Review: Sake House Miro

1 June 2015

I’ve been avoiding Japanese food in general since my trip to Japan, because I fear my expectations would not be reached. In fact, I have not has sushi of any kind since my January dinner at the much heralded (and 3-Michelin) Yoshitake [よしたけ] in Tokyo, until the previous night at Kiriko. I’ve reviewed Kiriko on several occasions and felt last night’s dinner wouldn’t be a fair reflection due to various circumstances, so I’m skipping one.

But after a busy Monday morning, I headed to Sake House Miro for lunch. It’s a much-loved izakaya that’s also popular for lunch, but I went with the a la carte stuff when I arrived. I’ve had excellent food here before. It’s a simple place looking not out of place at all in Shinjuku. I relaxed with a draft and ordered quite a few items for today’s feast.

baby octopus

The first to arrive was the fried baby octopus. Excellent, though it was a little under-seasoned. I love these critters. Next up were the skewers, the shishito peppers and garlic…

shishito-garlic

…then the chicken cartilage and the chicken tails — all jidori…

chicken tail - cartilage

…then finally the pork belly…

pork belly

They were all nice, but again under-seasoned for some reason. I don’t remember them being so bland last time I was here. They tasted nice, but could have been much better. The pork belly was extremely flavourless…

I was hoping for a little better stuff by ordering another two dishes. It’s not bad, but it’s just not as good as I remember it last time, or in Japan…what I feared…

octopus balls

The first to arrive were takoyaki, the fried octopus balls. They were also bland…maybe it’s just the kitchen’s new approach? But again, it didn’t bring out the flavour of the octopus.

butterfish

The last of the items, the grilled butterfish, was excellent, but once again under-seasoned. Luckily these things need less because of its strong taste, but it was underwhelming. Oh well…

I finished my beer and headed out very full, and sadly dreaming of Japan… Suddenly I really miss my “local” izakaya in Tokyo, the very awesome Hinaiya [比内や] — and its amazing chicken! I just cannot eat Japanese food outside of Japan anymore…

Sake House Miro
809 S LaBrea Avenue
Los Angeles, California

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