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Summer of Little Tokyo Reviews - Part 2 - Long


Restaurants & Bars 2

Summer of Little Tokyo Reviews - Part 2 - Long

bigpig | Jul 26, 2005 06:53 PM

8.Senor Fish: I had their shrimp burrito and horchata. At first, I was a little disappointed, I was expecting the burrito to be bursting with shrimp but it was bursting with all the other fillings instead. Indeed it was large and monopolized the plate. So after maneuvering the fork and knife around all the beans and lettuce and other things, you get a few bites with the whole battered shrimp. My preference is that the shrimp are cut up so that they’re more evenly distributed in the burrito but I by the end of the burrito, I had really grown to look forward to those shrimp – so large, firm, rosy, and plump! Good horchata – just the right consistency with a lovely hint of cinnamon.

9.Mr. Ramen – I had gone with a friend who was a strict vegetarian and most of the other restaurants in Little Tokyo were ruled out since even their vegetarian ramens were made with bonito fish stock. Mr. Ramen, however, uses seaweed broth. He got the veggie ramen with extra tofu ($1 extra) and I the special chicken yakitori box. Let’s just say that by the afternoon’s end, he was complaining about feeling ill and I was wishing I had AOI’s chicken. I can’t speak for his bowl of noodles, but I saw not much tofu (which is dirt cheap), those bagged yellow noodles, and bell pepper – which I feel don’t belong in ramens! My bento box had a big pile of rice, knobs of chicken in a bad teriyaki sauce, a salad, and a cold tofu salad. The chicken was studded with globules of fat and entirely depressing, the tofu was just a cold hunk of tofu with showered with bonito flakes and scallions. I know – some people like cold tofu – and even though I LOVE tofu, eating it cold really sucks. It needs flavor from whatever else it’s cooked with and dry bonito flakes don’t’ quite cut it. But I only blame myself for ordering rice in a place named after Ramen. So I’ll give it one more shot one day for its ramen but I’m not getting my hopes up.

10. Orochon Ramen: after my debacle with Mr. Ramen, I was reminded that I should try out more Ramen places in Little Tokyo. I had already eaten at Daikokuya before so I headed over to Weller Court and the multi- levels of spiciness. At the waitresses recommendation, a bowl of miso ramen was placed in front of me. Which level of spiciness? Well I ordered 6 (medium, said the waitress) but she arrived with what sounded like a 5. Let’s just assume it was a 5.5 for compromises sake. Sigh, what did I see first? The offending green bell pepper strips. Those yellow eggy bagged noodles. Bean sprouts. A few shriveled pieces of cooked pork. Bamboo. A non-descript miso-y broth. And when I was done, I was still hungry! That doesn’t happen at Daikokuya, where the soft, luscious chaisu pork and soft boiled egg and fresh noodles keeps me full! Well, Daikokuya > Orochon. Lesson learned.

11. East Japanese Restaurant. I had past this place many times and one day, I just had no clue where to go, and all their colorful laminated menus on the window lured me in. Nabeyaki udon – I can’t imagine ruining this dish so I’ll just say it was nothing special – udon, broth, one piece of shrimp tempura, lots of seaweed, string beans that must have been soaked in MSG because they were the most unnaturally and oddly tasty beans I’ve ever eaten.

12.Cuban Restaurant – I Forget what this place is called – the sign on the lot either says Cuban food or Cuban restaurant. You order at the counter, get a number, and find a seat. I had the mojito chicken bowl – on the takeout menu only I believe – but I don’t think it matters because I ate in the restaurant. It’s a huge breast, cut in half and pounded. Comes with rice, a garlic infused oil on the side, plantains, a roll, salad. The chicken was pretty good, but I not particularly garlicky on its own. For dessert, it was a chocolate napoleon. Everything was just okay.

13. Shabu Shabu Restaurant – I went nice and early as advised at 11:15 and put myself on the list. At 11:30 I was in and by 11:35, cooking! I really enjoyed this meal, the meat was nice and marbeled, although I think they’re a little thrifty with the vegetables and udon. I like the grated radish that you can mix into your dipping sauces. The only warning I have is that it gets extremely extremely hot. The room airconditioner and 3 fans help but it felt like eating in a sauna. I noticed that the first party on the list had requested the table in the far right hand side rear (right under the air conditioner) and somewhat private since it had some walls enclosing it. Something to remember…. My dining companion enjoyed the lunch but said he wouldn’t’ come back until November 1 when it was sufficiently cold enough. =D What was really interesting was that even when customers from the first wave were done and left, the hosts didn't seat people who were waiting. I asked a waitress if they waited until everyone cleared out from wave 1 before they seated wave 2 but she said "Oh NO NO!" but that's what it seemed like they were doing. Shrug.

14.Fisherman’s Outlet – this hasn’t been mentioned on the board that often but one of my friends has said it’s got great, cheap fresh seafood so I said, why not. Well, one warning – drive! Drive! It’s quite a far walk from city hall and the A dash doesn’t quite get you far enough. And it’s sort of in a sketchy part of town. One woman asked me for directions and then asked me why I wanted her to die. But that’s another story. I had the grilled halibut with rice and it was a huge halibut steak. I had no idea what sauce I was given but you get the option of garlic lemon butter, or Cajun. I’ll assume I got Cajun – it was just plunked on my plate. I was actually hoping for some oysters but I don’t recall seeing any on the menu. Everyone was mostly getting fried items. Next time I’ll try the ceviche.

senor fish:422 E 1st St
mr. ramen:341 1/2 E 1st St
orochon:123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St
east japenese restaurant:329 E 1st St
cuban: can't find address, next to weiland's brewary
shabu shabu house restaurant:127 Japanese Village Plz Mall
fisherman's outlet:529 S Central Ave

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