Thursday, January 29, 2009

Restaurant Profile: Itzaka-ya by Katsu-ya

At Itzaka-ya, I've had the freshest and most creative sushi in my life. Because of the countless sushi restaurants and quantity of fresh fish available in LA, that is a tough thing to do. IF you haven't noticed, the Culturistas are on a little sushi kick. But isn't everyone in NY/LA obsessed with sushi? Anyways...the restaurant is the spawn of Katsuya--another fabulous sushi place, obvy. They share many of the same recipes, but Itzakaya seems to be a lot less self conscious than the ultra trendy and showy Katsuya. Although if you DO want the Hollywood/ trendy /dining experience I recommend checking out their Hollywood location. Not to mention that it is on the list for restaurant week--which you might remember us blogging about here.

Itzakaya is a small but boisterous restaurant. This is probably due to the hoards of people that try and get in every night. I recommend getting there early evening, making a reservation or just going for lunch. They used to pass around this board of specials when you sat down at your table but now it comes in the form of a friendly menu.

There are a few things you MUST try when you go there:

Spicy Tuna with crispy rice (I dream about this!!)
Baked Crab hand roll
Rock Shrimp tempura OR Rock Shrimp Tempura on Spicy Tuna roll
(pictured below)

Don't go to Itzaka-ya and try to order your average California roll or Spicy Tuna roll---try their specialty rolls! You will not be disappointed! They also have great sake based cocktails as well as a great price on a pitcher of Japanese beer ($16)
Itzaka-ya is located:
8420 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9536

It's quite difficult to find parking on 3rd street and the surrounding area- so spring for the valet.

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