Japanese

Mikawaya Mochi Ice Cream – 2 Buck Chuck

by Franklin on August 26, 2014

Something about mochi ice cream is so satisfying. That soft dough-like mochi on the outside, and the cold flavorful ice cream on the inside just hits the spot. Its cold, chewy, and delicious. The best part is, you don’t need a spoon — you eat it with your hands and there is no mess.

Little Tokyo’s Mikawaya has them for a dollar each. At those prices, you can scarf them down like popcorn. I got the mango and green tea mochi ice cream. I literally sat there, looked at my two treats, and carefully determined which one to eat first. Mango then green tea, or green tea, then mango… Hmm. Like I don’t have any other more important life decisions to make. In the end, I ate the mango first, then green tea second. That just seemed like the logical order to eat it. Either way, I was happy.

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Humble Potato – Hambagas and Fries

by Franklin on May 3, 2014

Humble Potato has a simple concept. It puts a Japanese twist on American comfort food. This fast casual has an identity crisis. I initially thought they were a French fry shop– you know, kind of like a create your own French fry bar with your choice of toppings. I was surprised this place has no real emphasis on potatoes, but more on burgers. Good thing!

I ordered the Battle Royal– “Organized chaos!” Towered high is fresh Angus beef, “fried egg-splosive” egg sprinkled with seasoning salt, avocado, romaine, thick cut tomato, onion, Applewood smoked bacon, and HP spicy sauce. This burger was taller than it was wide. It was difficult to eat. Honestly, the burger gets an “A” for effort, but the is about it. The bun was off, and the beef was cooked all the way through. No medium rare or even medium here. The avocado gets lost in everything and all the ingredient come through individually. The burger fails to bring everything into one cohesive meld of things. It was an interesting burger.

The Shichimi & Garlic Parmesan Fries was quite the contrary to the burger. The potatoes themselves were fried to a crisp. It was the crunchiest and most solid French fry I ever had. The plastic fork had such a hard time poking at the fries. Think potato chips in the form of thick fries. This made for some awesome crunchtastic fries. The shichimi seasoning was a nice touch, and the Parmesan just created that extra depth. Of course, the garlic was welcome immensely, and everything came together quite nicely. I’m telling you, the crunch was insane and nothing like I ever had before.

The Humble Potato was an interesting experience. I getting he concept of Japanese American fusion, but I don’t quite understand the restaurant name. Nonetheless, the food was interesting. The burger, s let down, and the fries, an interesting surprise. Come here only slightly hungry. Get the fries — the hot dogs are next on my list.

Humble Potato on Urbanspoon

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Sushi Stop – Snack Time

by Franklin on April 9, 2014

You got to love the Sushi Stop for their logo. A spoof on the Game Stop stores, Sushi Stop’s signage really makes your do a double take. It looks like Game Stop, but it says sushi. Well the signage worked, and I did stop by for some sushi. The best part? Everything is $2.75. Score! I just stopped by to get a few cheap bites of sushi. I didn’t have much cash, as they are a cash only joint.

I ordered the spicy tuna roll, and yellowtail with truffle oil hand roll. Both were pretty decent for a quick and cheap sushi joint. The rice, the most important part of sushi in my opinion, was better than most. Still, it wasn’t the best tasting rice — it was a bit overcooked and had a sticky consistency. The fish was fresh and tasty though. Never have I ever had sushi with truffle oil. The yellow tail and hint of truffle taste was interesting. I didn’t necessarily think the flavors were needed, but interesting nonetheless. I did want to try mixing truffles and soy sauce. I think that will have an interesting body and taste. Something to consider for the future. If it starts getting popular, you heard it first here!

Sushi Stop was a fun experience. The food came out quickly, and the price was amazing. The little snack cost only about 6 bucks, cash only. Not bad at all. For a fast casual sushi joint, the quality of the fish was quite nice. Honestly, I tried this place only because the name intrigued me. I literally stopped for sushi, and it was good.

