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Sushi in South Bay (revisited)

I think you mean Nozomi. Yes, that place is what I would recommend here in the South Bay area. Would probably get more press if they were located in the Westside area.

about 20 hours ago
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

Good espresso in Torrance?

this is probably late, but Old Torrance Coffee and Tea isn't good. I live within walking distance from there. Two Guns Espresso in Manhattan Beach is good, but its in Manhattan Beach obviously.

Or maybe Chantilly in Lomita

Sep 04, 2012
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

Looking for less mainstream, but awesome bars in LA

Its not downtown, but Oldfield's in Culver City is really cool. Chill vibe, wasn't a club like atmosphere, more of an old school feel.

Aug 09, 2012
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

help finding business gift

Thanks for the recommendation for Littlejohn's. I went today to try it out, the toffee is awesome. This will be the perfect gift. I'm gonna buy like 10 boxes.

Feb 09, 2012
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

help finding business gift

The littlejohn's sounds interesting. When I bring a gift, it needs to be able to be shared by the office staff, so I like to have something that at least 4-5 people can share.

Feb 07, 2012
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

help finding business gift

Hello

I was hoping people here might have some good suggestions on food related business gifts. I'm traveling to Japan next week and need to bring business gifts for clients. I normally bring See's Candies or Godiva, can't bring beef jerky as its not allowed. I used to bring pistachios to my relatives, but that doesn't seem fancy enough for a gift.

Any thoughts on something I might find in L.A like cookies or sweets that would make a nice business gift? Being that I'll be in Japan, something in a nice box or presentation helps.

Thanks!

Feb 07, 2012
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

anything open Thanksgiving night in the South Bay?

Looking at the Japanese local paper, Ikko is open. That's the only ad I've seen so far, but I know there has to be others.

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Ikko Restaurant
21008 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503

Nov 22, 2011
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

anything open Thanksgiving night in the South Bay?

some Japanese restaurants should be open that night. I think there are some places with special menus that night.

Nov 21, 2011
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

group lunch place Pasadena area for soccer team

Our team of 13 needs a place to eat on Sundays after our soccer match, so not sure where to go. Most of our matches will be at the Rose Bowl, so we are looking for something in that area (this week is La Canada)

So, I'm trying to find a place where its ok for a group of 13 to eat after running around in the sun for an hour. I was thinking of a pizza place, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Aug 05, 2010
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

K-town recommendation for multicultural group?

I'm trying to find a spot to eat in K-town for this Saturday. We'll have a group of 8. The spots I normally go to I think are either too small or the menu is slightly small. Our relative from Brazil is in town and she wanted Korean. I'm trying to find a menu that will be sort of big that can accommodate everyone. She's Japanese-Brazilian, her boyfriend is Euro-Brazilian, the rest of us are Japanese or J-Brazilian.

Off the top of my head, I thought that BBQ would be a safe choice, but if there are any other suggestions, that would be appreciated.

Thanks

May 27, 2010
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

Chantilly Patisserie v. Bonjour French Pastry?

Easy, Chantillly.

My wife and I are Japanese and many of our Japanese friends here and that don't live in the South Bay love Chantilly. When we have friends from other parts of L.A. visiting us here in Torrance, they are dying to go to Chantilly.

Jan 24, 2010
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

taking customers to a steak restaurant - Mastros? Ruth Chris? Houstons?

that's the thing, they are customers, but I've done two small deals with them, made maybe made $2,000 total in 2 years? Just haven't been able to get the right items to put together a deal.

Dec 09, 2009
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

taking customers to a steak restaurant - Mastros? Ruth Chris? Houstons?

thanks for all the replies. definitely didn't want to do Lawry's because I knew they opened up in Japan. Kinda like when my aunt took me to Denny's when I visited there, I think she thought I'd be happy eating Denny's in Japan.

Dec 08, 2009
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

taking customers to a steak restaurant - Mastros? Ruth Chris? Houstons?

