Jonathan Gold looks to have reformatted his "First Bite" column over on L.A. Weekly's Squid Ink blog. His first story in this new style confirms what we've suspected: Aburiya Toranoko kinda rocks. "Oddball beers," small plates, a space that "pretty much works" in blending the "informality of a Japanese izakaya with the high-decibel sheen of a high-end gastropub." Among the sushi and sashimi from a Nobu vet and various skewered sumiyaki, Mr. Gold praises the simultaneously low-key but food-forward bar dishes. He digs the beef tongue with miso, the jellyfish salad, Kurobuta belly with daikon, and fries made of mountain yams, but nails L.A.'s newest Japanese fetish as uni goma tofu, "a smallish cube of firm, blackish tofu made from ground, toasted sesame seeds, served in a shallow puddle of soy and topped with a lobe of sea urchin roe" that he deems "pretty extraordinary." Meanwhile, KevinEats' photos here has us hungering for okonomiyaki for breakfast.
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