Sushi Stop on Urbanspoon

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It has been a while since I wrote a blog post on Orange County eats. Not that I don’t have love for the OC, its just not exciting to eat here anymore. All of the restaurants are too chain like. Except for a small few, all of the eateries are just average. To me, the most exciting thing is when restaurants far away make it close by to me. One such restaurant, a chain nonetheless is Santouka Ramen. With restaurants all around the world, I am happy to have them in LA and Orange County. I don’t have to travel to Japan to have good ramen.

The bowl of ramen was better than most. I appreciated the al dente noodles and the texture of the alkaline noodles at Santouka was perfect. It had a nice bounce and bite feel. The broth was a bit lukewarm, but still tasted amazing. My favorite of course was the char sui pork. It was fatty and deliciously tender. The vegetables were fresh and the bowl of ramen as a whole was balanced. This was a great bowl of ramen and competes with the best of them.

To some, ramen at a restaurant is foreign to them. All they know is the stuff that comes in a package or a cup. Ramen to me is comfort food. The warm broth and the fried noodles turned half pliable is all that I need on a cold winter night. Ramen broth and noodles is such a hard thing to perfect, especially from scratch. I wouldn’t know the first thing about creating the broth. Yes, having ramen from a bag or cup is quite satisfying and delicious. Just pop in a soft boiled egg and you are golden. Once you experience good ramen with legitimate broth, it makes all the difference.

Santouka Ramen on Urbanspoon

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Shin Sen Gumi is one of those places that I always pass by on the corner of Atlantic and Garvey, but never gave it a thought. It might be the location, or it might be the quite plain writing, but I never thought twice about it. I do remember passing by it often though. After hearing good things about the Little Tokyo property, I decided to jump on it.

We started off with the yakitori– pork belly of course. The taste was pure as can be. The taste of the pork was so clean. This was achieved by cooking this over hot coals. Pork, amongst other meats is great with that burnt charcoal taste. Something about it is so primal and delicious!

The bacon wrapped quail eggs was such a great idea. As a person who eats and loves eggs in general, this was definitely a treat. One of my favorite breakfast items is bacon and eggs. The salty bacon with the quite universal egg was a perfect match. The green onion was also a nice touch.

When I saw chicken skin on the menu, it was a must order. Though not as crispy as I’d like, the chicken skin was still tasty. It just isn’t the same if it wasn’t deep fried. That crunch is really lost, and really why we love chicken skin.

It was a cold day, so shabu shabu was in the mix. I didn’t really care for the vegetables, but the pork was fresh. The broth was the best part. It wasn’t too salty and had a very clean flavor.

To end our night, we ordered the green tea crème brûlée. Honestly, I could barely taste the green tea. It was more of a traditional crème brûlée with a green tea essence. As a true green tea fanatic, I wasn’t pleased with this. I like my green tea strong and very pronounced. (On a related note, next time you are at Starbucks, order the iced green tea, old school. (You will thank me later.)

Shin Sen Gumi was a great experience. Finally after all these years and passing by it all the time, it is off the list. If you like yakitori, this is a great stop. Unfortunately, I did not try their ramen, but I am not expecting anything amazing. I’ll possibly try it one of these days. It is getting colder by the day. Until then, the yakitori will do.

Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori & Shabu Shabu on Urbanspoon

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Kamon – Unfair Comparison

by Franklin on November 5, 2013

Excluding Newport Seafood, a handful of Chinese/Taiwanese cafes, and Boiling Crab, it’s slim pickings when it comes to eating out in the City of Industry. I was in the mood some some proper sushi, and besides Akasaka, I couldn’t find any. I heard some good things about Sushi Kamon, and wanted to give it a try. I wasn’t expecting much, and as a someone who was in the mood for some good quality sushi, I really should have looked elsewhere.

Edamame. Every sushi restaurants starts off with edamame. Let’s move on.

Once I saw agedashi tofu on the menu, I flipped. I spoiled myself, having had Raku’s awesome agedashi tofu. Kamon’s was more like fried tofu in a soy sauce based sauce/soup. It was good, but nothing can touch Raku’s version.

