I know I am going to get flogged for asking another Izakaya question, but I swear I tried my best searching the past postings via google to no avail.
I took my friends to Musha in Torrance and had a good time, but I would like to go to someplace with more standard fare. Through out the night, I kept wanting to order some standards, and some of the new style fusion dishes were a bit off I thought. Actually, I am a native of Japan, but I really don't keep up with the local LA food scene and don't know what's good with all of the new resturants in Socal.
Back in the day, I thought Osaka Kappo was very good. How are they now? Any places newer and fresher? Anywhere in Socal (OC to LA) would be fine. (willing to drive for good food!) Althought I would like something straightforward, I also enjoy places that have lots of little dishes that go beyond the basic but not "fusion" dishes. I liked Musha's energy and for the most part careful preparation of the food, but wanted more variety of "traditional" faves... (After vetoing things that seemed weird, Musha's menu ended up being pretty narrow....)
ps: I know about the Nov. 2005 article in the LA times on Izakayas. The link was dead on the LA Times site.