Izakaya Bincho: Bringing the Heat to International Boardwalk [CLOSED]

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Chef Los Angeles

Tomo Ueno is the one-man band of the L.A. food world. The chef has been known to field phone calls and fry chicken wings while monitoring skewers on the namesake bincho grill, which burns clean white charcoal. The master checks by feel to see if his skewers are done cooking. He event makes sure to trim overly charred bits with scissors. He trained at a yakitori bar in Japan’s Saitama Prefecture before relocating to Redondo Beach to open tiny Izakaya Bincho in 2008 with wife Megumi, who runs the front of the house.

The pub resides between the legendary craft beer bar, Naja’s Place, and the Redondo Pier. Don’t expect to find a sign outside this tiny shoebox, but the swirl of bincho smoke is a giveaway at Izakaya Bincho, which touts a brown wood counter and five tables. Sit at a prized stool to overlook the kitchen’s controlled chaos.

Japanese Food Los Angeles
Fried tofu squares are creamy inside, with puffy skins, served in a savory dashi, soy and bonito broth accentuated with seaweed sheets, scallions, and mashed daikon.

Japanese Food Los Angeles
Crunchy cartilage touts a light batter and pops thanks to a squeeze of lemon.

Japanese Food Los Angeles
Fried chicken wings sport thin, crisp coats and a savory sauce of teriyaki and gochujang.

Japanese Food Los Angeles
Yakitori are sold by the stick, and come with salt or sauce (homemade teriyaki). Gizzard is crunchy and well seasoned.

Japanese Food Los Angeles
Heart, brushed with sauce, arrives juicy and savory.

Japanese Food Los Angeles
Leg w/Green Onion and salt arrives with crispy, well seasoned skin.

Japanese Food Los Angeles
Liver (Salt) is a juicy option that doesn’t bring too much funk.

Japanese Food Los Angeles
Eggplant are small, scored and cooked directly on the bincho coals, creating smoky flavor. Ueno dresses the veg with dancing bonito, cool soy sauce and mashed ginger.

Japanese Food Los Angeles
Crunchy lotus root slices serve as vessels for juicy chicken meatballs, which roast in the salamander and appear alongside scallions and sinus clearing mustard.

Address: 112 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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