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居酒屋 Izakaya in Little Tokyo - Anyone tried any of these?

Just read about the following Izakaya places in Little Tokyo - any frontrunners and fav dishes?

Aburiya Toranoko
Honda-Ya
Haru Ulala
Raku Plus

Cheers, LM

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Haru Ulala
368 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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

Aburiya Toranoko
243 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

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  1. Toranoko is a little ahead of the pack for me, in that they do some comfort food dishes that the other places don't. If you go to Toranoko, I would recommend the uni goma tofu. Honda-ya is probably the best for relaxing and drinking.

    1. Did you read the article in Sunset Magazine? I was a little disappointed they didn't mention any of the Izakayas in other areas, such as the South Bay (as well as the branches of Musha and Raku that are on the west side, or any of the places on Sawtelle). I thought their suggestion that Little Tokyo is the best place to go for this style of food in the greater LA area was maybe a little misguided.

      5 Replies
      1. re: will47

        I did but was heartened by it. I'm hoping the Little Tokyo ones pull it off. It sounded like there is a critical mass being developed there which is why I wanted to see who's tried/liked what. Have you tried any of them?

        1. re: Louisiana Mouth

          Haru Ulala is ok.

          Toranoko is well executed but pretty pricey compared to other izakayas, you get great quality but I think the price is not quite worth it for some of the hot food items.

          If I remember correctly Raku, assuming its associated with the West LA one is a Korean owned wannabe Izakaya but in fact the food should be pretty decent either way.

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          Haru Ulala
          368 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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

          Izakaya
          8420 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

          1. re: Johnny L

            Realizing I jumped into this thread a bit late here, but don't discount Raku at all. It does have a bit of a Korean slant to some of the dishes, but it also brings a nice seasonality to the menu that is refreshing- it's one of my favorites in springtime for their pea shoot dishes...
            Now, if someone could just point me to some oden.

            1. re: jdwdeville

              >>Now, if someone could just point me to some oden.<<

              Not in DTLA, but Torihei in Torrance has oden.

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              Torihei
              1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

              1. re: bulavinaka

                Cheers. First cold day this month I'm going on an oden pilgrimage.

      2. I regularly go to Honda-Ya and most of the time it's pretty solid. My favorites are the beef tongue and chicken wing skewers. I also like their poki salad. On their specials menu, they have this really tender and delicious stewed beef tendon.

        I haven't been to Haru Ulala or Raku. Toranoko I've tried once on someone else's dime. It wasn't bad, but it felt rather overpriced for what you get, but then we were a large group of 8.

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        Haru Ulala
        368 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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

        1. I like Honda-Ya. It feels like an authentic izakaya. They have a wonderful albacore tuna tatataki salad that is particularly delicious and refreshing

          1. I've been to Honda Ya several times and its pretty good. I like their beef and pork skewers, kobi beef sushi (I know its not technically sushi), takoyaki and yakisoba. Its really great for drinking as there is a large tatami room so that drunk parties can be rowdy.