1) Downtown: Today SIV pays a visit to Aburiya Toranoko, the izakaya newcomer from owner Michael Cardenas located next door to his perpetually packed Laxy Ox Canteen. Sher describes the restaurant's two star fare as "Japanese pub food, one with a distinctly urban, hip-hop vibe....The menu from chef and partner Hisaharu Kawabe, an alumnus of Matsuhisa and various Nobu locales, is nothing if not big. What do you feel like? Sushi? Udon? Tempura? Skewers of chicken skin or gizzards? Maybe just some fatty pork? Plunge right in if you already know what you want. But then you might be missing the specials, a full-sheet list that seems to change almost every day...I tend to stick with the specials because they include what's most unusual, what's freshest, what's available only in limited quantities." SIV decides that "sushi may be the least impressive category — it's fine, but cooked items are generally better...Service is a big plus, fast on the uptake, cordial and enthusiastic." A pitfall from the comprehensive menu? "Some of the more creative dishes...fall flat." Nonetheless, "Aburiya Toranoko is a lively new addition to the scene. Stop in at lunch or, even better, for a night of sake or new-age cocktails and gutsy Japanese pub dishes." [LAT]
The Elsewhere: The Find tries The Bear Flag Fish Co., Eat: LA dines at Antica Pizzeria, kevinEats at Breadbar, Midtown Lunch goes to Pollo ala Brasa, Refined Palate hits Villetta, and The Savory Hunter discusses L'Epicerie.