I finally made it Cafe Hiro last night, after drooling over the reviews posted by other hounds. My husband had to work on Valentine's Day, so it wasn't too hard to convince him of the drive and the splurge.
I called for 8:00 reservations at 5:30 on a Saturday night and was informed that they were very busy and would make the reservation for 8:00 but if we felt like being late that would be okay. :-)It seems their fame is emphasizing their tiny space. We arrived at 8:00 to a full restaurant and indeed had to wait a few minutes for a table to open. They seemed very glad we had the reservations and received impeccable service throughout the night. As we waited outside, several more groups arrived and waited for quite some time after we were seated. The seating, as another has described it, allows enjoyment of the restaurant but is not encouraging of a long lingering meal due to the crowdedness and noise level of the restaurant and somewhat uncomfortable seats.
For my drink,I was introduced to shochu mixed with oolong tea, which is somewhat like a "Japanese Vodka" and tasted a little like rice/grain. It complimented my meal very nicely. I began my meal with the white fish sashimi with yuzu sauce and curry oil. The citrus and curry flavors were a great compliment to the fish. My husband tried the fried tofu appetizer-panko coated- with an apple soy sauce which was spicy but good. The soup was included with my entree, pumpkin being the flavor of the day. I must say, this was probably the highlight of my meal. I could have eaten several more bowls, and would make a return trip for nothing else but that soup if I had to. For my entree, I had the sesame crusted ahi tuna with bok choy and eggplant. I loved the sauce on this entree and it was well done but I'm not so likely to get it again if its on the specials menu because of all of the other intriguing dishes (including the uni spaghetti which I'll probably get next time). My husband had the "Kobe" beef curry. I had hoped he could try the osso buco but that had just run out. He said the beef was excellent but the curry was just as good as the "It's Q" Ramen place we frequent near our house (Hacienda/Colima intersection in Hacienda Heights). We ended the meal with 3 desserts. A warning, the portion sizes are fairly small, so it's best not to go starving or you do things like order three desserts for two people. We had the special of the day, croissant bread pudding which was very eggy and nicely sweet. We also ordered the pot de chocolate and green tea blanc mange, both very good.
Total for two people splurging: 2 appetizers, one entree which includes soup and bread or rice, one curry, three desserts, 2 Kirin, and 2 shochu with oolong, -$73.00 +$17 tip for excellent, attentive, friendly service.
Lovely decorated atmosphere
Small portions but very tasty fusion food.
Thanx hounds for introducing me to this gem!!!
10509 Valley View Street