In addition to a large Korean population, Los Angeles also has a huge Japanese representation as well and therefore some of the best Japanese eats in the United States. My last night in Los Angeles, my brother and sister-in-law made arrangements for us to go out with some friends of theirs that lived in the area later that night. We decided to get a meal together beforehand. My sister-in-law had been eyeing a spot for awhile (they are doing a short term rental in Little Tokyo in downtown LA and explored the neighborhood quite a bit in the week and half they were there). It was Izakaya & Bar Fu-Ga.
The restaurant is located down a small flight of stairs and opens up to a modern and sleek dining room. I started with a citrus ginger sake spritzer:
Really crisp, refreshing and went down too easy. Loved the ginger and citrus combination.
The restaurant has Japanese small plates with fusion elements to it. We got a bunch of plates to share.
The fire cracker tempura shrimp (drenched) tossed in a spicy chili mayo:
This is definitely a full flavored plate and the flavors were good but there was too much sauce on everything and the shrimp got lost in it. Not only did you have the mayo based sauce on the shrimp but then there was more chili sauce at the base of the plate. Less is more.
Shrimp and scallop dynamite with mushroom and vegetables:
Dynamite sauce is essentially baked mayonnaise lol. However, when done right, it’s really delicious in that decadent creamy sort of way. This was meh. The mayonnaise was a bit clumpy and even gelatinous and the scallops and shrimp had no flavor to it really. It tasted like a warmed up cheap seafood salad.
Spicy tuna over crispy rice:
Spicy tuna was very fresh and really delicious. Had notes of soy and spicy sesame oil versus spicy mayo – so it kept the fish clean and allowed the flavors of the tuna to shine through. The crispy rice was nice and chewy but some of the end bits were fried for a bit too long and no knife would cut through it. So I just picked up and ate it I was still happy with how this plate tasted however. I just love tuna over crispy rice. I think it’s the textures that come into play in my mouth.
Pork belly wrapped asparagus with miso dipping sauce:
This was underwhelming. Barely tasted the pork belly and so all you got was asparagus wrapped in fat. Oh well. Gosh, you hear pork belly and I’m rubbing my hands in anticipation. Too bad.
Miso baked Chilean sea bass with a side of sauteed spinach:
Like butta! Fatty, buttery and rich chilean sea bass lightly dressed with umami rich miso sauce.
And last but not least, yellowtail collar:
If you have never had yellowtail collar, you have to try it. Because it’s located close to the collarbone, the meat is really really moist and full of so much flavor. The skin was cooked to a nice crispiness. Yellowtail collar is a true delicacy in Japanese cuisine and if you go to any fine Japanese restaurant with a predominantly Japanese clientele, this is one of the first things to go out of stock.
So Izakaya & Bar Fu-ga had some hits and some misses but for me, it was about sharing food and conversation with family and every moment was worth it. Thanks so much to my brother and sister-in-law for taking me to some wonderful food establishments my weekend in LA. Looking forward to a repeat visit!
Izakaya & Bar Fu-ga, 111 S. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA