Izakaya Ku, the winner of our award for Best Japanese Restaurant last year (and topped more lists than I care to count), has closed. There was a note taped to the door that simply said "IZAKAYA KU RESTAURANT is CLOSED. We thank you for your patronage"
It opened in May of 2012 and replaced Funashin, the Japanese restaurant that previously occupied the space since 1989. It even kept some of the dishes from the old place, including sentimental favorites like chicken teriyaki. But it strived for something more.
There was the mackerel dish (seen above), which was broiled table-side with an acetylene torch. There was kushiyaki, sticks of meat flipped over a white hot coal bezier by a man behind a glass partition whose job was to do just that. There was motsunabe, a hearty camp-stove-heated stew of beef intestines simmered in a spicy miso broth, a favorite of Japanese businessmen who ate it as they got drunker and louder by the hour.
Why did it close so suddenly? Is there room on Brookhurst St. for only two izakayas (Kappo Honda and Shinsengumi)? Was there a drop in quality? Comment if you have an answer.
Meanwhile, the line at Afters, the donut-ice-cream shop in the same parking lot as Izakaya Ku stretches on for miles.