Fresh, Crispy Tempura - Tempura Specialist Inaba (Review)

Thanks to @bulavinaka for the reminder and recommendation (even on our old board I think it was bula or porthos? who recommended a Tempura specialist in the South Bay). After some discussions on Tempura with Soba in the Soba thread, we felt it was time to see what Inaba was all about. :slight_smile:

When you walk in, just as @bulavinaka mentioned, it is split up into an interesting layout: There is a Sushi bar counter, a main dining room, and a Tempura bar in the back (which was quite cool to see, as they seem to be rarer in LA).

The Tempura Chef taking care of us today was Chef Hiro Kikuchi. They have a special Tempura menu where you can order individual pieces of Tempura and they are prepared in front of you, to order(!).

Trio of Dipping Salts (Curry Salt, Sea Salt, Green Tea Salt):

House-made Tempura Dipping Sauce:

Renkon - Lotus Root Tempura:

The one mishap of the meal, the Renkon was simply cut too thick. It’s a root vegetable, so it’s a bit starchy, and with the slices being too thick, it meant it a denser, harder to chew bite. The batter was excellent and light.

Nasu - Eggplant Tempura:

WOW! Airy, fluffy, delicate slivers of Japanese Eggplant that were accentuated by the perfect Tempura batter on the outside! It was so light and clean tasting (not greasy at all). :blush: Chef Hiro mentioned that they use a special type of Rice Oil, which helps with the flavor and lightness. There was a crispness to the outer shell, and it paired perfect with the Green Tea Salt, and also in their Tempura Sauce. :slight_smile:

Highlight of the meal! :heart:

Matsutake - Matsutake Mushrooms (Oregon) Tempura:

They had a seasonal special of Matsutake Mushrooms, from Oregon. I wasn’t sure what they’d be like after the muted flavors of Matsutake we had at Shunji’s earlier.

Chef Hiro recommended a light squeeze of the Sudachi (Japanese Citrus) and a light dab of the Sea Salt. We tried it…

Delicious! :blush:

This was much better than the Matsutake Dobinmushi we had Shunji’s, surprisingly. But I could see now that like Wagyu Beef, some cooking methods are better than others. In this case, with Matsutake that might be early in the season (or less fragrant than Matsutake usually are), a clean, light Tempura method (with a tiny dab of Salt) shines.

We could taste and enjoy the delicate aroma of the Matsutake with this method, and the Sudachi Citrus added just a tiny Spring-like brightness that balanced things out.

Ebi - Shrimp Tempura:

And the classic Shrimp Tempura arrived next. Really a very good batter, perfectly cooked, tender pieces of Shrimp (but they were clearly not live (frozen). I’d love to see what it’d be like with something like Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns. :smile:

I thought this paired well with the Curry Salt, but the Green Tea Salt was also great.

Shiso - Shiso Herb Tempura:

Beautiful preparation, Chef Hiro leaves one side of the Shiso Leaf exposed (no batter). I love Shisho, and the batter was super light. However, you couldn’t really taste much of the Shiso itself.

Kisu - Whiting (Kyushu, Japan):

They had another special today, Kisu fish from Kyushu, Japan. Perfectly cooked, the Kisu was still tender and moist on the inside. Pairing it with the Sea Salt and Green Tea Salt didn’t really work very well (avoid). But with their Tempura Sauce, it was delicious! :slight_smile:

Speaking of which, their House-made Tempura Sauce was really great. A mixture of a House-made Dashi, Soy Sauce, and Daikon, it was much better than the standard taste you get at most places.

Zaru Soba - Handmade Buckwheat Noodles:

It turns out, Inaba indeed gets their Soba Noodles daily from Ichimian (their sister restaurant). Being a broader multi-menu sit down restaurant, I was curious how well the staff would be at cooking the Soba.

Inaba’s Zaru Soba is a touch softer than Ichimian’s. We prefer the perfect al dente chew of Ichimian, but Inaba has the same Noodle, and it has great chew and texture, it’s just a touch softer. It still has that great Buckwheat flavor. :slight_smile:

However, the one area where it might just even things out is that Inaba’s Soba Dipping Sauce is less salty than Ichimian’s, which made it just right. :slight_smile:

And their Soba-Yu (Hot Pasta Water) to dilute the Soba Dipping Sauce as you finish was nice:

Hotate - Scallop Tempura:

This was another nicely cooked offering. How often do you get Scallop Tempura cooked just through (still pliant, tender, supple)? :slight_smile: Delicious!

Shiitake - Shiitake Mushroom Tempura:

OK, maybe I made a mistake:

THIS was the highlight of the meal! :heart:

Super aromatic, deeply delicious Shiitake Mushroom in a light, crisp Tempura batter! This was so, so good! :blush: This was made for @MaladyNelson, LOL.

Gobo - Gobo Burdock Tempura:

I love Gobo! But it’s usually prepared marinated and stewed / cooked to a softer texture as an appetizer. I was curious how’d they make Tempura out of it.