The best chirashi bowl in town has to be from Akasaka. I know I keep comparing stuff from Kamon from the best, but that is what I do. I mean, for the price, the chirashi bowl was kind of nice. It had a awesome array of different kinds of fish, and lucky, included uni. Though not as fresh, it had all the fish that I liked.

To finish things off, we got some spicy tuna rolls, because, come on, we always need to order spicy tuna rolls. The rolls were pretty standard, and spicier than most. Possibly to mask un-fresh fish? The rice though, was perfectly al dente, as I like my sushi rice to be. It was a good end to a substandard sushi meal.

Sushi Kamon was nothing special. I won’t go home thinking about it; I won’t count the days until I can have it again. Yes, I did compare the agedashi tofu to the best of the best, and I did compare the chirashi bowl to the best. Kamon just didn’t have that special quality. It didn’t have an old guy in the back cutting the freshest fish, nor was it busy. It just seemed like the restaurant lost it’s passion and is there just to serve mediocre fish. City of Industry, you have done it again.

Sushi Kamon on Urbanspoon

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Izakaya Honda-Ya – Fullerton’s Very Own

by Franklin on April 20, 2013

When I think of Honda-Ya, I think of Yakitori. When I think of Yakitori, I think of snacks. No meal was eaten on a stick. Never! That is unless you get a lot of grilled meats on a stick, and maybe some rice, and other small items. Yeah, then that can be a meal. Honda-Ya in Fullerton opened some time last year. From the looks of the remodeled building, it used to be a Sizzler. That is some upgrade and change if you ask me. Handa-Ya is always fun because the decor inside is so very Japanese and the food is decent. The Yakitori is always on point and the price is just right. I felt a Handa-Ya in this neighborhood seemed kind of off, but I guess the customers like it.

Always, I start off with the Yakitori. I always get the pork belly. The nice charcoal flavor counter balances with the fatty pork belly, making a nice mix of fat and flavor. I tried the wasabi chicken which was alright. The chicken was tender and not dry. My least favorite was the beef. It had a nice teriyaki flavor, but nothing about it was special. Some of my other favorites is the beef tongue and the chicken skins, but you can’t go wrong with the pork belly.

Another dish that disappointed me was the fried baby octopus. The flavor of the octopus was actually nice. The heads popped with great flavor and the meat wasn’t chewy at all. The problem with this was the way they fried it. It wasn’t crispy nor salted. It was just a very greasy batter with no flavor. Each bite squeezed out all of the oil and didn’t leave a very pleasant taste in my mouth. A lighter crispy batter would have suited this much nicer. It was till good dipped in the wasabi soy sauce mixture I made.

The pork with kimchi was probably my favorite. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the kimchi was better than the pork. The pork wasn’t special, and it was kind of dry. The kimchi is where all of the flavor was and kept everything moist. This was perfect with a nice hot bowl of white rice.

Honda-Ya is slowing growing and expanding. I remember when the only one I knew of was in Little Tokyo. That is of course when I didn’t know what Orange County was at the time. The Honda-Ya in Tustin is where everyone goes, so its cool to have this in somewhat closer, Fullerton. Honda-Ya is all about simplicity. The dishes aren’t complex or anything. The ingredients are just basic as can get, but the quality is there. The technique in making and grilling the Yakitori has a method. Though their menu is a bit cluttered and ranges from raw uni to udon noodle soup, the food is unique. Somewhat of a glorified Japanese cafe that serves alcohol, this is indeed an Izakaya, somewhere to eat, drink, and relax. That sounds really good right about now.

