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Jonathan Gold Enjoys Rotten Bonito Intestines and Sake at Kinjiro

And more reviews from around town!

Darin Dines

This week, Jonathan Gold drops the word on Kinjiro, an upscale izakaya in Little Tokyo in the old b.o.s. space. Izakayas offer booze-centric menus and small plates to go alongside it, a style of dining that has become ubiquitous at fashionable Los Angeles restaurants. At Kinjiro, the LA Times critic opts for Cowboy, "red wine drinker's sake as massively flavored as a steakhouse Cabernet Sauvignon," and enjoys a sophisticated succession of small plates to go with it:

So you get your Cowboy, which comes to the table chilled. You experiment, perhaps, with the sake no sakana, salty, funky, ultra-traditional bar snacks that may include slivers of flying squid fermented in its own ink, firefly squid marinated in sweetened soy or half-rotted bonito intestines smeared on cream cheese, which is both more traditional and more delicious than it sounds. (Kondo also served the bonito guts when he cooked at the long-shuttered Izayoi, around the corner from the Kinjiro spot.)

You try the nanbanzuki, a seasonal dish of smelt that is deep-fried, then pickled and served cold — when you land the right smelt, the crunch of its eggs is unexpected and delightful. You get a tiny parfait of sea urchin layered with sliced raw scallop, cooked blue crab and a luscious, citrus-tart ponzu jelly. The bottle of Cowboy has started to warm. Perhaps it is time for meat. [LAT]


The Elsewhere: Darin Dines has another reliable meal at Chi Spacca, Eating L.A. enjoys a stylish meal at Ostrich Farm, and The Offalo digs into Korean fare at POT.


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