Izayoi is a new Japanese izakaya (loosely translated, this means a restaurant that serves little plates of various foods, appetizer style, kind of like Japanese tapas) in Little Tokyo, on Central between 1st and 2nd streets.

Everything about this place is beautifully presented: beautiful food served on beautiful plates and served in a beautiful setting -- well, as beautiful as you can get in a space in a newly constructed strip mall 2 doors down from a starbuck's and an office depot. dark wood tables contrast with the loft-like open space, furnished in that sparse Japanese style that exudes a sense of tranquility.

the sashimi is very good and nicely presented in the sashimi plate (but not as generous as what you'd get at sushi-gen). the kumamoto oysters were also delicious, topped with just a bit of ponzu sauce and some thinly sliced green onion.

the special combination bento (served to only the first 20 customers) has an assortment of items just like you'd get in japan: a nicely dressed mixed green salad, followed by a bento filled with a piece of broiled fish, shrimp & veggie tempura, boiled japanese vegetables, japanese pickles, and chawanmushi (a savory, steamed egg custard with mushrooms and fish cake mixed in).

We went for lunch, but I think the izayoi style may be more suited for late night/happy hour type dining, where you can get little plates of food along w/ your drinks.

Lunch prices are reasonable -- around the $10-12 range. The iced green tea is a little scary looking (as thick and green as pond scum), but it's quite refreshing -- and you get free refills, always a plus in my book.


Blogger VdV said...

So when are we going for Happy Hour?!

8/11/2005 11:11 PM  
Blogger J said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/16/2005 6:59 PM  
Blogger VdV said...

Hey Gena;
This place was terrific! The food was all good...most places usually do sushi good, but not so good on non-sushi items and vice versa. Izayoi was good all around!

Good call!

8/21/2005 1:27 AM  

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