Jar sounds cool from what I've read. I'm trying to decide what works in terms of atmosphere. Since we'll be out checking out stores for market research, I'm not sure how they'll be dressed, I know not shorts and t-shirts (coming from Japan)

So, I want to give them the American steakhouse experience. I loved Mastros and wondering how Jar compares. Since I'm paying (I own my business, so I'm not getting to expense this from a boss' account) I need to watch costs, but I don't want to go down in quality just to save $30 on the final bill. If Mastros is going to be $200 for the 3 of us, but blows away the other choices, then I'll go with it.

Dec 08, 2009
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

taking customers to a steak restaurant - Mastros? Ruth Chris? Houstons?

I have customers coming in from overseas and I wanted to take them to a steak house, probably in the West L.A. area since I am going to be taking them in that area. I love Mastros, but I'm thinking its sorta pricey for 3 people. (me and 2 customers)

I was thinking Ruth Chris, Houston's were other options. I don't want to spend $100 a person, but I figured I should spend at least $60-70 per person, is Ruth Chris or Houston's an acceptable alternative? I figured Ruth Chris was better than Houson's (I've never been to Ruth Chris)

Dec 08, 2009
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

Sandwiches in Torrance area?

I suddenly got the craving today for Bay Cities Deli to get a Godmother, but I really don't want to drive from Torrance to Santa Monica for just a sandwich. Now, if I was on my way to the area for something else, that would be fine.

Is there anything in the South Bay area that has good sandwiches similar to Bay Cities? The only thing I heard was NY Deli in Torrance, but the sandwiches seem to be a different style and look to be way too big.

Feb 06, 2009
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

non Italian in Rome

Ya, defintiely I know that the cuisines in each of these regions differ, that's why we've tried to mix it up by eating pasta, pizza, paninos, risottos, seafood, meat, etc.

At the same time, if my friends visited Japan for 9 days and went to Tokyo and Osaka, as different as the cuisines are, I could understand if they wanted a change

Jan 03, 2009
gachimai in Italy

non Italian in Rome

I know this is strange, but I wanted some recommendations for non-Italian places in Rome. I've been in Italy (Venice and Florence) for 9 days now and been eating Italian for lunch and dinner every day, I can't eat it anymore. I need a one day break. What else is there to eat around here?

Any recs appreciated!!!

Jan 02, 2009
gachimai in Italy

Shin Okinawa Izakaya

Wow, another Uchinanchu! Actually, there seems to be quite a few in So.Cal. I happened to go again last night (took my dad). He's a born and raised Okinawan, grew up there while it was still occupied by the U.S. military, so he actually used dollars not yen growing up, along with U.S. driving laws. Then one day, when the U.S. handed Okinawa back to Japan, they went from driving on the right side of the road to the left, overnight!

Anyways, I think they have improved things at Shin Okinawa. My dad was excited and did approve of many of the dishes. The four of us ended up spending about $170 trying out a bunch of things:

Beni Imo ten - this was great, we ate this dish quick!

Shima Kamaboko Ten - I guess I wouldn't have ordered it unless my dad did, never ate this before, so can't offer any opinions. It was ok (not that it wasn't good, just something I probably wouldn't normally order)

Karage (with Shikwasa) - my brother was raving about this dish, I have to admit it was pretty good. Juicy, you could taste the hint of shikwasa.

Okinawa Kimchi - never heard of this dish, I think its a modern dish. Kimchee with pig ear, this was a surprise, I really enjoyed it.

Sausage - I think it was spicy portuguese sausage, this was a tasty dish.

Fu Champuru - my brother calls Fu "a soggy piece of toast", I liked this before than the Goya Champuru dish.

Somen Champura - Like the Fu Champuru, I liked it better than the Goya Champuru.

I'm sure we ordered other stuff, but I don't remember since I was so busy eating and drinking.

I know this place is already getting popular because it was full that night, plus my wife (who works in a Japanese company) says that everyone at work talks about it.

Jul 27, 2008
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

WAT THAI LA 'FOOD COURT' STILL CLOSED!

I too was curious since I've been wanting to go, so I called and the lady I spoke to said they had a few booths. I couldn't understand her well, so if someone that speaks Thai could call to verify. She said something about 3 booths inside, but I had no idea what she meant.

