just wanted to recap another excellent food trip to the LA area. i was mainly in the south bay or west side but did manage to eat some excellent food and had some notes i wanted to share.
-had lunch on friday at langers...finally. no wait for a table at 12:30 and it never seemed like there was a wait throughout my visit. service was friendly. ordered the pastrami platter with chopped liver, the #19 sandwich, strangely enough a plate of spaghetti and meatballs (long story) and some chocolate egg creams and cream sodas. im a born and raised new yorker and while my love for katz's deli has been waning lately, i will say it slightly beats the pastrami at langers...meat for meat that is. langers' pastrami was insanely delicious though...nearly tasted like pate or foie gras at times. that being said, i think langers overall has katz's beat. the rye bread at langers is absolutely perfect and i ate every bit of it with my chopped liver. id probably skip the #19 and opt for the straight platter next time but it was a very enjoyable meal.
-early omakase dinner at sushi zo was friday night. truth be told, i never should have eaten at langers that day if i was going to have a 6pm omakase with keizo-san but i had plans all night. the place was nearly empty at 6pm with just another couple at the bar and a few tables taken. ive been so bummed about the lack of quality sushi in nyc on the high end (particularly from a bad experience at yasuda recently), that i expected absolute greatness from this meal. and frankly, i was disappointed. the omakase felt very rushed...even at 6pm. i also was not entirely impressed with the fish selection. a preview on kevineats.com seemed to show that we had the exact same meal minus some key rare fish that were no where to be found. some highlights included the squid noodles with uni, the toro, the amberjack, the red snapper, and the sweet shrimp but nothing was remarkably amazing.
we had around 12-14 pieces each and probably was out of there in 45 minutes. bill was a nice $110/person not including tip. the good news is that it made me appreciate the fish in nyc at ushi wakamaru and yasuda on a good day...i think ill stick to the places i know best...or save $ for urasawa. i will say their kirin draft was insanely good.
-breakfast at original pancake house in redondo beach was a gluttonously good time. bacon-inflected waffles, dutch baby pancake, corned beef hash...all delicious and all solid for breakfast fare...particularly the dutch baby.
-dinner on sat at izakaya bincho also in redondo. definitely a hole in the wall. it was easy to find given our information but certainly something one must know about or would skip over. very nice husband and wife cooking and serving inside. we ordered around 10 items for two people along with some sake and sapparo. standouts were the spicy pork and kimchi which was delicious...so was the meat stuffed lotus root, the fried chicken with green onions, and the pork belly. nothing was particularly amazing or worthy of a special trip but if you are in the area, certainly worth a stop.
-dim sum for breakfast at sea empress in torrance was fantastic for the second time. standouts were the lotus cakes and the myriad of dumplings.