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The similarity between the Spanish tapas bar and the Japanese izakaya has been long noted — both are places where the cooking is subsidiary to the drinking, where immoderate consumption is both encouraged and facilitated, and where the portions are just big enough to get you through to the next glass. Yatai, a pleasantly sleek patio restaurant tucked away off the Sunset Strip, is a Japanese izakaya pretending to be an American joint pretending to be an izakaya, if you know what I mean, although the putative concept is Asian street food. (The only “street foods” you’ll find here are the sticks of satay and the deep-fried Japanese potato balls stuffed with bits of octopus tentacle.) The customers, most of whom seem to be Japanese-speaking hipsters, groove on the Indonesian gado-gado, the chicken dumplings with Thai curry, the samosas and the gooey, apple-spiked “Korean-style” sashimi as much as they do on the soy-paper sushi rolls and tempura. Yatai has the usual shortlist of soju cocktails and Pacific Rim wines, but there is also a nicely edited selection of cold sakes. I liked the Tomoju, which had a faint but distinct aftertaste of the wax lips you probably used to chew on as a kid.
Really reasonably priced Asian tapas that spans Japanese, Chinese, sushi, Thai and Indian to make everyone happy. Although it's on Sunset, it is on a strip of the strip that isn't crazy busy at night, so street parking is usually easy to find even on a weekend. They serve the spicy tuna on crispy rice that made the Katsuya franchises and Koi famous - as well as some great raw fish carpaccios, udon, curries and fried faves (like egg rolls, popcorn shrimp and tempura). Chill, ambient vibe in their little indoor room with walls adorned by corks or their outdoor patio with twinkly lights. They serve beer, sake and soju (and some fun cocktails with those bases of alcohol).
Ok so this is my new favorite place...and I don't want anyone else to know about it (besides everyone on this website). Great prices. Great Sushi and Asian Tapas. Great for a date/ANYTHING. They have this cool little trick when they pour their bamboo sake- I won't spoil the surprise :) things to eat: albacore sashimi w/ crispy onions, crispy rice spicy tuna, popcorn shrimp, SAKE your welcome.
Dear Mr. Gold:I am hoping you can let me know of a restaurant that is risqué, inexpensive .?.?. and serves delicious sushi. I’m celebrating a birthday and could use a really sexy night out. The naughty-sushi place on Sunset is too pricey for my... More »
The similarity between the Spanish tapas bar and the Japanese izakaya has been long noted — both are places where the cooking is subsidiary to the drinking, where immoderate consumption is both encouraged and facilitated, and where the portions... More »
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