gomagoma's Profile

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Sushi Sasabune Review

Sushi at Sasabune is disguisting. It is SO not worth $98pp. Sushi served on plastic plates? Oh please. Everything is so cheap there. He may be the first one at the fish market at 3AM, but he sure isn't getting any quality fish. Mori is my one and only place in all of LA.

Nov 22, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Macaroons

Torrance/Lomita is probably out of your way, but Patisserie Chantilly's macarons (esp chocolate) is one of the closest I've come to Pierre Herme's chocolate macaron.

www.patisseriechantilly.com

Previous posts here:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/398479

I just brought back a box last month from Tokyo's PH boutique, but they were all gone by the next day :) I'll have to check out Paulette this weekend. Thanks for the info!

Nov 15, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Asian Bakery with the softest, fluffiest, light as a cloud loaf of bread

Ohhhh I know what you mean! I think I pop into at least two bakeries a day when I visit Tokyo.

Sorry, this isn't about a loaf of bread, but I just recently stopped by Frances bakery in Honda Plaza (Little Tokyo) at 8:45am, after picking up a few things at the fish market and flower market. I hadn't been there in yeeeears, like maybe 15 years? The person I was with told me that if you go between 8:45 and 9am, they have fresh croissants right off the rack. So we went....and for sure they were nice and warm! They had chocolate, almond and plain that morning. Nothing like a fresh one right from the oven!

Jul 03, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Mori Sushi

Love it, love it, love it and have been going there since it opened. Who else serves true edo-mae sushi in LA?? (although his side dishes may not be what you'd get at an edo-mae sushi restaurant in Japan)

Jul 03, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Il Grano

Sal's food speaks for itself. I haven't been there in a few months, but now I must go to try the prix fixe lunches!!!

Jun 30, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Zu Robata on Wilshire - Any word?

We (a group of 5) stopped by around 9:30pm after having dinner in the area. It was a Tuesday night and we just wanted a drink or two --- Raku is closed on Tuesdays and 2 of the 5 just had dinner at Musha, so we said why not?

The space was larger than I thought! Nice interior with large tables and chairs, very nice bar area; I could totally see this place in Hollywood or Santa Monica (meaning it has that kind of ambience, but very calm at the same time, a bit too dark I thought as I tried to read the menu). Since it was 9:30pm, there were only a few parties left and a few at the bar. I was hoping to have some shochu as I had read somewhere that they serve them, but they were all served in the form of mixed drinks (boo). So I ended up ordering the Pomtini which was a bit too sweet, kind of like fruit punch. The other girl order a Pineapple Lemon Drop, which was also closer to a fruity dessert cocktail with very little alcohol. I admit, they are very creative with their cocktails (watermelon, two different blueberry ones, mango, passion fruits, orange, etc.) but it would've been nice if they offered just shochu. BTW, the cocktails were served in a very unique "Y" shaped glass, where the stem usually is just the stem, but this one allowed for the drink to be poured all the way down to the very bottom, if you know what I mean. I could've probably used that glass to serve a cute parfait :)

As capecod114 said, all of the items on the menu are a bit pricey. Of the few things we ordered, I asked for "shio" (salt) instead of "tare" (sauce) for my yakitori and tsukune (chicken meatballs) --- I think the waiter was confused because he said "Ummm...ok, ok, I'll bring both the salt and sauce on the side, how's that?" So they both came in little bowls. That's not what I wanted, but oh well. (When ordering yakitori, you can typically choose HOW they are prepared - either with salt or sauce, but you don't really 'dip' them into sauce at the table....)

There's really nothing wrong with the place except that it's a bit pricey (no wonder they serve water in nice Riedel "O" glasses!), but if I want to go to an izakaya, I think I have other options nearby. If I was in charge of hosting a company party or function for 60-80 people and the budget allowed for it, I could possibly put this place on the list (fun drinks and small plates always work for parties).

BTW, I asked the waiter what "Zu" stands for (I had to ask because I'm Japanese!) and he said "for Yuzu". I was like "?" Weird. You never shorten yuzu to just "zu" in Japanese.

Jun 28, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

LA's BEST desserts????

Any one of the desserts at Hatfield's. On our recent visit, we had the panna cotta with passion fruit sorbet and rasberries, lemon tart with yogurt sorbet and blueberries, chocolate and peanut butter petit cake, caramel ice cream and espresso ice cream.

The one other dessert they had that same evening (with the 3 course dinner) was a seasonal cherry tart with yogurt sorbet, which also looked delicious.

If you haven't been, I highly recommend you get the chef's tasting menu (7 course) as both course 5 and 6 are desserts. Everything there is delicious!

Jun 28, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Group of 20 West LA Dinner

I know what you mean....the pricer the wine you bring, the less expensive it feels for another $10, but not really if the bottles are $10-40 or so. FYI, the LA Wine Co. near the Marina has some great deals from time to time (Conundrum $10 less than Wine House).

