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Birthday dinner - Torihei, Izakaya Bincho, or ???

Celebrating my birthday with family next week and craving Izakaya fare. Last year our group of five celebrated at Musha. Both Izakaya Bincho and Torihei are on my "to try" list. Any recommendations as for which restaurant to try first? The reservations will be for a weekday around 8pm. Thank you!

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  1. hard question. the food is good at both places. on a weekday, bincho is less busy and quieter than torihei, which has more seating and a livelier atmosphere. it can be chilly or drafty at either, so i'd wear a jacket if it's cold.

    shin-sen-gumi is another option, and tsujita's izakaya menu is on my to-try list. robata jinya, too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: aizan

      not a fan of robata jinya. been there a bunch b/c i work so close by. it's just not amazing. i've given it a bunch of tries, just seems like it could be better.
      this may be not a suggestion you're looking for, but for Honda Ya is awesome on a birthday! They play this crazy birthday song whenever it's someones birthday. it's one of the highlights of going! i always say i want to go on my birthday yet i never seem to make it there.

      1. re: aizan

        Thank you, aizan, for mentioning the chilly temperature in both restaurants. Something I never think to ask. I'll prepare with jacket :-)

      2. Both are good. Morinoya should also be on your list.

        1. Was just at Torihei again last night and it never fails to please.

          Just remember that at Torihei, they give you a 2-2.5 hour limit on your table during the weekends.

          1. Izakaya Bincho for food, anywhere besides Izakaya Bincho for atmosphere.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ns1

              Yup - love his food but Tomo-san really needs to get out of that pigeon hole. If atmosphere isn't important to the OP, I'd lean toward IB as long as they can secure the booth in back. Otherwise, I'd pick Torihei. I don't particularly care for their seating but the general atmosphere is more lively and the space's size feels less claustrophobic.

            2. Nanbankan (West LA)?
              For sure, you will need reservations there.