The izakaya, Japan’s take on the gastropub, was the inspiration for Aburiya Toranoko, now open adjacent to Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo. Owned and operated by veterans of Nobu Matsuhisa, Aburiya Toranoko offers a menu of sushi, noodles and small plates, from traditional Himalayan salt-sprinkled edamame and sumiyaki meats and vegetables to more adventurous miso-marinated beef tongue, shiokara-marinated intestinates, and monkfish liver paté with mustard, vinegar and miso. After heading to an LA tour, i’m more than tempted to bring down a few friends for a good night. Drinks include a range of Japanese beers, more than 35 sakes, and nearly 45 international wines by the glass, plus specialty cocktails like the Persimmon Zu (Plymouth Gin, Parfait d’Amour, chartreuse, persimmons and yuzu) and the Maker’s Mark BBQ (Maker’s Mark, Antica, Peychaud’s Bitters, aperol and a splash of barbecue sauce). KAMI Design’s edgy, “urban eclectic” restaurant design features long communal tables, brick-clad walls, jet-black chandeliers and a colorful graffiti mural.
243 South San Pedro Street Los Angeles, CA 90012-3808 – (213) 621-9500