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The Tokyo-LA Sushi Gap is Closing

What about Mori... up to Tokyo standards?

Oct 10, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Sushi In OC: Found! Kasen.

As someone who wants to try omakase, this seems like a place that delivers Mori-like quality for a relative bargain. Do you agree, or should I just go to Mori to establish a base level of quality and then venture out to the Kasens and Go Marts?

Oct 06, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

ISO Pecan Pie or Tart

I like Jongewaard's Bake n Broil in Long Beach. Just as good filling as Apple Pan's pecan pie, but with a much better crust.

Sep 16, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Ramen Yokocho Fest at Marukai Gardena- Sep 3 - Oct 27th 2014

I recently visited the Marukai Japanese supermarket on Artesia Blvd in Gardena and saw their advertisement for a fairly elaborate ramen festival over the next several weeks.

The line up from the website:

9/4 ~ 7 Menya Hiromaru From Toyama Japan
9/10~15 Shoki Ramen House From Sacramento CA
9/17~24 Tsujita Tokyo From Tokyo Japan
9/26~29 Tatsunoya From Kurume Fukuoka Japan
10/1~6 Hakata Hide Chan From From Fukuoka Japan
10/8~13 Chanpontei From Omi, Shiga Japan
10/15~20 Kamitoku From Ginza Tokyo Japan
10/22~27 Taishoken From Ikebukuro Tokyo Japan

Looks like they are flying in ramen chefs in from Japan, which makes me pretty excited!

Website: http://www.ramenyokochous.com/#!maruk...

Sep 08, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area


Not Kimbab but Sakae Sushi in Gardena sells futomaki-style sushi which might do the trick. It's delicious, reasonably priced,and always a hit when I take it to parties. FYI cash only.

Sep 04, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

We have it good in LA - for sushi

Thinking about going to either Nozomi or Mori for omakase, as Nozomi is closer and seems to be a better value. However, Mori seems do have a "brand" that has earned its' reputation. Which do you recommend?

Aug 16, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Fresh Soba Noodles in OC- Tanakaya

Has anyone tried this new place Tanakaya in Tustin? Apparently they make their own soba noodles from scratch.

Looks legit.

Aug 04, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Best Pho in Hawthrone?

Are you thinking of Pho Ever on Rosecrans, close to Western? My Vietnamese tailor said that is her favorite pho in the South Bay.

Aug 03, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Annapurna Southern Indian- Lawndale

My go to Indian restaurant in the South Bay for the last 10 years has been Al Noor (yes, I know it's Pakistani). In a quest for new and different flavors I decided to try Annapurna Southern Indian which is also located on Hawthorne Blvd in Lawndale.

The menu has dishes from all over India, so we got a "Butter Chicken" (aka Chicken Makni), Chicken Chettinadu, and a vegetable biryani. The two curries were good, were quite flavorful, and had a fair amount of spice (although I'd prefer spicier). The biryani was just ok, as the rice was slightly overcooked and the vegetables previously frozen. We also had some naan which was not as good as Al Noor's. We did have a bread called Malabar Paratha, which was overpriced but quite tasty.

There is also an inter sting part of the menu called "Indo Chinese" which we were told consists of Indian dishes with Chinese influences. We got something called "Chili Chicken", which was deep fried pieces of chicken with some type of spicy red curry coating that had the faintest sweetness. This dish was just ok, but I'm still interested in trying some of the other dishes from this part of the menu.

Overall, I enjoyed the meal enough to go back and try some more dishes, especially more southern Indian dishes. Would I brave 45 minutes of traffic to eat here? Probably not, but for my fellow South Bay hounds it's worth checking out. Worth noting, everyone in the restaurant was Indian, and when I peaked in the back all the cooks looked Indian too. I was also told that new management took over a few months ago and has added some new dishes.

Jul 21, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Indonesian/Malay food - restaurants/food courts/rijstafel

Have you tried Toko Rame in Bellflower, right next to the 91 freeway?

I went there in December with my friend who grew up in LA but has been living in Indonesia for the last few years (in Bandung). He said the flavors are pretty close to Indonesia, with the Nasi Bungkus being the closest to the real deal.

I thought most of the food was really flavorful and definitely worth checking out. Let me know what you think!

Toko Rame
17155 Bellflower Blvd
Bellflower, CA 90706

May 14, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

dive bar in anaheim area for a few stiff drinks after the excruciatingly saccharine faux world that is disney.

