111 So. San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA
In search of somewhere fun for a small group to celebrate Ray's birthday we landed at Fu-Ga in Little Tokyo, a newish izakaya D and stumbled upon during one of our strolls about DTLA awhile back. Above, the mesh enclosed semi-private booths in the back reminded me quite authentically (atmosphere wise anyway) of a couple izakaya I visited in Tokyo a few years back. An ideal spot for some romance or simply for salarymen to talk shop while swilling quality booze and nibbling dry aged rib eye or bacon wrapped scallops in private.
See above a brief November specials menu. We didn't order anything from this small menu, but that doesn't mean we didn't order much. We ordered a lot.
Roseanne did the back stroke in her pretty pink cocktail. A vodka/lemon/berry concoction Yelpers are yelping about. They have a full bar, a good beer selection that includes Kirin, Duvel, Ommegang Abbey, Sapporo, Yebisu, with Ayinger Dopelbock, Drifter and La Chouffe on draft (and then some). Nothing impressive on their nevertheless drinkable wine list and a handful of decent sakes.
Shiitake, enoki & brown mushrooms in a cream sauce with little garlic toasts. Overly rich for me, this was nevertheless inhaled by everyone else at the table.
Although this was the stand out dish of the night, I cannot seem to find it on the menu. It's clearly not udon.
Some kind of gyoza dumpling in a clear mushroom broth with lots of green onions. This was delicious.
The rolls we sampled...Kamikaze roll. Spicy tuna covered with avocado and sweet kabayaki here.
Avocado covered in spicy on the other half of the kamikaze roll.
I requested the sashimi salad and was pleased with the lightly dressed lettuce and the freshness of the sashimi: hamachi, hotate, sake, and maguro. Nicely done in an unsurprising but delicious ginger dressing.
Miso broiled cod. Not on the menu, but very good. I didn't think it needed the addition of the kabayaki sauce which was more or less decorative, it was a nice rendition of Chef Nobu's infamous miso marinated black cod.
Surprisingly yummy, chicken meatballs with a nice char on a stick in a light sweet broth. Meat on a stick. Two are served on the plate, one was ingested in about 10 seconds flat. These are not small.
And as a table we went through a few orders of the now ubiquitous crispy rice with spicy tuna. The rice was a little overcooked in spots, on the dark brown side. But still, I ate more than my share of these. I cannot resist them at Katsuya either.
All in all, we had a beautiful time first at Fu-Ga then later chilling out to some lovely jazz at Blue Whale. Fu-Ga is not necessarily a foodie paradise (what is, really?), but it is nightclub festive, good for large parties with friendly service and a varied menu that should please an easy going palate.
Happy Birthday, friend.