Now, I know what you’re gonna say… Brockwell, there’s a MILLION Japanese places in Los Angeles, it’s really not that exotic. Sushi is practically second nature here! I know. Believe me, I know. But this place, serves one real, underrepresented element of Japanese cuisine… the Izakaya, or Japanese bar food. That’s right, The Tap is going to JAPAN baby!!
You ever see those photos of well-dressed Japanese businessmen getting HAMMERED after work? Well that’s most likely happening at an bar/izakaya, and that’s exactly what the Harajuku Taproom specializes in. The Harajuku Taproom in Culver City has ten locations, and nine of them are actually in Japan. So drinking and dining at this LA restaurant is quite a special treat. As a Taproom would specialize in, Harajuku has 22 beers on tap, so naturally, we started off with flights of their signature Baird beers, brewed exclusively in Izu, Japan.
And then we ate what they’re most known for… various, classic fried, shareable Japanese bar food treats, really the essence of the entire experience. This included Karaage (fried chicken bites) which were great, Pork Gyozas which were so light and not greasily soggy at all, Takoyaki (fried octopus/dough ball) which was fantastic, doughy and not overly seafoody, aburi chasu (braised pork belly) which was served in great, fatty, thick strips, and finally albacore bites which were exceptionally light and crispy.
Next, the main entree and the deal of the day, a delicious chicken katsu bento box, complete with all the fixins!! The chicken was perfectly crispy and lightly fried. Highly recommend, along with a full pint of their crisp Shuzenji Heritage Lager.
And we finished off the meal with a chocolate cake, which honestly wasn’t that great, but hey- you’re not coming here for dessert, so shut up and enjoy the beer.
Overall, we had a wonderful time sampling the best that Japanese bar food has to offer! Definitely, cruise if you want an authentic, experience that doesn’t feel like your typical sushi or hibachi fare, plus amazing beers.
4410 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230