Take 5
10570 Magnolia Ave, Anaheim, CA 92804
(714) 761-4910

It's in a giant ugly strip mall next to Super King Market. Look for the black metal screen door and report back on the experience!

May 02, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Excellent Peruvian food in L.A.?

What about El Rocoto? They are kind of mid-brow, but have some fairly refined dishes that are miles above El Pollo Inka. I go to the one in Gardena, but they have one in Cerritos.

May 01, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

dive bar in anaheim area for a few stiff drinks after the excruciatingly saccharine faux world that is disney.

The bar you are looking for is called Take 5, next to Super King Market in Anaheim. I walked in accidentally thinking it was a liquor store, and stumbled upon a bunch of old white people staring at a screen watching a game show! So it's bukowski divey, not hipster divey. And the old white people must be the last remaining in the area, considering it's an extremely diverse neighborhood.

They sell lotto too!

May 01, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Spring Omakase at Yamakase: A Pictorial Essay


Apr 20, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

New to Hermosa/Manhattan Area

Funny, I remember the Falcon Inn's ad in the easy reader or daily breeze within the last year or two declaring new management. I've driven by it a million times and always wondered...

Mar 30, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

New to Hermosa/Manhattan Area

Grew up in and still live in MB. Welcome to the South Bay!

Best breakfast by the water is Uncle Bill's in MB. I still actually prefer Tomboys (on MBB across from the Trader Joes) breakfast, but there is no "beach atmosphere" there. Also check out Tomboys when you have a hankering for chili cheese burgers and chili fries.

Amigos (on Prospect and Artesia in MB) for breakfast burritos.

Grimaldis for pizza. They upended the pizza universe in LA as far as I'm concerned.

Poulet de Jour in Hermosa for Mediterranean roasted chicken. I love their cole slaw as well. Also do not miss their falafels, either as a side or the falafal sandwich. The owner can sometimes be a little "direct" which I enjoy, but some interpret as rude.

I personally don't like south bay mexican food as I think it can't remotely compare to the likes of El Chato and the other amazing places in LA. I suppose Sion's in MB has the best "south bay" mexican food, although El Sombrero has pretty tasty carnitas.

Check out the bacon and bacon burgers for your home grilling needs from Manhattan Meats in downtown MB.

If you like to cook at home, be sure to go to the Torrance farmers market Saturday mornings. It's huge and has some very good farmers.

The best dive bar hands down is Ercoles in downtown MB. Lots of character, and on any night you'll see middle aged old time surfers, yuppies, and young kids all coexisting. One of the last places you'll find the laid back beach atmosphere. Shellback Tavern can also be fun although a bit more rowdy. Other honorable mentions include the Castle (not just divey, but depressing) and Hermosa Salon. Some like North End Bar (not to be confused with North End Cafe in MB) and Barnacles in Hermosa as well.

Last and most important, I'd strongly encourage you to drive 10-20 minutes north, east, and south every once in a while to experience the amazing Japanese food that Gardena and Torrance have to offer. These areas have some of the best Japanese food in all of LA, from ramen shops to udon places to izakayas. Also worth mentioning are the Korean options, as well as some interesting pupuserias. It totally kills me when MB/HB/RB residents never leave the bubble and settle on a meal at the Kettle instead of checking out all the tasty places to the east.

Mar 23, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Fantastic Chorizo: Ochoa's Chorizo in Anaheim & Santa Ana

There is also Aurora's Chorizo in Santa Ana on Main St. I haven't been but i assume it's similar to Ochoa's

Mar 16, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Need good Japanese restaurants in Torrance

Here is an edited list of places I've collected:


***Hasu Kitchen- Torrance
Torihei- Torrance
Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori- Torrance
Kushiage Dining Horon- Torrance
Torimatsu- Gardena

***Foo Foo Tei- Hacienda Heights
Hasu Kitchen- Torrance (Friday Night)

Doya Doya- Gardena
Gottsui- LA Sawtelle for Hiroshima style (only one on the menu)
Gaja- Lomita (due it yourself)

Wafu- Japanese Style Spaghetti
Spoon House- Gardena

Ichimi ann
Inaba Bamaboo Garden- made fresh in the morning
Otafuku- Gardena
Get cold siero soba and buckwheat

I-naba- Torrance
Get an ago
Hannosuke- Mar Vista

Hamburg steak
Azabu- Torrance

Mar 04, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Gui Lin Noodle Empire Expands to Alhambra--New Menu Items

I can't find any other Gin Lin Noodles on the internet. Is this this same proprietor as Gin Lin Cuisine in Monterrey Park?

