Recently I posted about a sushi meal and the day I posted it, there were several comments discussing sushi, which of course instantly put me back in the mood. I did want to at least try something new though, so hubby and I decided to try Izakaya. It took us a few minutes to find it because it is back in a strip mall area off to the side, but we finally did. When we walked in, I liked the interior (other than it was freezing of course). It is modern and feels a little nicer than a lot of Japanese restaurants. They also offer hibachi grills, so we may have to go try that with the kids one of these days.
They have a lunch special that includes ordering a couple of rolls (from a list of choices) for $9.95, which is what I got. I picked the tuna roll with avocado and the shrimp tempura roll. It is a pretty good deal considering one of the rolls on the regular menu is $8.95. I can’t say I loved one better than the other—the tuna was nice and fresh—it was pretty simple though. I would have liked a little more avocado. But it was a nice bite sized roll. The shrimp tempura roll was good too. I liked the variation in texture, and having a little crunch to it with the tempura shrimp inside as well as the tempura bits on top. Both of the rolls hit the spot and satisfied the craving. I didn’t have any major complaints. You also got a bowl of miso soup included with your lunch—it was your standard miso soup with seaweed and little chunks of tofu.
Hubby got the shrimp tempura lunch for $8.95. It was several shrimp tempura (there were 3 or 4) and quite a fair amount of vegetables. Interestingly, the crunchy outside part on the shrimp was a little different from what was on the veggies—the shrimp was almost more like panko in texture—a much crunchier, breadier, and thicker coating. It was honestly a little too thick—it made the shrimp seem very small in comparison. There were several kinds of veggies—asparagus, squash, a large onion ring, zuchinni and a mushroom. The batter on these was more of your traditional batter-tempura type and we both liked it better—it wasn’t so thick that it overwhelmed the veggies themselves. It also came with soup and a bowl of steamed rice.
Overall, it hit the spot and the service was fast and friendly. When we first sat down, there weren’t many people there and the air conditioning was on full blast and it was freezing. But it was one of the few places I have eaten in which I asked for it to be turned down and they went and turned it off. Usually you just get an eye roll when you complain about being cold around here.
Anyone been to the hibachi part? I am curious to know if it is good.
7325 East 96th Street