Osen Izakaya - Lunch
Tucked into a Silver Lake strip mall, Osen Izakaya is one of the best Japanese restaurants I’ve been to in LA. The restaurant itself is very small and cozy. So don’t plan a giant birthday dinner here with your 50 best friends. But it is a perfect place to get lunch to catch up with a friend or go for an intimate dinner date.
The food is delicious. I didn’t eat one bad bite. My favorite dish is their crunchy rice and tuna. Served in four pieces, this dish is so flavorful. The rice is crispy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. I could have eaten 10 more pieces of this one. One more skilled in chopsticks than I may have more success getting each piece up in tact. The rice and ground tuna fell a part a bit on me, and I ended up making somewhat of a mess. But the mess was so tasty, I didn't mind one bit.
If you are a tea drinker, you should make sure you order some at Osen Izakaya. You will be brought a pot full of hot tea, as well as block with a flame to keep it nice and toasty.
Another highlight is the yakitori. Be sure to order an assortment. Favorite bites included the okra wrapped in bacon and the chicken meatball. The chicken and scallop yakitori are both great, too. But the okra and meatball were the surprise standouts for me. I'll never be satisfied with plain okra again now that I know it belongs with bacon. But if do happen to be vegetarian or just not a bacon fan (WHAT?!) know that the plain okra yakitori is delicious, too.
If you are going in for lunch, make sure to check out the lunch specials. They have a great assortment of fresh sushi that just melts in your mouth. The six piece cut salmon sushi was delish.
The Oyako Don is great dish if you are in the mood for noodles. Served with chicken, this dish is large and flavorful, perfect for an “LA Winter” day. The day I visited, it rained. So a hot bowl of noodles was honestly so ideal.
The staff was so friendly and the environment so lovely, I wish I lived closer so I could dine here more often. In regard to parking, there is a lot out front, but there are very few spots, unless you get really lucky, just try to find street parking. There is plenty. Open Izakaya is on Sunset, so you are walking distance to lots of bars if you want to make a night of your visit to Silver Lake. I chose to head home with a box of leftovers, ready to curl up under the covers and listen to the rain, so full from this delicious meal.