I've never been to U-Zen, sorry. I just stopped by Sawtelle Kitchen and their expanded room seems like it could fit 20.

Jun 21, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Japanese style ice cream parfeit

I know exactly what you're talking about....the lil' kid in me is wanting one too! I remember getting one with my friend at a place in Torrrance, but can't remember! Grrrr....I have the visuals in my head - it was a fairly large green tea parfait - I'll repost when I remember. The strawberry parfait at Chantilly is also very delicious! Not exactly what you're looking for (no ice cream), but still a nice dessert if you're going to be at Gaja (above).

Jun 21, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Group of 20 West LA Dinner

Upstairs 2 immediately came to my mind as well, but they are very busy on Saturdays, so you might want to call them right away (the 3 times I've been, all Saturdays, with no open tables). I've seen other restaurants with a higher mark up (I didn't roll my eyes like when I did at Patina....) so I wouldn't worry too much although getting there before the Wine House closes is the best way to do it!

Jun 21, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Sushi with an M in Santa Monica

Unless I am with more than 4 people, I sit at the bar and have his omakase. I've been a fan of his since before he opened Mori (they been open 6-7 years now), so I've had a lot of different dishes from him.

What is it that made you a non-Mori fan? I've been fortunate to learn and see where he gets his fish, rice and other ingredients, so I have no complaints.

Jun 20, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Japanese Dinner to Celebrate Graduation

If you love rice ---- really good rice --- there's Torafuku:
http://www.torafuku-usa.com/about_us.htm
Rice is cooked in the kamado. It's more formal than your typical izakaya, not sure if that is OK with you. For a celebration like this, you can call in advance and ask for some special "celebratory" dishes to be made - for example, tai no otsukuri. I've had them do that for my family before. Dishes off the menu are also very delicious.

Jun 20, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Best Japanese Curry

Totally agree about Curry House being a total chain place with chain taste. I remember when they first opened in Torrance in the 80's - now that was exciting because there weren't any places that served only curry. But House owns and operates it, so you can basically buy House branded curry pouches and serve yourself at home. The one thing I will hop in for though is their Curry-pan to go.

Jun 20, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Locally Made Tofu

Mori at Mori Sushi also makes and serves own tofu, but you can only order it as a dish. It was sold once a week at a market in Venice (forgot the name) but they don't sell it anymore.

Jun 15, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Sushi with an M in Santa Monica

OK.....then....none of these start with an "M" and do not necessarily fit the "amazing traditional Japanese sushi" description, but here it goes (others pls feel free to add the ones I missed):

In/around Santa Monica -
Takao (Brentwood)
Shima (Abbot Kinney)
Wabi Sabi (Abbot Kinney)
Sushi Roku
Mon
Noma
Asakuma
Hump
Hiko
Hide
Kiriko
Nobu (Malibu)
oh and pls don't tell me you're talking about Sasabune or Echigo. That is not "amazing traditional Japanese sushi" period. Again, the only one that comes to mind is Mori in West LA, but I could be wrong (or an "N" which could be Nishimura, but that's off Melrose not in SM). Mako? Urasawa? Azami? None of these are in SM, though. Good luck finding out where this place is!

Jun 11, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

B-day dinner on Sunday on the Westside

If you are in the mood for Italian, Amici in Brentwood (26th/San Vicente Blvd) is a great place for great wine and food. I, too, enjoy dining at places like AOC, Lucques, Providence on special occassions, but Amici has a lot of specials that are oh so delicious! It's relatively low-key and tends to attract an older crowd, but service is awesome and I never had a negative experience there (I've been there 7, 8 times in the last 2 years). Other Italian restaurants I've been to on the westside are Toscana, Il Grano, Drago, Valentino, Osteria Latini and Vincenti.

I can see how Italian can be a bit too much if you want to enjoy a bit of eveything (and esp if you are going with only one other person vs. a group), but def a place to keep in mind!

Another recommendation is Upstairs2, but they are only open Wed - Sat. (perhaps you can try on another special occassion!)
www.upstairs2.com
Great wine selection - $15 corkage, but $10 if you buy a bottle downstairs at The Wine House.

Happy Birthday!

Jun 11, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Sushi with an M in Santa Monica

Mori Sushi is in West LA (not in the city of Santa Monica). This place is my #1 choice in So Cal.
www.morisushi.org

Jun 11, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Macarons at Chantilly!!

They are back!
Just picked some up on Friday. Three flavors for now - chocolate, earl grey and citron ($1.25 each). Of course, I picked up the usual desserts, too :)

Jun 10, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

City Bakery

The only thing that I will pick up --- IF I'm walking around that area --- is the pretzel crossiant. The cookies were very sweet and too big. I expected a bit more from them after seeing the article in LA mag when they opened.