Jul 20, 2008
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

Shin Okinawa Izakaya

yes, it is under the same management, but the chef is Okinawan.

Jul 15, 2008
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

Shin Okinawa Izakaya

Well, I would suggest waiting a week or so. I think they are still trying to get the kinks worked out first. I was attending an event last night for a friend who is Okinawan (she was selling some art) and she's going to Okinawa to a noodle maker to study how they do it so that she can come back and open a place herself, so hopefully we'll have another location to try.

Attached are some pics from last week.

Jul 13, 2008
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

Shin Okinawa Izakaya

Finally... an Okinawa restaurant. About 3 weeks ago, we heard that there was going to be an Okinawan izakaya opening down the street from us. I was so excited as I am of Okinawan descent, most of my relatives still live there. For those of you who don't know where Okinawa is, it is the southern part of Japan, basically the most southern point of Japan. Its a tropical island, I guess you could say its the Hawaii of Japan. Beautiful waters, warn like you are taking a bath, excellent fruit and great food.

The food in Okinawa is quite different than the rest of Japan, so for people who have never eaten it, it might take some getting used to.

So, enough with the history lesson. Once we found out that the name of the restaurant was Shin Okinawa Izakaya and that it was within walking distance, we got excited. I have never eaten Okinawan food in a restaurant here in the U.S. (I've only eaten Okinawan food at home, Tokyo or Okinawa)

It opened this past week, but was open to the public on Wednesday. We strolled in at around 6 pm, there were about 7 people inside. I'd say it could fit about 35 - 40 people in there. The restaurant is located in the same place where Housenka used to be.

They tried to recreate the feeling of Okinawa with the restaurant. If you look up at the entrance from outside, you'll see two lions facing each other, all Okinawa businesses and homes will have it. (We have it at home too) An explanation can be found here: http://www.kantetsuryu...

Anyway, on to the food. We tried, in order:

Shikwasa Beer - Shikwasa is an Okinawan/Taiwanese citrus fruit, one of my favorite things in the world. I was surprised to see it on the menu, never tried it with beer. Definitely more of a beer for the ladies, but I recommend that people try it once. Shikwasa in pure form tastes better, but I'd buy the beer again. The fruit has a sort of tart taste, its like a more flavorful lime/lemon.

Rafute - boiled pork belly. (called buta no kakuni as well) I've always loved this stuff and the version here is pretty good. Normally you'll cook boil this for hours (at least my grandma did), flavored with some sort of combination with awamori (Okinawa sake) sugar, mirin, shoyu, by the time the dish is ready to serve, it will melt in your mouth. This dish wasn't as soft as I would have liked, but I'd order it again.

Papaya champuru - champuru means mix or something like that. You can make champuru dishes with a lot of different vegetables. We went first with papaya champuru. The papaya was green papaya, like the kind you would find in the Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tum) I would say this dish was ok, unfortunately we were comparing it to the one we had in Okinawa. This dish wasn't as flavorful as we would have liked.

Mozoku - Okinawa seaweed dish. This one was disappointing, it should be more sour, it just didn't have the taste we were looking for.

Awamori with shikwasa - Awamori is an alcoholic drink like sake or shochu that is unique to Okianwa. This is the stuff all Okinawan people drink. I would recommend trying this on the rocks first to get an idea of what it tastes like. (You can also buy it at Mitsuwa

)

Goya champuru - Goya is bitter melon, vegetable used by many asians. We usually make this at home when its in season, but we wanted to try it here. I thought it was a pretty good dish, basically its goya, pork, egg, bean sprouts stir fried with bonito flakes on top. This is a staple home made dish in Okinawa, basically home cooking. Goya is very bitter, so some don't like it.

