The arrival of another South Bay summer is steadily approaching and there is a definite air of relaxation and harmony to be found within the transfer of seasons. If you have trouble finding peace of mind during this May transfer, we recommend a journey into Redondo Beach’s only Iizakaya-style Japanese lounge. Hidden among the bustle of Pacific Coast Highway sits Japonica, an intimate, upscale gem that serves Japanese tapas and a host of scrumptious sake with an urban flare that reminds one of Downtown LA’s Little Tokyo.
Bring a group of friends or a romantic sidekick because dinning is privately sectioned off into little rooms which help set the table for a casual and comfortable atmosphere. Most of the menu features hot & cold tapas from various types of Japanese cuisine like Sashimi, Tempura, and Tofu. Small, cold dishes like Halibut or Yellowtail Carpaccio make for good selections while tasting some Japonica style fried chicken is adventurous but worth it. There are many dishes to chose from, even tasty rice-balls, so like any new tappas experience one must be willing to try many new dishes for the first time.
There are only two types of sake, hot or cold, right? Of course not, sake is diverse and comes in many different flavors, much like grape wine, and Japonica specializes in serving an array of over 30 types of sake. Ordering at least a half-carafe of sake at Japonica is a good idea. Japonica presents a tasting-scale of sake on its menu that ranges from dry to smooth, to sweet, but ask the server or bartender for advice; they’re quite knowledgeable about the sake they serve.
Japonica is located at 1304 1/2 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277-5004. (310) 316-9477.