Jun 10, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Business dinner for 10, with wine and fun atmosphere, on Westside

I recommend Upstairs2, which is on the 2nd floor of The Wine House.
http://upstairs2.com/
The only thing is, they are open Wed - Sat.
They have a great wine selection being that it's "upstairs" of the Wine House; corkage is $15 or $10, if you buy the bottle downstairs. Food is wonderful (the pace was a bit too fast for our group, so I asked them to slow it down after the 2nd round) and I did see a table with a large party so hopefully they still have room on the night you're hosting your dinner. Parking is free upstairs.

Jun 10, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Shishito peppers--where else to try them

I just had a few that came with the abalone tempura at Mori Sushi - not really a side order though as it was part of the omakase course dish.

Jun 08, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

good izakaya on the westside?

There's also Raku on the corner of Olympic and Barrington. Zu Robata also opened on Wilshire next to Amandine (I haven't been yet but have seen a few posts).

Jun 08, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

father's office

Here's another sort-of-rare Japanese one: Koshihikari Echigo beer. Again, my beer intake is so little (I prefer wine) that I probably shouldn't be the one making recommendations, but I thought this one was much better than your Asahi/Sapporos. It's about the same price as Hitachino or a bit more (found some at Marukai market in Torrance). BTW, you can also have great sushi at Mori with Hitachino beer :)

Jun 06, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Need a serious sea urchin fix!!!!

I sometimes get that craving for Uni Pasta too - I usually go to Nijiya on Sawtelle and make it at home. The owner of Toscana restaurant in Brentwood used to stop by at Takao right across the street and buy some off Takao-san and make his version of Uni pasta and serve it as one of the specials. I'm not sure if he still does that - maybe he buys his own by now. It was kind of a secret pasta that you had to ask for since it was never on the menu...

Jun 04, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Where can I find the best crab cake?

I love the crab cakes at The Lobster as well! Lots of crab, fresh salad on top, nice portion.

Jun 04, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

father's office

I'm also a huge fan of Father's Office and their burger, have been going there for a few years now. We usually go when they open to get a table, but have done take out as well - it's a 7-8 minute drive back to the house and as mollyomormon said, the burger holds up pretty well! I've seen the owner inside the place on more than several occassions and am crossing my fingers that the quality of their food doesn't go down as soon as they open up their new location (anyone know when it's supposed to open???). I love their fries - both regular and sweet potato - they also had an asparagus w/ egg crumbs + balsamic dressing salad that was very yummy! So good that I've been making it at home :)

Oh and I'm not a huge beer person, but they have a Japanese brand that is fairly new in the market called Hitachino.
Here's a description - Hitachino Nest Beer:
White Ale
A refreshing mildly hopped Belgian styled beer with a complex flavor of coriander, orange peel, nutmeg. White Ale has won gold medals at several beer conpetition in U.K. and U.S. This is deffinitely one of Hitachino's top-selling beers both in Japan and U.S.

If someone tries this beer, please let me know what you think!

Jun 04, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Macarons at Chantilly!!

I've tried all the ones you mentioned above, plus The Little Next Door and Le Marmiton (I'm a westside person, so I don't know of any outside of these). The ones are La Provence were a pleasant surprise, I agree. Of course, the best ones I've had are the ones in France, followed by Japan.

I wasn't trying say that all of her creations are innovative, it was more of she started out with the orange madeleine and then later added lemon, so I'm hoping that she's add more macarons outside of the ones they are giving away for samples. I also like her recently added strawberry parfait, btw. I've tried some cakes at Korean places, but haven't found any that would compare to Chantilly. I have to admit though, I can only compare with those that I've tried the most, which are those in Tokyo.

May 05, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Help! picking b'day sushi spot

Mori Sushi is closed on Sundays, but they do have live sweet shrimp. I'd also skip Matsuhisa.

May 05, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Macarons at Chantilly!!

Yay! Chantilly macarons! I'm going to the post the photo that I posted under the cream puff thread so others can see :) I know what you mean about eating them on the way home....I had to tell myself not to so I can take this photo.

I'm assuming you've tried the ones at Jin, Boule and some others in LA? What do you think of those?

Knowing Chantilly, I'm hopeful that they will introduce new flavors in the future - just like how they have both the orange and lemon madeleines...I know we tend to talk about her cakes, but I also love their madeleines and fiancier, which I also have to pick up at Pierre Herme.

Please do let us know when they go on sale....I can't wait!

Bulavinaka,
I wonder if we've been at Chantilly at the same time? I can tell that you are also a regular there :)

May 05, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area

Cream puffs, still having issues

I will definitely share pics when I return! I'm looking forward to trying out some of the newer flavors they have at their main store in Aoyama. I just love how they come up with special/seasonal/limited-time only ones (hot red ones for Valentine's, holiday colors and the ones with light fruity cream for the summer).

BTW, I just saw your other post on Chantilly macarons --- they were VERY yummy!!

May 05, 2007
gomagoma in Los Angeles Area