May 2017 Weekend Rundown


#41

Top Round - “Big Salad” - Greens, Apples, Candied Pecans, Avocado,
Blue Cheese & Raspberry Vinaigrette, added Crispy Chicken Breast

Shhh… I added a drizzle of ranch.


#42

lol—I’ll get there one of these days. I think Barry’s idea of adding kimchee (in addition to yours of adding lots of salt) sounds like the way to go. thanks!


#43

##Inaba

New FTC challenge: wait for the fresh-out-of-the-oil tempura to cool off long enough, so as not to give your mouth third degree burns. Spoiler alert i failed

Everything was fantastic as always but the highlights were the eggplant, shiitake, fresh bamboo shoots, whiting, asparagus, stuffed lotus root, squid, anago, and battera.

pumpkin

eggplant

sweet potato

okra

fresh bamboo shoots
The fresh bamboo still had a firm and crisp texture, with a slight sweetness, so good. Paging @Chowseeker1999, @President_Mochi and @thechez5.

kisu - whiting

shrimp

lotus root

shishito pepper

shiitake
Holy shiitake, this was an MSG bomb in flavor, loved it. MSG = makes shit great

onion

sweet potato 2

asparagus

shiso
Getting my greens in for dinner

eggplant 2

fish cake stuffed lotus root
Lotus root was still nice and crispy, the fish cake had both shiso and nori.

squid

whiting 2

squid, nori, shiso roll

shrimp stuffed shiitake

scallop

uni, nori, shiso roll

anago
It looked like this eel had Scoliosis of the spine, but it was delicious.

battera sushi
Vinegar-y, mackerel-y, very good.


Dish of the Month (DoTM) -- DECEMBER 2016 -- GONADS, PIES, AND CURRY
#44

Hi @PorkyBelly,

Nice! :slight_smile: Great report and thanks for the reminder to go back for a visit to Inaba again! :smile:

I can’t wait for the fresh bamboo shoots. The Battera looks wonderful as well. :slight_smile:


#45

:scream:


#46

that spine told you that they cleaned/dressed/processed the anago themselves, which is fairly rare, vs. buying it commercially processed. a little surprised that they kept the spine intact instead of roasting and using it to make eel sauce, which results in a smokier sauce.

i love it osaka style.


#47

That’s good to know thanks.

What’s osaka style? I thought battera came from osaka.


#48

pressed sushi originated there, but i’ve seen plenty of battera made with saba without the kombu & sauce. the first time i had it served to me osaka style, was probably about 15-20 years ago; i’d never seen that treatment and i asked the chef about it, he told me he was from osaka and the addition of konbu & sauce was unique to osaka.


#49

Hnnng. :heart_eyes:

I just left DeSano and I’m stuffed, but now I want Inaba.


#50

Battera, a regional specialty of Osaka, is ‘pressed’ sushi. A wooden oshibako (rectangular sushi box with removeable lid) is filled with shari (sushi rice), then topped with cured saba (mackerel), compacted by the lid pressing down on it. The oshibako is then removed, the contents are then cut and served in nigiri-sized bites. The cured hikarimono (silver-skinned fish) and the dense shari taste feel wonderful on the palate. Other regions of Japan now have their own “take” on battera, but the Osaka version remains the gold standard.


#51

i do like the noodles at Hangari, def, but for ginseng stuffed chicken the go to for koreans apparently is Myung Dong Noodle House… where we go once a week at. happy about your Mayura post… i think i agree with basically everything


#52

Went to Pailin and added two more things to the Pailin repertoire.

Nam Prik Noom. A warm satisfying, chili dip, mostly of roasted green chili. On pork cracklins and veg

GF liked the 1,000 year old egg much more than i did… fonkay and super interesting with sticky rice

Didn’t go out Saturday or Sunday (cooked at home)… The rain hit just as I was half way through smoking the chickens


#53

Yeah that’s what I’m talkin’ about.


#54

Yep… I’m definitely still a freshman. I had to google, google… and google to understand the conversation between the 3 of you.


#55

Visited your wonderful city for the past few days:

Right after landing, some street tacos before our dinner at Felix. Yes, that’s way too much onion and I scraped most of it off. Al pastor, tripas, carne asada all hit the spot. I’m not sure of the name, if there is one - it’s not a truck, just a picnic table by Centinela.

Felix for the first night:
The Sfincione (foccacia) was great, quite pillowy; Polpette de Maestra Alessandra was pretty good, the meatballs themselves were moist (made of prosciutto and mortadella) but the salsa verde was maybe a touch dry, more like a thick paste; Diavola pizza was very good, with a good char whose smokiness was very nice with their bright pomodoro; Rigatoni all’amatriciana was excellent; as was the Orecchiette w/ sausage sugo and broccoli di ciocco. Their tomato sauce is very addictive.

This is a fun spot with some great food and we’ll be back. My pictures are way too dark.

We were in downtown for the next two days:

Little Sister for lunch:
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised. Ma la beef tartare was pretty good, reminiscent of Yukhoe but perhaps a touch sweet; Saigon lemongrass beef vermicelli with chili-lime and the beef and tendon banh mi were pretty good; but our favorite was the bright and complex pho banh cuon. The herbs are very fresh and their fish sauce was dialed in just right.


