Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Izaka-Ya (Los Angeles)


We anticipated Izaka-Ya could be one of our favorite meals of the trip, we initially planned to spend my birthday there, but when parents wanted to squeeze time in on my birthday, we switched things up and changed reservations for another day. The following day, we found ourselves hungry after a day spent strolling around Venice Beach and the heavy sounding food at a nearby restaurant and a too experimental menu at another restaurant didn't make our stomachs grumble, we decided to cruise down to Mid-City and check out Izaka-Ya one day early.

Mentioned in Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Los Angelese City Guide, we asked several locals who agreed and thought we would really like the original Katsu-Ya, but after reviewing their various restaurant menus, we opted to try Izaka-Ya. Good thing we switched things up because this restaurant was so loud and the beginning to our dining and yelling in LA. Since we didn't have reservations for this night, we waited a few minutes and was seated at the sushi bar, which we were excited to sit back and watch the sushi chefs crank it out. Their sushi was seriously gorgeous.

Sushi Set-Up

The first dish we ordered was the Sauted Kabocha with Garlic Butter Soy Sauce. A rich and starchy start to our dinner.

Steamed Kabocha with garlic butter soy sauce $5

We specifically decided on Izaka-Ya because the menu seemed more diverse and not sushi focused, but we couldn't resist and ordered the shima-aji. This was silky deliciousness.


One of my favorite Japanese dishes is miso cod and Izaka-Ya's was heavenly. Silky and soft meat coupled with crispy sweet salty skin - truly terrific. The picked ginger sprout was a surprise and immediately we fell in love. Only the white part is edible, which we learned by trying to chew it to the tip, it was that good - tender, briney, sweet and spicy. The soft texture was a delicious surprise.

Miso Cod

We ordered two items off the specialty list. The first to arrive was the kiwi scallops. As you can imagine the soft texture and mild flavors of both the scallops and kiwis was light and refreshing - fruit and seafood together was a very unique experience and I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. Mike, on the other hand, thought the kiwis were overpowering, making the scallop simply texture in the dish.

Kiwi Scallops

Next came our Soba Noodles. This traditional cold noodle dish was a perfect minimal carb edition to our meal. The dipping broth was a flavorful counterpart and absolutely delicious.

Okinawa-Style Soba

Our final dish was a specialty item of Fried Spinach and Seared Toro, or the roast beef of the sea. This dish was hearty, to say the least. The crispy fried spinach with the hearty seared toro was rich, savory and decadent. I enjoyed the first few bites, but was quickly overwhelmed by the richness of the dish. Mike, on the other hand, loved it, his favorite dish of the night.

Fried Spinach

Izaka-Ya was really good, everything we expected, but did we keep the 7pm reservation for the following night? No. There's just too much goodness in LA. And was it the best meal we had in LA? No, we experienced that the next night at a restaurant that happened to be just up the street.

8420 W 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048

No comments: