Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Croquer: Sake House Miro

Sake House Miro makes me happy.
Starting with the tall, bright light box that is wheeled onto the sidewalk at 6:00pm to let you know that yes, they are open. The young Japanese servers are spunky and sweet, garnering bright red t-shirts with various logo rip-offs ("Enjoy Sake House" in leiu of Coca-Cola; "I [heart] Sake House Miro" a la NY). The space recreates a 1960s Tokyo back-alley vibe, with exposed brick walls, vintage advertising posters and strung lanterns. The menu is eclectically Japanese, with sushi, Teppan grill, "tapas" (Nan "pizzas", Japanese style fried chicken, salads), and a handful of Korean dishes.
The first time I went to Sake House, it was the sake arriving in a wooden box and the Bee Bim Bap that won me. Yes, I order the Korean dish Ishiyaki Bee Bim Bap fried rice every visit back (beef and vegetable served over rice in sizzling earthenware bowl, tossed to desired spiciness table-side). The tasty Albacore Sashimi Salad w/ house spicy ponzu dressing is always a refreshing respite, along with house complimentary cucumbers & peanut sauce starter and a cold Sapporo. I have never been rushed, and groups don't seem to be discouraged despite the cramped quarters, wooden stools (not unlike sitting on a vegetable crate) are produced and people get cozy. The environment breeds happiness, from the Ultraman movies on the TV monitors, to the laughing kitchen to the loud pop music overhead. Sake House is also just around the corner from the El Rey theatre, which makes it a perfect alternative to Luna Park for a more low-key pre-concert bite. The last time I was there I asked if the t-shirts were for sale, because I do [heart] Sake House Miro!

809 S. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036; 323.939.7075

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