Izakaya Honda-Ya on Urbanspoon

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Raku – Japanese Cuisine to a Higher Level

by Franklin on March 11, 2013

I came across Raku from Andrew Zimmern. I was watching a random Youtube video about Las Vegas eats, and Mr. Zimmern swears Raku as an anti-Vegas destination with some of the best Japanese food around. I immediately dropped everything and headed off the strip. Raku, located in a dismal looking strip mall in Las Vegas’ very own Chinatown, concentrates on good quality Japanese cuisine. More of a Japanese “tapas” bar, most of their items are shared amongst the table. Most people associate Japanese cuisine with sushi. Chef and owner, Mitsuo Endo showcases a menu with Japanese cuisine as an all-inclusive whole. There is no sushi on the menu, though there is raw fish and sashimi. Everything is masterfully prepared and they use only the best ingredients.

We started things off with the uni soup. This was a simple dish that was so refreshing. The broth was soy sauce based and had a subtle seafood essence. Filled with seaweed and a few slivers of uni, it was an interesting soup. The uni was flavorful and mellow — the warm soup made it more toned down and silky. I don’t it that is a good thing, but it was delicious. This was a great start to an awesome late night eat.

We ordered the pork belly to feed the carnivore within. It wasn’t necessarily special. The quality and bite of the pork belly was a lot better though. Most places will just put some thinly sliced pork belly on a stick, grill it and call it day. Raku’s was thicker, and more meaty. All in all, it was a deliciously cooked yakitori — no sauce needed.

Some of the best things I have ever eaten was Raku’s Agedashi Tofu. It is probably the best tofu I ever had. Some sad days, I would be home alone. I’d open up a tub of tofu, microwave it, make some kind of soy sauce concoction, and pour it over the tofu. For what it was, it was tasty and I was happy. This agedashi tofu really changed my life. The tofu is made daily, in house. The fried exterior had a little crispiness with a hint of chewiness. Inside, it was completely different — smooth and silky, and custard like. The broth in itself makes this dish so good. I don’t know what was in it, but soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and dashi was definitely in the mix. There was a smudge of red pepper puree on the bowl for a bit of spice. Topped with ikira (salmon roe), scallions, and nori, the tofu dish was complex, yet perfectly balanced.

We ended things with one of my favorite chicken dishes of all time. The juicy deep fried chicken, as they call it, was exactly what the name suggests — It was juicy. It was deep fried, and it’s…chicken. The thigh meat is rolled up skin on, battered, and then fried. The roll is cut up into slices and then served on some vinaigrette dressed spinach. The vinaigrette on the spinach helped with the fatty chicken. As the picture shows, the chicken is a bit pink in the center — might be a little alarming for sensitive types. For me though, the chicken was so juicy and flavorful — probably achieved from this near “medium well” cooking. It was an exceptional dish in both flavor and texture.

If you want to eat at Raku, make reservations. I was given the stink eye when I walked in and said I didn’t have reservations. Luckily, I was seated within 10 minutes as long as we ate “quickly.” Most likely, that won’t happen to you unless you make a reservation for this small 48 seater restaurant. I was very impressed with the food at Raku. The ingredients are of the highest quality and simply prepared. Even the water is treated with respect, filtered with a giant charcoal log. Details like this, with a passion for perfection makes Raku very special. It’s not just some Japanese restaurant off the strip. It’s possibly one of the best in the country.

Raku on Urbanspoon

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You are transformed walking into Hama Sushi. You throw out all of your standards of what you thought good sushi is and allow their sushi chefs to take rein. My experience at Hama Sushi was authentic as can be, and sadly, I am only able to share this with you through words. Their no camera policy was disappointing — some of their dishes were amazing, visually and taste wise. Above all, I want to respect the establishment of their rules. Heck, I would hate to be black listed at this place, that is for sure. I would have loved to share those with you through pictures, but unfortunately, my writing is going to have to carry all the weight (grammar mistakes and all).

We started off with the albacore sashimi. Thinly sliced, the fish was fresh and of the highest quality. Topped with a yuzu sauce that made everything citrusy and savory, I felt the fish was masked. Though not a mellow flavor, the albacore was too good to pass up.

