The Open Door is a brand-new, hidden gem of a Japanese izakaya, says slomosi. It is impressive in every way: the old-school Japanese style, the live sakura tree in the middle of the restaurant, the dark-stained wood benches, the hospitality of the staff. “Most importantly the food was cooked to perfection,” says slomosi. “The quality of ingredients used in the dishes is unheard of in the area, from truffle oil to homemade ponzu. They even use premium Kuro edamame.”
Braised short ribs with potato are absolutely delicious, says slomosi, with amazing broth. Miso cod is perfectly cooked, “with a silky smooth texture and a hint of sweetness.” Shishito peppers are perfectly fried, and topped with miso dressing. Tuna poke is perfectly seasoned with ponzu, onions, and kelp. Albacore with gochujang (fermented Korean pepper sauce) miso “melts in your mouth,” says slomosi. And the texture of the crispy rice tuna is spot-on, with the toothsome crunch of the rice setting off the meltingly creamy tuna.
Says slomosi, “Not every dish was mind bogglingly good but even the standard dishes were well executed and done with a little twist to make them stand out.” Right on, says chandosan, who has already been to the Open Door three times in the month that it’s been in existence.
The Open Door Japanese Izakaya Restaurant [San Gabriel Valley]
122 S. Atlantic Boulevard, Monterey Park