          Izakaya Bincho
          112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

          4 Replies
          1. re: exilekiss
            s
            selfportrait93 Sep 3, 2010 06:02 PM

            That's very nice of you, EK, to help out a fellow CHer. I am surprised IB doesn't have an answering machine or voicemail.

            1. re: exilekiss
              r
              raizans Sep 3, 2010 06:34 PM

              they open in half an hour. can't wait!

              1. re: exilekiss
                oakjoan Sep 8, 2010 03:20 PM

                Exilekiss: I'm sorry to say we didn't get to Izakaya Bincho this trip. After driving from Oakland, picking up son and signif other at the Burbank Airport, then driving to Santa Monica to pick up a friend, we were bushed and didn't want to risk driving all the way to Redondo Beach if we couldn't confirm the place was open.

                I hope they're still around next trip. We ended up eating at a blah place on Montana near our friend's place. Still, the company was great and the food okay.

                -----
                Izakaya Bincho
                112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                1. re: oakjoan
                  Servorg Sep 8, 2010 03:36 PM

                  Would you care to name that blah place?

              2. CarlieInLA Oct 5, 2010 08:55 PM

                We just tried to call Bincho and the number is disconnected? Does anyone have an update that has been recently? I hope it is not closed!!

                2 Replies
                1. re: CarlieInLA
                  e
                  exilekiss Oct 7, 2010 10:13 AM

                  Hi CarlieInLA,

                  Strange, I just tried calling their number and it rings through just fine.

                  Izakaya Bincho (formerly Yakitori Bincho)
                  112 N. International Boardwalk
                  Redondo Beach, CA 90277
                  Tel: (310) 376-3889

                  -----
                  Izakaya Bincho
                  112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                  1. re: CarlieInLA
                    t
                    trvlcrzy Oct 7, 2010 09:24 PM

                    Saw a post in The Daily Breeze newspaper that they were closed by the health department for "lack of running water"? or something like that about 2 weeks ago. Usually it's rectified immediately and re-opened. :-(
                    If not, go to Japonica on PCH not far from Bincho. I tried to peek last week while walking during Lobster Festival but it was closed too when I passed by.

                  2. b
                    bulavinaka Oct 24, 2010 10:53 AM

                    We enjoyed another night at Izakaya Bincho last night. We ordered our asses off and still didn't cover all the items that we wanted we wanted to try.

                    1) The phone number is still good - 310-376-3889. We called in the late afternoon to secure a table, and Tomo-san picked up the phone.

                    2) The food is still first rate. The last time we visited was some time in the summer, and each time I go back, I say to myself that it's been too long between visits. The one-man magic that Tomo-san spins behind that counter is a pretty amazing feat.

                    With the weather cooling off now, the tsukune dango nabe (chicken meatball hot pot) is something one should order even before laying down the drink order. It does take at least 20 minutes, and to me, it's probably the most embracing satisfying dishes for anyone who loves chicken soup. Its depth of flavor and umami-ness is second to none.

                    One of our diners (first time there) commented that some of the dishes were a little salty for her taste. I mentioned that the average Japanese palate is impervious to salt (:)) but seriously - izakaya cuisine is meant be eaten while downing beer, sake, etc. A little more salt on certain izakaya dishes seems appropriate vis-a-vis drinking.

                    3) I did overhear Tomo-san mention that business had been slow - the past Wednesday night only had two customers cross their threshold. But unlike our last visit, the place had a pretty steady stream of customers last night. By 8PM, all tables and a few people at the bar were all being serviced by the waitress - but not Megumi-san. Does anyone know where she has been?

                    -----
                    Izakaya Bincho
                    112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bulavinaka
                      e
                      exilekiss Nov 3, 2010 11:09 AM

                      Hi bulavinaka,

                      Thanks for the update on your latest visit. Good to know Tomo-san is still excellent as usual. :) With the cooling weather (except yesterday, today :), it's time for some Zosui! :) Megumi-san is back in Japan caring for some family from what I heard.

                      1. re: exilekiss
                        b
                        bulavinaka Nov 3, 2010 08:34 PM

                        Hey exilekiss,

                        Thanks for the update on Megumi-san. I never wanted to ask Tomo-san - just in case it was some other reason. I hope Megumi-san's family is doing well - we need her back! ;)

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