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A very quick drink at Seven Grand after MOCA and The Broad. “Gold Rush” cocktail for happy hour (bourbon, lemon, honey) - not bad, but only $6.

Sushi Gen for dinner (no pictures). Not the best one can do in LA (in the US, I think there’s probably about ~4 tiers higher), but a fairly casual spot that can be pretty comfortable and can hit the spot if you go in with the right expectations. I think it’s a bit above Hide Sushi in Sawtelle but a clear step down from somewhere like Nozomi in Torrance. We decided to try this since we were in Little Tokyo and the wait for the sushi bar wasn’t bad at all. ~20 pc for ~$100/pp. I probably won’t be back anytime soon, even if I don’t regret trying it. I get that it’s an institution, but there are clearly better sushi-yas in town from a technical standpoint, such as…

Q Sushi for lunch the next day.
We did a very quick “Wakaba ($75) - 11 piece” lunch omakase that was very good. Chef Hiro-san had just brought out a fresh pot of rice, and his skill is palpable. In fact, the wild kanpachi sashimi with onion sauce was probably the best bite of my trip. The akami with su-miso seemed like an unusual combination, but the sauce had an underlying citrus element that worked with the tuna’s mineral flavors. The rice is quite firm, but the proportions and mouthfeel were otherwise right on. I thought it worked well with the shimaaji, whose softness was a nice contrast to the rice, which commanded focus. I wasn’t expecting to be served ikura, since it’s out of season to my knowledge, and the house-marinade was quite faint, but the nori is superbly crisp.

You’re served 11 “pieces,” but 2 of them are 3-piece sashimi dishes.
Bluefin akami sashimi with su-miso sauce
Kanpachi sashimi with onion sauce
Hirame (fluke)
Shimaaji (striped jack)
Madai (sea bream)
Akami (lean tuna)
Toro (fatty tuna)
Masunosake (king salmon)
Ikura gunkanmaki (salt marinated salmon roe)
Uni gunkanmaki (red sea urchin gonads, from Santa Barbara)
Kasutera-style tamago (egg omelette, in the style of Castella cake)

Shibumi for dinner.
We did the food omakase and I had the beverage omakase, too. The space is chill (I like the music, but YMMV), the staff is friendly, and I like that they take some chances with some dishes. The 9-10 plate omakase is reasonable at $90, and is a mix of the ala carte menu and a couple small delicacies. The best dish, in my opinion, was the Grilled Heritage Pork marinated in koji for a week, served with daikon pickled in amazake. It was nice with the Minato Tsuchizaki Yamahai nama genshu, a high-alcohol unpasteurized sake, and together there was a good mix of funk, umami, and sweetness. The cheesecake with candied pear and late harvest tokaji was very nice, too, and I liked that one could taste the rice in the “rice cream.”

Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach for lunch while visiting some friends/family.
Nothing new, but certainly competent and savory and we didn’t know what else was in the area. The pizza crust was very puffy but crunchy and well-done.



Gwang Yang for dinner.
I still have a preference for Park’s, but Gwang Yang is up there. Their kimchi-jeon is chunky and well-crisped, less doughy than that at Park’s. Yukhoe is a touch sweeter and spicier, too. As far as barbecue goes, it’s on black charcoal and it’s very good. We had the bulgolgi (Gangnam style, light marinade) and marinated galbi.


Luv2Eat for lunch.
Jade noodles, duck and pineapple red curry, grilled pork with chili lime sauce, hat yai fried chicken. Great stuff, and spicy (we ordered it “spicy,” and they really mean it)! The grilled pork was our favorite, and the duck curry was awesome, too. Chicken was a bit dark and heavy, and the sticky rice was a touch hard, but this is some great Thai food and I’m excited to return for more of the menu.

Rose Cafe for dinner with friends (no pictures).
The new Rose Cafe is a fun spot, the food a bit bold and eclectic but overall pretty good. You’re here more for the scene and fun of the space, but there’s something for everyone and it’s competent. The pastas were tasty though a bit strange (wakame spaghetti with uni butter, crab, pickled jalapenos, yuzu; pork, artichoke heart, and truffle raviolo - yes, one, but it winds around like a snake). Miso hangar steak with charred treviso was good, brussels with onsen egg and dashi predictable but good, scallop crudo with cucumber and yuzukosho vinaigrette were ok, but the baja shrimp cocktail with poblano salsa verde and cherry tomatoes was probably the best dish. Cocktails varied, but their pineapple-rye drink (“Algonquin”) goes down like juice.

New York later this month!


#56

Glad the sempai himself was serving you at Q, and not his kohai. As for the ikura: In L.A. I believe chefs are getting ikura sourced from all over these days, so ikura is fast becoming like the avocado - A year-round thing…


#57

Hi @BradFord,

Nice, food-filled trip. :slight_smile: Sounds like you were able to visit a lot of solid / great places this time.

I’ll keep an eye out for the Minato Tsuchizaki Yamahai, and we enjoy the Grilled Heritage Pork as well. :slight_smile:


#58

You sure did, quite a tour de force. Well done. Thanks for the reports.


#59

This was a fabulous report. I like when people from other cities give their point of view regarding local favorites.

Can’t wait to hear about your New York trip!


#60

Great report, thanks.

love this dish

did you get the moo ping?