Hamakaze is a new izakaya in Venice, and one of the very few options in town for izakaya (Japanese bar snacks). Hamakaze, though, is not very Japanese, says bigtuna27. “They try to please us Americans so have a little of everything with a twist.” But it’s totally worthwhile anyway, says bigtuna27.

There are “kick ass fries,” done Japanese style. “Crunchy, spicy and garlicky,” says bigtuna27. Other highlights are the angel wings—spicy, sweet, sour, and crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside—and the takayoki, Japanese pancake balls stuffed with octopus chunks and garnished with dried fish flakes and dried green seaweed. Try a couple of deep-fried delights too, like the shrimp spring rolls and the tricolor shrimp tempura, so good that bigtuna27 got a second order.

liu thinks the food is excellent, especially grilled black cod, “but what really impressed me was everything else. The hot gyokuro tea was of very good quality, the soy sauce is homemade and is extraordinary, and the sea salt adornment on certain sushi items was also homemade.” Plus: pleasant music, good presentation, and attentive service.

Most small-plate items are about $5 to $8. The chef-owner is Nick Nishi, a sort of Venice sushi celebrity. Among other things, he was the first sushi chef at Chaya Venice.

Hamakaze [Westside – Beaches]
13327 W. Washington Boulevard, Venice

Board Link: New Izakaya in Venice beach

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