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I am interested in seeing what else Japanese cuisine has to offer besides the usual sushi/sashimi. A preliminary search (in the LA/OC area) turned up "Shiawase" in Fullerton. Has anyone tried this place? Any particularly good menu items to try? Thanks a lot.

-Robert

PS- Bluefin, in Newport Beach, is a GREAT Japanese restaurant. Outstanding sushi, amazingly fresh, and wonderful cooked dishes too. (More info on this is you'd like.)

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You might like to try Honda Ya in Tustin for an izakaya experience - lots of great small dishes grilled, steamed, fried, you name it. The grilled stuff (chicken hearts, bacon wrapped asparagus, beef tongue, to name but a few), is great drinking food. ;)

It's very reasonably priced but busy, so get there when it opens or prepare to wait.

Honda Ya

556 El Camino Real

Tustin, CA

714-832-0081

Dinner only - 5:30 PM - 1:00 AM

sg

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M&M, if you check the LA Times Food Section Digest, I remember reading some articles and places about Japanese cuisine. Are you talking more about various traditional Japanese cuisine? Or more into the Japanese fusion (Japanese-French, Japanese-Peruvian, etc.)?

Personally, I've been to a tempura bar (not sushi, tempura) and to a place that serves Japanese curry & Japanese spaghetti (you read correctly).

If I find out more, I'll let you know.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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m&m: i am not a knowledgeable expert in japanese cuisine, just an enthusiastic enjoyer (is that a word?) of it. i am not sure if you were asking for info on the cuisine, or for suggestions of places to try japanese cuisines, or just specifically info on shiawase. i have not been to shiawase, so here's a hybrid answer on the cuisine and place i like to go.

most recently, i went to YUZU, a restaurant in torrance. the friend with whom i went told me that the place serves traditonal japanese foods, so i was sort of expecting it to be dark inside, that we'd be sitting on the floor, that the servers would all be geishas...LOL! atmosphere is totally not like that at all. it's the food that's traditional - japanese preparation, ingredients, and presentation - sukiyaki, nabeyaki, small plates of raw fish (but not like sushi), etc. no fusion with other cuisines, etc. i especially loved the saba.

SHIN SEN GUMI is also in the south bay area, between torrance and gardena. it is a robatayaki, with a heavy, highly energetic focus on drinking. almost everything, from chicken hearts and gizzards to pork belly wrapped asparagus, is skewered and thrown on the robata grill.

there is a MUSHA in torrance, as well as in Santa Monica. it's an izakaya (i think robatayaki is a type of izakaya), which basically means a restaurant/bar that serves lots of small dishes (which also includes things on skewers) that are meant to be eaten with lots of drink. the foods are slightly more food-forward, sort of flashy and fun, with things like risotto carved out of a wheel of cheese, yaki-niku (grilling meat on a tiny charcoal grill at your table). some other izakaya places in west la that are in this family are TERRIED SAKE HOUSE (a little dive-y-er), NANBANKAN (totally hidden), and SASAYA (about 6 months old).

you can always look for shabu shabu houses, places where you sit at a bar or table and cook meat and vegetables yourself in a pot of simmering water on a hot plate in front of you. in west LA, MIZU 212 is decent, but it's way more expensive than i'm used to, and plus the hot pots are all stationed too far away from the seats so you have to reach across and drip stuff all over the place. there's also SHABU HACHI a little further west. whereas MIZU 212 gives each diner their own hot pot of water, at SHABU HACHI, the table shares one pot in the middle. don't go if someone in the group has the flu (although the steam that comes off the pot would feel great for him or her!)

obviously, this is all very westside-centric. there are plenty of places in j-town and in gardena. i'm just afraid of freeway traffic ;)

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hey sarah,

welcome to eGullet. or should i say, it's about time you posted...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Here's a link to the LA Times article, The past, deliciously present by Linda Burum

Chef Kaz Akutsu of Yuzu brings the spirit of washoku, a revival of pure Japanese flavors and traditional cooking methods, to downtown Torrance.

thedeliciouslife, welcome to the eGullet California forum!! Apparently, someone knows you.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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R23 Downtown in the Art District. It is hidden away in a warehouse area. It is mostly sushi, but has alot of other good japanese food as well

Edited by BouchonIntern (log)

Ian W

Former Chef / Partner, Cafe La Terre and Bistro V Express

Sebastopol, CA

Currently living the culinary dream in South East Asia.

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Shabu-shabu: the Japanese version of the Chinese hot pot.

I ate at Shaab in old town Pasadena. There is one in downtown LA that I haven't tried yet called Ka Ga Ya, that's located next to Sushi Gen & Grill Lyon.

BTW, Macarons&Mozart, I still have my print copy of the June 12, 2005 Los Angeles Times Magazine ("Special Restaurant Issue"). When I have some time, I'll list those Japanese restaurants that are "beyond sushi."

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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