One of my favorite fish served raw is probably salmon (sake). The sushi chef was careful in cutting each piece to a perfect size. With each bite dipped in my perfectly portioned soy sauce and wasabi mixture, the flavor was so familiar and perfect. The fatty, buttery texture of the salmon paired perfectly with the slight nose flaring wasabi and soy sauce is one of my favorite things to eat. I would have a bite, reset my palate with some ginger, and do it all over again. Salmon is just an exceptional fish. If tuna is the “chicken of the sea”, it is safe to say that salmon is the beef of the sea — fatty tuna (toro) being the kobe beef of the sea. It is no wonder bears eat this stuff, fresh. It melts in your mouth, with a slippery and slimy consistency, it is the perfect food.

It wouldn’t be a night out with sushi without tuna rolls and hand rolls. Cut to a precision, the tuna rolls were small and packed flavor. The spicy tuna hand rolls were spicier than expected and was still very good. Rice is an important part of sushi, undoubtedly equally important as the fish itself. Their rice wasn’t perfect, but I am nitpicking here. I would have liked the rice to be a bit more cooled. the slight warmer temperature gave it an over cooked texture. Nonetheless, this was great.

Sitting inside the small establishment, you are side by side with other patrons. In a “U” shaped sushi bar seating only about 15 people, three sushi chefs took everyone’s orders. The experience was new and fun, and the chance to have such good (not the cheep stuff) sushi was a treat. I may have spoiled myself here, and all other everyday sushi spots might not be as good anymore, but that’s alright. Hama Sushi in Little Tokyo is one of the best in Los Angeles. They don’t try to be anything they are not — they are genuine and down to earth. Eating at other establishments, I will say to myself, “Its good, but nothing like Hama”.

Hama Sushi on Urbanspoon

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It’s Friday, the work week is done, and you just a bit to eat with your coworkers. That is how it usually goes down, and I have to say, Happy Hour isn’t in our best interest. Some how, some way, we always end up at Daikokuya. That is officially our go to spot. Someone suggests that we grab some dinner after work and ideas start floating in the air — happy hour, burgers, a new restaurant, a quick bite in Koreatown. After a nice hour of indecisiveness, we decided! And no, it wasn’t Daikokuya. We were headed to our destination, which was actually in Little Tokyo. We found parking instantly right in front of Daikokuya (by fate), and we noticed that there was no line. The one time we decide not to go to Daikokuya, we found parking without hassle and there wasn’t a wait. We took this as a sign and went to our usual spot — Daikokuya.

As usual, I ordered the ramen combo, and it was filling. After finishing it, I was stuffed. Comparing it to the one in Monterey Park, the original one in Little Tokyo just tastes better. Maybe it is because its the original, or it feels more authentic, but the ramen just tasted better. One thing I did notice was the egg. The Monterey Park location has the egg over easy on the inside, but the egg temperature on was cold. The egg from the Little Tokyo location was warm. This may sound like nitpicking, but it makes a huge difference. Eating cold egg yolk is not a good feeling.

One new thing I tried here was the gyoza. The gyoza were nice and fried on one side, steamed on the other. The skin was nice and thin, yet tender, and the filling was filled with meaty, oniony goodness. Dipping it in the soy sauce, the bite I had was delicious. The contrast from the fried side and steamed side is what pleasured me. You have a crunch of something crispy, and the mouth feel of something chewy. This combines into a perfect bite with the succulent meaty filling. This was my first time trying the gyozas, and am now a fan.

Daikokuya in Little Tokyo is our go to spot. Sit at the bar with no wait, and you are transported to Tokyo. Chefs rigorously cook the noodles, fry the rice, and cook everything else in between — all in front of you. This fairy tiny ramen shop is popular amongst the Los Angeles community. Lines start forming at dinner time, so it is best to go early or man up and sit at the bar. Either way, get ready for some good/authentic ramen. For more reviews on Daikokuya including other items, check the post on the Monterey Park Location.

