In a city with so many options for ramen and sushi, trying to find a place that makes simple, homestyle Japanese food can sometimes feel like an arduous task, on par with reading an article before retweeting it, or spelling the word arduous. Enter Azay, a new daytime-only restaurant in Little Tokyo. The minimalist space is filled with families, solo diners, and groups of おばあちゃん (grandmas), and the menu reflects the chef’s Japanese heritage and French culinary training. The Japanese options are fantastic - the breakfast set, with perfectly flaky broiled fish, is simple and well-executed, and the Nagoya hitsumabushi, a barbecued eel dish that is eaten in three steps (the last includes pouring dashi broth over the rice), is sweet and savory. And while the French food isn’t bad (they have a perfectly fine croque monsieur and boeuf bourguignon), it’s kind of like Bill Hader’s role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, - unmemorable and ultimately not the reason why you’re here.
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