Shin Okinawa Izakaya is LA’s first Okinawan restaurant, as far as we know. It’s got the traditional Okinawan lion décor, all kinds of Okinawan beers, and many fine examples of Okinawan home cooking. gachimai is from Okinawa, and he proclaims Shin Okinawa Izakaya to be quite good.
Okinawa is best known for its soba, and, indeed, Shin Okinawa Izakaya’s best dish is soki soba: soba noodles in broth made from the usual kelp and dried bonito, then flavored with pork ribs. “The soup was flavorful enough that we drank the whole bowl,” says gachimai.
The goya champuru is pretty good, made from stir-fried bitter melon, pork, egg, and bean sprouts, topped with bonito fish flakes. This is a staple dish in Okinawan home cooking, explains gachimai. There’s a good version of rafute—boiled pork belly—too. Mozoku (Okinawan seaweed) and papaya champuru (green papaya salad) are disappointing and underflavored though.
There are Okinawan beers, too—like shikwasa, a beer flavored with the tart shikwasa citrus fruit. And there’s awamori with shikwasa, the Okinawan liquor that’s the local equivalent of sake. “This is the stuff all Okinawan people drink,” says gachimai. Try it on the rocks, he suggests.
Shin Okinawa Izakaya [South Bay]
1880 W. Carson Street, Suite A, Torrance
Board Link: Shin Okinawa Izakaya