"This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you if you click on one of the product links, we may earn a commission."
I made last minute reservations at Robata Jinya after doing a quick search online for restaurants on LA’s West 3rd Street. This street in West Hollywood is filled with great restaurants and cafes, so I knew there had to be an authentic Japanese restaurant. Robata Jinya had great reviews and it was just a mile down the street from where we were staying, so I made reservations on a Saturday for 5PM.
When we settled into our seats, we didn’t realize we had come during their Happy Hour. We’re used to restaurants only having Happy Hour during the weekday, so this was a nice surprise. We also learned a little history about the establishment from their menu.
They are Japanese owned and they have a Robata Jinya in Ebisu, Japan. If you are familiar with Ebisu, it’s a trendy area in Tokyo with hip bars and a famous food alley. Once we read this, we knew we were in for a treat AND the Happy Hour prices were amazing, which made it even better. Most of the items on the Happy Hour menu were priced at $3 a plate and there were plenty of dishes to pick from.
Japanese Hot Tea
We know we are in an authentic Japanese restaurant when the hot tea is free. Los Angeles was experiencing some unusual chilly weather, so we were in the mood for something hot and comforting. Their Japanese tea was excellent and just what we needed for a cold day in LA.
Starting off our meal with an edamame appetizer is pretty standard especially when we are eating at an izakaya style restaurant. They offered a special garlic flavored edamame, but we stuck to the simple and classic edamame.
JINYA Tonkotsu Black Ramen (Half Portion)
No matter where we go, we like to try ramen and Crystal was pretty ecstatic to see ramen on their menu. It wasn’t part of the happy hour, but what was even better was that they offered half portions. We wish all ramen shops did this. It’s great to have smaller portions so that you can either enjoy another ramen or still have room left to relish other dishes. The half portion of the Tonkotsu Black Ramen we ordered was outstanding. We were pleasantly surprised with the depth of flavor the broth had. Every sip was rich with flavors and the noodles were cooked to perfection.
I love yakitori, or robata-yaki. It’s a classic Japanese comfort food where skewered meats are slowly grilled over charcoal. I grew up eating this stuff all the time and my favorites were always the salted tebasaki and Japanese scallion. I ordered the tebasaki (Japanese chicken wing tips) and it was even better than some of the ones I’ve had in Japan. The meat was tender and just the right amount of salt was sprinkled on. The chicken on it’s own had so much flavor that no dipping sauce was needed.
We also ordered the chicken tenderloin and although we really enjoyed the tenderness of the tenderloin, we preferred it without the spicy green sauce that was spread on top. We actually ended up removing the green sauce as the spices were overpowering the flavor of the chicken. If we had known about the spicy sauce, we would have asked for it on the side.
California & Vegetable Hand Roll
There were plenty of nigiri sushi on the Happy Hour menu, but we weren’t in the mood for raw fish. I ordered the California and vegetable hand rolls and they were okay, but not something I would order again. It wasn’t bad and tasted fine, but it wasn’t as great as the other dishes we ordered.
We loved our dining experience here. We were warmly greeted and seated right away, the orders came out swiftly and the food was authentic. Being half Japanese and growing up in Japan, we are pretty picky eaters at Japanese restaurants and we would gladly come back here with friends and family. We were also super happy that the entire bill was only $35. Dining in the middle of West Hollywood during dinner will usually run you at least $30 per person, so $35 for two people was a steal.