DTLA: Honda-Ya

complimentary cucumber

 

Finding a late-night restaurant seems to be a hard task in Los Angeles. Recently, I explored a Chinese option in Chinatown. Full House is open every night until 3 a.m. every day. However, if Japanese sounds more enticing, head over to Honda-Ya. They’re open most nights until 1 a.m. (they’re open until 12 Midnight on Sundays). Looking over the menu, you’ll find everything from sushi to izakaya items to noodles to even Japanese porridge (zosui). I started ticking off items from the yakitori list like sushi and pretty soon our table was overwhelmed with little grilled items.

beef heart

Beef hearts were agreed by everyone as a must-have.

bacon wrapped

 

bacon wrapped asparagus, okra

spicy chicken wings

I was eating with chefs, servers and bartenders and most of them regularly frequented Honda-Ya. I think they probably found my excitement for yakitori endless. I got so many bacon-wrapped items! Ooh, chicken wings. Ooh, quail eggs. Oooh, oooh!

quail eggs

fatty pork skewers

bacon-wrapped scallops, octopus

The fatty pork gave more of a pause than the odd looking scallops. Do I really want more fat in my diet? Of course, I do.

This was the first time I’ve seen scallops like this. Apparently, they’re usually detached from that orange-y pouch (basically the “eyes”) before cooking. The texture would be off-putting to anyone who doesn’t like um, sponginess. Just think of it as a delicacy and you’re good to go. Or add bacon like I did. Bacon makes everything better?

skewers

beef with mushrooms

meatballs and mushrooms

Oh yeah, there were more skewers. I particularly liked the chicken livers and the teeny tiny chicken hearts. I was a bit surprised the beef and mushrooms came with a pile of mushrooms off to the side rather than on the skewer but I suppose it’s easier to cook that way.

buta kakuni

takoyaki

garlic greens with bacon

squid

sesame fried chicken

We were a table obsessed. More bacon. More fried stuff. I didn’t try the fried chicken but loved the garlic greens. I probably would have had more squid legs but I was already starting to get full and we’re only 2/3 done.

fried mackerel with ume

kurobuta sausage

roasted sweet potato

I did mention this place had a lot of choices, right? For those who like fried fish with ume (Japanese sour plum) or maybe some teeny weenies will do, Honda-Ya serves it all. And roasted sweet potatoes.

agedashi mochi

But the thing we were waiting for all night were several orders of the agedashi mochi. I’ve had agedashi tofu before but it’s like next level to tempura-fy mochi then deep fry it. Like, woah. I can see why we needed several orders for a party of 6.

spicy tuna and lobster hand rolls

We might as well explore the sushi menu as well. I liked the sushi at next door’s Sushi Go 55 though the tuna didn’t quite compare, the spicy tuna was still very good. I didn’t try the lobster hand roll but it was so tempting.

cold udon served with dipping sauce

 

I didn’t try the cold udon (someone help me! I can’t move! I can’t breathe!) but  maybe next time I might stick with a simple dinner combo and a bowl of noodles. But wasn’t it so much fun to explore the menu?

 

Honda-Ya Izakaya

333 S Alameda, Ste 314, Los Angeles, CA 90013 – (213) 625-1184
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