Feb 19, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Depressing Places You Like

Great idea for a thread!

I love these types of places, more for anthropological reasons than culinary ones. As a South Bay native and resident, here are my top places in the South Bay:

1) San Franciscan (Torrance): South Bay provincialism at its finest. It's a steakhouse (I guess) with a full bar, live music on some nights and karaoke on others. Closes at 2am. Old school south bay crowd. Friendly middle aged waitresses. A gem like no other. They also sell lotto!

2) The Castle (Manhattan Beach): On Sepulveda, a slice of a Manhattan Beach long ago forgotten. They open at 6am, supposedly have a good breakfast, and close at 2am. Drinks are cheap, the clients are depressing, and they only take cash.

3) The Schooner (Manhattan Beach): Across the street from the Castle, tucked away on a side street, they actually have decent tacos and some other bar food prepared by Hector (his kitchen is called Hector's Hideaway Kitchen). They also sell lotto. Avoid Tuesday when they have cheap bud light and there is a big crowd.

Feb 16, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

El Chato Taco Truck

They announced on their Facebook page that they are renovating the truck and have taken a hiatus. They emphasized that they will be back when the truck is done, but they don't have a time estimate.

I'd follow them and wait for an announcement.

Feb 16, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Chinese crepe-like pastry dough for beef rolls/pancakes... where can I buy it?

Is it possible to buy the crepe-like pastry/bread that Chinese beef rolls are made from?

I want to make my own concoctions with this flaky dough.

Where can I buy some?

Feb 05, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Yakatori at Hasu Kitchen in Torrance?

Doing some yakatori research and came across this place in Torrance on Artesia between Van Ness and Western.

Has anyone been? It looks great.

Jan 13, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

New Northern (?) Chinese Restaurant next to Sea Empress- Gardena

I saw a sign for a place called Huaen Restaurant next to the Sea Empress in Gardena on Redondo Beach blvd. They also had a "Grand Opening" banner up, so I assume that it is new.

The place looked closed yesterday (sunday) and had a rather spartan interior. Menu seems to focus on dumplings, with a picture of a nice looking beef roll in the window as well.

Curious to see how this place turns out once it opens.

Jan 13, 2014
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Where to find Red JalapeƱos & Red Serrano peppers?

I found both at the Northgate supermarket on the corner of Prairie and Rosecrans.

Dec 31, 2013
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Best Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie from a bakery in West Los Angeles

Update from the front lines:

I went to Jongewaard's Bake n Broil today in Long Beach and tried a slice of pecan pie.

I was very pleased. The crust is better than Apple Pan's but not quite as good as Susie Cakes. The filling was tasty and had a very good texture, feeling more solid than Susie Cakes which I found too runny.

I think I'd actually prefer Bake n Broil's pecan to Apple Pan's. After the taste I ordered a whole Pie for Thanksgiving morning, which cost $14.95 instead of the $20+ for Apple Pan.

I think it's a worthy contender to this pie roundup.

Best Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie from a bakery in West Los Angeles

I love the pecan pie at Apple Pan. I tried the pecan pie at Susie Cakes last Friday and thought it was tasty, but the gooeyness under the pecans was runny, unlike Apple Pan's which is more solid. I'd go with Apple Pan.

Not on the west side, but I also want to try the pecan pie from Bake n' Broil in Long Beach.

Nov 11, 2013
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

California Burrito Found- Just as good as San Diego!

Looking for a California burrito ("carne asada", french fries, pico de gallo, sour cream) in LA after enjoying the CA burritos and carne asada fries at the Roberto's in Pacific Beach in SD? Take a trip to Albertita's Mexican food on Western Ave in Gardena.

I went there a few days ago and it's just as good as San Diego (which explains the roberto's knock off name). The same thin crisp fries, super low quality meat, etc etc. Just note that the standard burrito doesn't come with cheese or sour cream, so you'll have to add that to complete the experience. Also, the salsa isn't the same as your red and green options in SD, but it's still tasty.

Of course these burritos don't even remotely compare to the Al Pastor burrito at El Chato or the suadero burrito from Tazo Zone. Its not something you'd drive an hour to eat, especially if you never had one. But if you are craving an authentic San Diego version of bastardized Mexican food, look no further.

Albertita's Mexican Food
16323 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90247

Hottest Taco Joint in LA


Jul 09, 2013
young_chower in Los Angeles Area

Hottest Taco Joint in LA

El Chato is incredible, especially for Al Pastor. Guisados is also pretty knockout

Jul 09, 2013
young_chower in Los Angeles Area