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the izakaya on the redondo beach boarwalk or raku on olympic and barrington, which is better?

k
kevin Oct 18, 2010 09:11 PM

thanks.

  1. liu Oct 18, 2010 10:01 PM

    Hi, kevin!

    I don't know which is better because they are different. Izakaya Bincho on the Redondo Pier serves very good Japanese grilled items. Raku Restaurant is Korean, but many of the dishes have a Japanese flair.

    I like the variety of offerings at Raku; the menu is quite extensive. However, be aware that they open "late," around 6:30pm...sometimes 6:20pm! Similarly, we have found Bincho to be inconsistent in its opening hour; I advise you to call ahead if you are going to Bincho.

    Raku Restaurant
    11678 W. Olympic Blvd. in West LA
    #310.478-3090

    Izakaya Bincho
    112 International Boardwalk in Redondo Beach
    #310.376-3889

    1. J.L. Oct 18, 2010 10:37 PM

      Both are good in their own rights, and neither of them are wallet-busters. Try them and report back!

      Note: Raku is actually Japanese izakaya with a slight Korean flair, and not Korean food with a Japanese flair... A subtle yet important difference.

      -----
      Raku Restaurant
      11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

      1 Reply
      1. re: J.L.
        b
        Bobthechow Oct 19, 2010 07:40 AM

        Actually I think it's Japanese izakaya with heavy Korean flair as the owner is Korean woman who grew up in Japan. Her menu is at least 40 % Korean dishes. Either way very good Japanese/Korean pub food.

      2. m
        manpuku Oct 19, 2010 03:01 AM

        Both are okay. I would rather recommend Musha in Torrance. They've got extensive menu items including standard izakaya dishes and their creative/original ones - all are very reasonably priced. Always packed with Japanese customers - good sign! :) Make sure to book ahead if you are planning to visit weekends.

        -----
        Musha
        1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

        11 Replies
        1. re: manpuku
          n
          noahbites Oct 19, 2010 07:11 AM

          In my opinion, once you put Musha in Torrance in the fold, you may as well walk across the parking lot and go to Torihei instead.

          -----
          Musha
          1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

          Torihei
          1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

          1. re: noahbites
            k
            kevin Oct 19, 2010 09:12 AM

            but isn't torihei, basically chicken skewers and different odds and ends of the chicken, aka a chicken specialist. or can i get all the good izakaya dishes there?

            1. re: kevin
              m
              munchabout Oct 19, 2010 10:33 AM

              Torihei has yakitori, but IMHO they really shine when it comes to their oden.

              The chicken specialist you're probably thinking of is Kokekokko in Little Tokyo.

              Back to the original question, Raku has an expansive menu, good place to go for variety. You can get anything from okonomiyaki to raw beef tartare there. Bincho is a smaller mom and pop operation, limited seating, so make reservations if you don't want to wait 2 hours.

              -----
              Raku Restaurant
              11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

              Kokekokko
              360 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

              Torihei
              1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

              Little Tokyo Restaurant
              150 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773

            2. re: noahbites
              Dommy Oct 19, 2010 11:08 AM

              I dunno... I LOVE Torihei, but Musha still has its place....

              We OFTEN take people who are not familiar with Izakaya to Musha. The vibe there is so much more casual. The communal table encourages exploration (Oooo! What's that they are having?) and the waiters seem less rushed and more attentive to questions...

              Torihei we take people who THINK they know what Japanese food is... Torihei is a bit more formal, with its small space, each table and even the bar feels 'intimate'.
              You get so much more one on one with the chef (at the bar) and not only are items skillfully made, but presented. At Torihei, you never thought a Chicken Meatball could taste or LOOK so good... LOL!!

              Now for me being to all four, Raku is more like Musha and Bincho more like Torihei... but out of the four, I would rather go to Bincho...

              --Dommy!

              -----
              Raku Restaurant
              11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

              Musha
              1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

              Torihei
              1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

              1. re: Dommy
                liu Oct 19, 2010 12:45 PM

                Hi, Dommy!

                Just as an aside: the communal table at Torrance Musha appears to be a difficult seat to score.

                We were able to secure two places there upon our first visit to Musha a few years ago, but recently, the couple of times we have requested the communal table -- and we arrived a few minutes before the doors opened at 6:00pm, both times on Saturday nights -- we were told that the communal table was completely reserved. Perhaps we are not in the "proper" communal table demographics? But I completely agree with you that the communal table is the most fun for the reasons you have mentioned.

                Our second choice is the bar, and that is also good because you can see all the orders going out.

                1. re: liu
                  Dommy Oct 19, 2010 02:06 PM

                  So sorry to hear about that! We've NEVER had a problem getting a seat at the Communal table... But even times we've sit in the both, the space is much more open and brighter than Torihei...

                  --Dommy!

                  -----
                  Torihei
                  1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

                  1. re: Dommy
                    liu Oct 19, 2010 02:58 PM

                    For any Hounds considering Musha, know that the menu is a little different at each location: Santa Monica and Torrance. To me, the Torrance Musha is more "pub-ish;" they serve some items that I have never seen at their Santa Monica location, such as the bread with cheese wrapped in foil. In contrast, their Santa Monica restaurant is a little more genteel and quiet, though, not by any means, formal or stiff. Both locations are fun!

                    1. re: liu
                      Dommy Oct 19, 2010 03:08 PM

                      LOL! I've been in the Santa Monica locations many times (Dear friend lives around the corner) and having been there when it was FULL of USC students... I had to LOL! at your genteel comment. ;)

                      But yes, you are right... They are different with different feels. My respose was pointed to Noah's comment that Musha is not worth it being so close to Torihei...

                      --Dommy!

                      -----
                      Musha
                      424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                      Torihei
                      1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

                      1. re: Dommy
                        liu Oct 19, 2010 03:35 PM

                        Musha (two locations), Torihei, Bincho + Nanbankan, Furaibo, Raku, Robata-ya...and the list goes on...kevin, the original poster, should try them all! We are so fortunate to have so many choices, and as you have pointed out, Dommy, each has its own flavor! Truly, I would find it impossible to list them in order of "good-better-best."

                        1. re: liu
                          J.L. Oct 21, 2010 01:10 AM

                          Yes, kevin, please try!

                          1. re: J.L.
                            k
                            kevin Oct 21, 2010 11:38 AM

                            i'll most likely hit up bincho first, b/c all roads always lead back to naja's. so stuff there and then naja's afterward.

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