Monday, June 1, 2009

I Love Izakaya: Raku and Honda-ya

I don't get to eat a lot of Japanese when I'm in SD, mostly because I don't know anyone who wants to get anything more than cheap sushi rolls out here, so when I was up in LA, I decided to go for Japanese twice. Izakaya is one of my favorite types of Japanese food (though, really, I love them all) because it's like tapas: you get to eat tons of yummy things!

The first night, V, G and I wanted to go to Sushi-Gen, but the line was too long, so we went to Raku next door instead. With three of us eating (including a boy), we ordered a ton of food!

Smoked mackerel. Very nice.

Lotus root stuffed with chicken and shiso

Smelt. One of my favorite things ever.

Fish cake stuffed with shiso and cheese.

Miso black cod. Classic and always delicious.

Grilled mackerel.

Bbq beef. Good seasoning, but could have been more tender.

Pork belly with scallion and sesame oil deeping sauce. So bad for you but sooo good.

Chicken wings which took forever to come out but were good.

Okay, we didn't exactly order the most healthy stuff, but it was all pretty good... Not one of the best izakayas I've ever been to, but still tasty.

The next night, Minky and I headed to Honda-ya. I was so hungry, I forgot to take pictures of the first few items that came out. We had ordered a few yakitori (bacon wrapped enoki, bacon wrapped asparagus and shiitake mushrooms). The only picture I got was below.

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Mochi with mentai (spicy cod roe) and cheese. So delicious. I woulda liked it even better if they'd wrapped bites of this with nori.

Agedashi tofu. Classic.

One of my favorite vegetables, garlic shoots. Sauteed with pork belly.

Takoyaki - octopus balls.

These smelt were ginormous and bursting with roe. So good.

Seafood zosui - chunks of fish and octopus and lots of crunchy seaweed. I would have liked the broth to be a little more flavorful, but it was good.

I also forgot to take a picture of the ume onigiri we shared with the pickles I love. So good. But I was hungry.

And for dessert, we headed down to Beard Papa's and had a cookie crunch cream puff filled with vanilla cream! I wanted strawberry but we'd just missed it. I love Beard Papa's.

424 E 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Honda-ya Izakaya
333 S Alameda #314
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 625-1184

Beard Papa's
333 S Alameda #314
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 625-1184


KirkK said...

Hey Angelle - Looks like some great meals....if you'd have hit Haru Ulala, you'd have done the tri-fecta!!! Love the shishamo shots......I can never get enough of it.

angelle said...

ooh i'll def have to check that out next time i'm up there!

i know, i LOVE shishamo. i could pop those all day long. the fatter the better. mmmm...

are there comparable izakayas out here in sd?

KirkK said...

Hi Angelle - Have you tried Izakaya Sakura on Convoy? You might enjoy it, though it's a bit more expensive than what's in LA. Yu Me Ya is also good. Okan has a few Izakaya style meals though it's much more homestyle Kozara-Ryori - small plates, than a real Izakaya. Enjoy!!!

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