The newly opened Gonpachi is like Miyagi’s rich, hip cousin from the motherland, says rameniac. The gargantuan restaurant may also be a temple to Japan fetishism: It’s been built from the ground up with imported wood without a single nail, adorned with samurai armor, and carries a very Japanese price tag of $18.5 million.
But don’t worry, it won’t cost a fortune to eat here, though it’s a bit pricier than your standard South Bay izakaya. And the food is entirely competent: Yakitori shows flashes of brilliance, although the traditional sushi disappoints—you’re better off with rolls. Soba is house-made and top-notch; kamo seiro soba, served cold with a hot dipping broth, chopped scallions, and grilled duck, is thoroughly delicious.
Cherry tomato with bacon, and sliced grilled corn on the cob, are great, says Ciao Bob; so is the tempura.
For a point of comparison, try one of the South Bay izakayas, like Azuma or Kan. On the Westside, Musha and Raku are good bets.
Gonpachi [Beverly Hills]
134 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Miyagi’s on Sunset [West Hollywood]
8225 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
Azuma [South Bay]
16123 S. Western Avenue, Gardena
Kan Yuzen Izakaya [South Bay]
2755 Pacific Coast Highway (in Torrance Towne Center), Torrance
424 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica