>> Shoya | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday 17 April 2023

Shoya

Pacific Coast Highway facade

๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต JAPAN
๐Ÿ“ 1920 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Lomita, South Bay
๐Ÿ…ฟ️ Ample parking in plaza
๐Ÿฅค Beer, shochu, and sake

If you make your reservation right at 18:00 when Shoya opens, there could not be a more stark change as you pass through the door and escape this busy stretch of Pacific Coast Highway. The calm and quiet interior is decorated minimally and the kitchen is ready to spring into action for the night. As the evening wears on the space gets a bit more lively, as any izakaya does, but Shoya at any hour is a retreat from a busy day in California.

A two person husband and wife team take care of absolutely everything at Shoya, a place that runs like clockwork. The closed sign flips to open precisely at 18:00, and there are only nine seats so customers are asked to make reservations to allow them to prepare adequately. Your table settings will be laid out when you arrive, and any tardiness must be phoned in so that they are not forced to give away your spot.

Interior showing proprietor talking to two customers

Clockwork does not necessarily mean speed, as almost every dish is prepared by one chef. Come with a couple hours to spend and enjoy this leisurely pace as you will most likely order at least a dozen small dishes and they will come to you at a well-timed pace. Draft beer, hot and cold sake, and plenty of shochu options make this a proper izakaya, so order your favorites and settle in for a very unique experience that you will not want to ever come to an end.

Drinking culture in Japan like most of the rest of the world revolves around eating meals with friends and loved ones. The characters for izakaya (ๅฑ…้…’ๅฑ‹) can be found everywhere in the country, on red lanterns, hanging doorway fabrics, or signs in the windows of businesses. Whether seen as a problem or a positive, many workers head to izakayas when they clock out and spend time eating and drinking with coworkers. At a very minimum, at least everyone is always fed very well when they go out to drink.

Sake in ceramic tokkuri (flask) and o-choko (cup)

Despite being an izakaya, Shoya is more renowned for their food, but still offer good drinks. No matter what your reason for coming, you are bound to be satisfied by this excellent institution, which has lived here for almost ten years now. You will see most of the other customers are regulars chatting with the owners in Japanese, it almost seems like they all are old friends.

While a wonderful assortment of items are available, Shoya has a bit of a specialization in oden, which should not be missed. While oden is often served more in wintertime, Shoya has it year-round and each piece added to the soup has quite a bit of delicacy and precision. The oden itself is the lighter version enjoyed in Tokyo and the Kanto region of Japan. All dishes here are shown in the order they were presented.

Oden with shirataki (yam noodles)
Oden with shirataki (yam noodles) ($3)

Dried file fish
Dried file fish ($8)

Oden with hampen, chikuwa, chicken ball, and fish ball
Oden w/ hampen ($3), chikuwa ($3), chicken ball ($5), fish ball ($5)

Cold tofu
Cold tofu ($5)

Potato salad
Potato salad ($7)

Daikon salad
Daikon salad ($6)

Miso soup
Miso soup ($4)

Shoya salad
Shoya salad ($7)

Rice ball with plum
Rice ball with plum ($7)

Grilled wild chicken
Grilled wild chicken ($11)

Pike fish
Pike fish ($9)

Chicken tomato stew
Chicken tomato stew ($13)

Dashi maki
Dashi maki ($8)

๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

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