Daikokuya on Urbanspoon

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The Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo is such a fitting name for that place. Take away the busy sounds of the city and the tall buildings, and you are left with an actual Japanese village. Central to the plaza is a small eatery called Mitsuru Cafe. Though they serve full on meals from curry rice to katsu, they are mostly known for the imagawayaki – an azuki bean filled pancake. Traditionally eaten for dessert, you can enjoy these any time. Mitsuru Cafe is the place to get these filled pancake goodies

It is no wonder why this place is so popular. The outer pancake is a bit soft, yet firm. After biting into it, the recently cooked pucks are warm inside and out. The center is a bit gooey and soft, and the bread part is a bit dense. Eating the somewhat bland exterior with the sweet azuki bean interior makes for a great flavor profile. Biting into something so warm and sweet fills your mouth and you are instantly happy. Naturally, I usually get more than one, and at $1.25 a pop, it is well worth it.

Walking through the plaza, you can view the people at Mitsuru busily making these things from a copper mold. Think waffle iron, but rows of them. They fill the molds with their batter, fill it with the sweet bean mixture, and nicely toasted hockey pucks of imagawayaki are formed. If not dinner, get the imagawayaki here. They are also known for their squid balls, but I am not a fan. Mitsuru Cafe. Imagawayaki. That is all.

Mitsuru Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Sushi, especially sashimi is my favorite food.  Hands down.  Having the freshest fish, eaten raw is so delicious.  It is buttery, fatty, and dipped in some soy sauce and wasabi is such a perfect match.  Even sushi, rapped in rice is so convenient to eat and a perfect bite of food and flavor.  It is safe to say that I like my fish raw, not cooked. At Akasaka, I was pleased to find a quaint little Japanese restaurant.  They served up some awesome sushi, and it was packed too.  Odd, because you wouldn’t expect so many people in this unassuming location.  The cool part about this experience is that I took pictures with a DSLR, a first for my blog.  Hopefully, you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed the meal.

The Chirashi bowl is probably their most famous item on the menu.  Everyone was ordering this thing.  The Chirashi bowl a bowl sweet vinegar rice, topped with mounds of sashimi, fresh ginger, and wasabi.  Some of the fish include tuna, spicy tuna, salmon, albacore, and yellowtail.  The variety of goodness doesn’t stop at just fish.  It was also topped with masago, sweet shrimp, unagi, and even uni. This was a huge bowl, and is enough for two people to share.  The fish chunks were fresh and large and was perfect with the vinegary rice.  Dipping the fish in the soy sauce and wasabi, then eating the rice was a perfect combination.

The Rainbow roll was huge, so we ordered the half size.  Each roll couldn’t be eaten in one bite.  Well, I could try to fit the whole thing in my mouth, but I would look like a mad man. Though it was large, and full of raw fish, I didn’t like how they added a chunk of imitation crab inside.  You do order this for the size, not really the taste.

It was a great Japanese meal.  The fish was fresh and the interior really felt cramped, but in a good way.  The sushi bar area seemed fun and interesting.  Maybe next time, the bar is where I will be. Who knew this establishment would be next to nothing else.  Thanks to the internet and word of mouth, Akasaka has become popular.  Sushi is indeed one of my favorite things to eat, and the Chirashi bowl is what I’ll get.

Akasaka Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Jazz Cat Cafe – Jammin’ Asian Style

by Franklin on March 11, 2012

The San Gabriel Valley has an over population of Asian cuisine. Anything you are in the mood for, or anything you can think of, it’s available for you. At the city of Industry, there is Jazz Cat Cafe. This is a shabu shabu restaurant that has great soup bases along with other popular side items. Coming here on two occasions, I came hungry. Ordering everything and anything my heart (stomach) desired, I had a feast.

The Japanese spicy wings were not spicy at all. They had a miso paste glaze over the wings that gave it a nice salty and earthy flavor. They were great appetizers.

I have tried many popcorn chicken in my day, and these were some of the best. The chicken pieces were huge. The outside was nicely seasoned and crisp. I would be happy with just this, rice, and a side of their Thai special sauce.

The fried shrimp was delicious. Fried whole with not a lot of batter, the outside was crispy and well seasoned. It was a bit salty, but good salty.

