Friday, April 20, 2007

IZAYOI, Downtown L.A.

I (Andrea) convinced Suni to go to this cool little Japanese restaurant in Downtown L.A. by touting its unusually high Zagat rating given its affordable prices. One step into Izayoi and it's clear why it's so highly rated: This is a REAL Japanese restaurant with lots of Japanese customers (not to mention a staff that would seem to prefer avoiding English whenever possible). The menu is izakaya-style, which is Japanese for small plates. For me, this meant loads of fun trying new and interesting dishes. As for Suni, his only responsibility when it came time to order was sit back and relax with his bottle of Sapporo followed by a pint of Kirin.

Flavored Grilled Duck Sirloin

The juicy, rich, and somewhat sweet duck was complimented perfectly by lightly dressed greens and red onions.

Shrimp with Chili Fondue

These fried shrimp were served with a sweet and spicy red chili sauce that we couldn't get enough of. Had there been a spoon on the table I most likely would have polished off the rest by itself.

Black Cod Marinated in Sake and Miso with Candied Miso Soybeans

Miso-marinated Black cod is my absolute favorite Japanese dish, and this one definitely lived up to my expectations. The fish is usually marinated in miso for several days - the end result is a buttery, sweet, and slightly salty dish that literally melts in your mouth. The candied miso soybeans were an excellent touch and complimented the dish perfectly.

I am so proud of Suni for agreeing to venture out and try new foods - and even though he may not admit it willingly, he truly enjoyed all three dishes. He even voluntarily used the chopsticks that were provided and actually did quite well. All that's left now is getting him to like Sushi and my mission will be complete.

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