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Restaurants & Bars 2


kevin | Jul 10, 200210:04 PM

Actually this meal was from a couple weeks ago (thanks to the person that mentioned this place on chowhound a couple months ago). But here goes anyways. The place is an omakase only type place, but more of a kaiseki menu, in that all the courses were not raw fish. There was a couple dishes of sashimi though no sushi at all. A few of the dishes were cooked. The Japanese restaurant is a small little place that is kind of hidden in one of those Monterey Park mini-malls, the one that also houses Charming Gardens and Harbor Seafood (sp?). It is bascially a sushi bar that holds about 10 seats plus there are maybe a couple tables at most. Only omakase and reservations are necessary, there are either one or at most two seatings per night.
Me and a friend started with a shredded Japanese yam served in a martini glass, nice amuse-bouche to start things off right. Then came two slices of bonito (i think it is a close cousin of albacore in texture and flavor) sashimi in a ponzu sauce, which was very fresh and melted in the mouth. Then a bowl of ikura (salmon eggs), which melted in the mouth. Next on to a platter of yellowtail, toro, and kampachi. All were great. Esp. the yellowtail and toro. After that was squid stuffed with a ginger and soy sauce. I didn't really care for this dish, not a fan of squid or octupus, just too chewy for me. Then the best dish of the meal arrived: the pan-fried filet mignon medallions in a nicely nuanced mustard and tomato paste sauce. Next, a steamed whitefish in a boiling water broth, which was ultimately way too bland. But when there are so many dishes there has got to be a couple misses. Following that was a tempura of tofu, a potato ball, and okra in a broth (pretty good although not excellent) and after that a tempura of a couple miniature whole fish, which tasted great with some flecks of the Japanese sea salt. Lastly, we finished off with a cold soba noodles (at this point we were given a choice between soba, hot udon, or a few pieces of sushi). And dessert was coffee ice cream and hot tea to finish off the meal. It was a pretty good meal. Kind of like a ginza sushiko meal at about a fifth the price. Also, on a side note he's moving to Little Tokyo in the near future, and i think it's to a spot on the third floor of Weller Court. Also, there is no omakase during the lunch hours, just basci bento boxes at about 10 bucks a pop and supposedly he only makes about 20 boxes everyday for lunch so once the boxes run out, he closes up shop for the day, until dinner time.

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