in Old Town Tustin
Home of the "Little White Tree Church"
Honda Ya Restaurant
556 El Camino Real - 714-832-0081
Open 5:30 PM - 1:00 AM - Seven Days A Week
Izakaya, the trendy late-night gastropubs are bursting onto the scene here.
"It's after midnight on a Saturday night at the izakaya Honda Ya, a Japanese pub in Tustin. When the door swings open, a roar of laughter and conversation blasts out to the waiting crowd. Inside the room pulses with electric energy.
Diners sit elbow to elbow at the heavy wooden tables in front of the open kitchen or the smoky yakitori bar in the back, drinking sake or draft Kirin and sharing plate after plate of sakana, the Japanese tapas always served with drinks. From Honda Ya's nearly 100 item menu, diners are ordering plump fried oysters, plates of grilled salmon collar, spicy tuna rolls, and garlic leaves stir fried with bacon. The dishes will often be shared throughout the evening, along with a few rounds of sake.
Izakaya [ee-zah-KAH-yah] in Japan have come a long way from their origins as street-food stalls or carts, common throughout Japanese history, where customers would stop to drink and snack. They're often described as pubs or taverns - but those terms barely hint at the amazing panoply of highly creative dishes most serve today.
Drinking and nibbling often until very late at night, through a wide-ranging menu - which may include innovative takes on sashimi, smoky charcoal-grilled fish or Lilliputian servings of such Japanese tapas as braised Berkshire pork with potatoes is the essence of the izakaya experience.
And these days the izakaya experience in and around Southern California is growing more varied by the day."
Los Angeles Times - Linda Burum - November 9, 2005
Open Kitchen Traditional Japanese Decor
Last modified: 12/09/11