Now for the shabu shabu. I tried the spicy miso soup base and the kimchi soup base — I prefer the kimchi soup base. It has a cleaner taste to it. The miso soup base was too intense and thickened up too quickly as the water evaporated. They have something called the T-Rex portion where they give you more meat. The slices were great in quality and quantity. Mixed with all of the veggies and meat, it made for a great soup. Perfect on a cold day.

I also added golden fish nuggets. They were fish nuggets with some kind of filling inside. The taste was like no other, full of some kind of seafood mixture. I apologize for being vague. I really don’t know what it is made of, but it sure was tasty.

This is one of my regular spots. It sucks that the one in Alhambra closed down. At any rate, the atmosphere is very intimate and dark, almost high class. The food though, is very affordable — a great deal for the amount of food you are getting. Their soup base selection is plenty and their other non shabu shabu items are worth a try. As for the name Jazz Cat Cafe, I have no clue what that has to do with anything. I personally don’t care about anything but the food.

Jazz Cat Fusion Shabu on Urbanspoon

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I feel like a lot of Japanese restaurants are all the same. Whether they serve sushi, bowls, noodles, or meats, the interior and feel of the restaurant seems similar. The greeting in Japanese, the Japanese accented props and posters all around the restaurants is all familiar, and comforting. Honda Ya doesn’t only have sushi and bowls, they have everything. I opted for not just one thing, but all of it. Skewers, bowls, sashimi — it was certainly a feast.

We started off with the skewers — yakitori. Roasted over hot burning charcoal, the taste of grilling was prevalent throughout.

The tongue was chewier than expected, but the pork belly was exceptional. I could have easily eaten about a million of those.

The bacon wrapped scallops and asparagus was nothing special. Wrapped in a thin layer of bacon, the bacon taste and texture isn’t as pronounced. Nonetheless, the skewers were tasty and the charcoal taste was great.

The chicken with uzu was a bit of a dissapointment. The chicken was dry, and wasn’t really seasoned (on purpose). We were supposed to dip it in the uzu. The chicken, though on a griddle, came to our table cold. I didn’t enjoy this dish.

The sashimi, surprisingly was very fresh. An array of salmon, tuna, and tilapia was laid out beautifully and it was thick and high quality. Sashimi is one of my favorite foods, and this just hit the spot.

We felt extra extravagant and ordered the uni. Raw sea urchin, considered a delicacy was definitely a treat. It was sweet and buttery. Eating it with just rice was good enough for me. That seafood rich flavor with the creamy texture was perfect.

Honda Ya was a great stop. It is open late, though it is located in an obscure area. The service was great and the food items were plenty. They really do cater to the meat lover, sushi, lover, and everything else in between. There is also one in Los Angeles and Tustin, which I want to give a try. Until then, the one in Industry will do.

Honda-Ya on Urbanspoon

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Coco Ichiban Curryhouse – Torrance Meets Japan To Make Currry

August 31, 2011

So who invented curry?  India? Japan? The middle East?  Well, whoever invented it knew what they were doing.  Curry has such a pronounced flavor.  It is familiar, yet exotic. As a Korean American, I ate the Japanese kind a lot growing up.  Those solid blocks of curry, oil, and MSG was sometimes a common staple [...]

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Daikokuya – Japanese Ramen In My Own Backyard

May 6, 2011

Ever since I was a little boy, I made simple things at home.  My first dish would have been ramen.  Boil that water, put the packet in, crack an egg, and you got yourself “oodles of noodles”. That’s not really cooking is it.  I surely thought that it was home cookin’ — but I was [...]

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Chomp Sushi and Tepan Grill – Get it Raw, Get it Not-Raw

April 15, 2011

Its a Friday night, and you live in Orange County.  And not the OC where you surf everyday and relax at the beach.  I am talking about Fullerton, downtown Fullerton to be exact.  It’s full of drunks and party goers on any given weekend.  And why wouldn’t it?  DTF is laced with bars and nightclubs, [...]

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