Soki Soba - our favorite dish of the night. When you ask Japanese people what they think of when they hear Okinawa, most might say "Okinawa Soba" Every time I go to Okinawa, I'll have it at least 2-3 times. The version here is pretty good, its basically soba noodles made from wheat in a soup consisting of konbu (seaweed kelp) pork and katsuobushi flakes (bonito fish flakes) Soki is the Okinawan word for ribs. The texture of the noodles depends on which part of Okinawa you go to, the main island uses flat noodles, which is what they used at Shin Okinawa Izakaya. When eating Okinawa soba, you can't expect the salty taste of ramen or the round texture of udon noodles, the soup has a bit more of a pork/fish flavor (although you won't taste the fish really, but its a big ingredient) I guess its a subtle tasting dish. I liked the soba and it was my favorite dish. The soup was flavorful enough that we drank the whole bowl. The noodles were a little hard, but I'm hoping with practice they'll get better. (don't forget to use the awamori chili as extra flavoring, it will be right in front of you in a bottle) The noodles are hand made, but not from Okinawa. I heard they purchased the hand made noodles from some other place, but not sure about that.

Overall, I liked this place. I was hoping for a little more flavor in some dishes and the portions need to be bigger, but I'll definitely keep coming back. yes I'm biased because I am Okinawan... but go once just to see what Okinawa food tastes like. I'd maybe wait a couple of weeks for them to work out the kinks and hopefully they'll get things perfected. I want to try them out again a few more times to see if they make improvements.

Jul 13, 2008
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

N.Y. trip

I'm sure this question has been asked a million times and I've done research on this site and Yelp, but wanted to hear more opinions.

My wife and I are coming in this weekend for a trip. She's never been her, I haven't been here since 2001. We live in L.A. so no need for Asian food, as we eat it about 5 times a week. Both of us are Japanese, so we don't need to eat Japanese. We have good Vietnamese, Korean,Thai and Mexican food out here. I was thinking:

Deli
Bagels
Pizza
Street vendor foods

We'll eat anything and anywhere. Our hotel is 47th and Broadway, but we are planning on going around to places like Chelsea, SOHO, Guggenheim, Grand Central, Empire State Bldg, the usual tourist stuff.

lunch budget is $10 - $15
dinner budget - maybe one dinner $50 per person, otherwise $20 - 30 is fine but budget options are cool too.

any advice is appreciated.

Jun 20, 2008
gachimai in Manhattan

Uni in Santa Barbara area?

I know that Uni (Sea Urchin) is a local speciality in the Santa Barbara area, wondering where I could go for lunch to eat some fresh local Uni? I'll be going to the area with my wife on the way to Sycamore Springs....

Thanks

Jan 01, 2008
gachimai in California

ASA RAMEN - brand new hidden gem (review)

I too ate at this restaurant, last week and I agree. I was just going to post about it, but you beat me to it. reminds me of my time living in Japan. I do agree that the portions are really small and the service was a little slow. My wife, who is a native Japanese, she thought the portions were too small even by Japanese standards and pricey.

We figured out that the place next door is part of the same group, next door is a hostess club (snack bar as its called) where pretty girls will pour drinks for drunk businessmen and laugh at their jokes. The wife's theory is that they'll drink there, then stumble next door for the food, thus the smaller portions.

I do like the ramen a lot and might like it more than Santouka, I definetly think the noodles are better. And the takoyaki is great, better than most of the crap served around in the area.

Oct 31, 2007
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

zov's breakfast prices?

Does anyone know the prices for breakfast at Zov's? The website doesn't show the price on the menu, wanted to go there this Saturday.

Thanks!

May 07, 2007
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

Whole Foods recommendations

mixed berry cheesecake!

Apr 12, 2007
gachimai in Chains

Gonpachi

My parents and brother actually went there last week. It was a private preview for them and a family friend who did the landscaping the for the location. They said it was very very nice inside and the food good, but really expensive. I've been to the one in Japan when I lived there and it was good. The only thing I remember eating was yakitori, it was probably like $5 or so per stick (not pair), so its not cheap. They said that the selection of food was big and that there was a good selection of alcohol

Mar 27, 2007
gachimai in Los Angeles Area

Chat Noir - Costa Mesa

I've only sat in the lounge area and I thought it was a cool setting to chill with friends. Drinks were a bit pricy I thought, but the French Sliders I thought were pretty tasty.

Jan 14, 2007
gachimai in Los Angeles Area