It turns out they shred tiny slivers of the Burdock Root and batter it up and fry it. This made it much easier to eat than the Lotus Root (thick slices). However, there wasn’t enough Gobo slivers in this piece, so you tasted too much batter.

Our final two courses arrived:

Asparagus Tempura:

That concentrated, distinctive Asparagus flavor came shining through with the Asparagus Tempura. :slight_smile: I thought it paired best with the Tempura Dipping Sauce.

Anago - Sea Eel (Kyushu, Japan) Tempura:

Another seasonal item, they had Anago from Japan on the menu. That light, delicate batter, with a slight crisp-crunch, yielded perfectly cooked, moist, flaky Anago! This was SO GOOD! :slight_smile: This was easily another highlight of the meal!

The total was around $60 (+ tax and tip). We were stuffed, and probably could’ve ordered a couple fewer pieces and still been happy, so next time, I’d imagine it’d be closer to $50 range. Which seems very fair given the excellent freshly cooked Tempura to order, and the wonderful dipping Salt / Sauce options.

One of these years we might save up to try Tempura Endo’s $220 / $280 Set Menus :expressionless:, but in the meantime, $50 - 60 at Inaba for some very good Tempura seems like a bargain in comparison, LOL. :slight_smile:

Add in the fact you can order Ichimian’s fantastic Handmade Soba Noodles, and this might be the best place to get Ten Zaru Soba out of all the places we visited on the Soba journey. Thanks again @bulavinaka! :slight_smile:

(Note: While you can order their Tempura in the main dining room tables, for the best taste and crispiness, try their Tempura at the Tempura Bar. It arrives fresh out of the covered fryer, served in front of you by Chef Hiro.)

Inaba
20920 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503
Tel: (310) 371-6675

http://www.restaurantinaba.com/

Update:

We were overdue for a return visit to Inaba. One of my good friends and her husband was joining us - They were craving some great Japanese Tempura that reminded them of Japan.

Trio of Dipping Salts (Curry Salt, Sea Salt, Green Tea Salt):

Housemade Tempura Dipping Sauce:

I love the attention to detail that this Tempura Bar / Specialist has, and their condiments are always excellent. The trio of Dipping Salts really enhance and alter the flavor profile of each piece of Tempura that comes out.

Shishito - Shishito Peppers Tempura:

Their Shishito Tempura was light and crispy. Not oily at all. :slight_smile:

Shiitake - Shiitake Mushroom Tempura:

It’s tender, yet almost meaty in its texture. The Shiitake Mushrooms were so fragrant and crave-worthy! This was my friend’s favorite of the meal! Delicious. :blush:

Nasu - Eggplant Tempura:

This was one of my favorites from our previous visits, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s cooked down a creamy, silky interior, piping hot, and a light crispy exterior. Fantastic! :heart:

Battera - Marinated Mackerel Box Sushi:

We finally remembered to order this, thanks to @PorkyBelly. :slight_smile: Inaba’s Battera (or Pressed Marinated Mackerel Sushi) was tasty, with a noticeable, but not overpowering Vinegar accent. The Mackerel was oily, briny and had a tart-sweet flavor.

Now that we’ve tried it, I think my favorite for the South Bay is Fukuno’s version, with Hachi’s light searing making it more interesting, but Inaba’s is solid and held together better than Hachi’s (which fell apart).

Ebi - Shrimp Tempura:

Outstanding! :heart:

The classic Shrimp Tempura at Inaba is always fried so well: Not oily, crispy, light, with a clean, tempting brininess (in a good way) coming through! :blush: My friend wanted to immediately order another round, but we cautioned that we had a lot more food on the way. :wink:

Anago - Sea Eel (Kyushu, Japan) Tempura:

Tender, buttery (but no actual butter), this was another highlight of the meal! :blush:

Kisu - Whiting (Kyushu, Japan):

A very delicate Fish: There’s barely any noticeable flavor at first, but if you accent it with the Tempura Dipping Sauce (or the Matcha Salt), the flavors start coming through.

Asparagus Tempura:

Mizu Tako - Octopus (Hokkaido, Japan):

It looked a little oily, but taking a bite, I understand why: The Mizu Tako was bordering on juicy(!), tender, with a light chew, but SO GOOD! It was barely cooked, creating an almost “Sashimi / Tempura” hybrid taste in a way. Definitely a highlight! :heart:

Hotate - Scallop Tempura:

The Scallop Tempura was excellent as usual. Still one of my favorites, plump, meaty delicate Scallops, with a crisped exterior batter.

Zaru Soba - Handmade Buckwheat Noodles:

Their Zaru Soba (Chilled Handmade Buckwheat Noodles) arrived perfectly cooked, a nice al dente toothsome quality. :slight_smile: Made fresh daily by its sister restaurant (nearby) - Ichimian - it was perfect for the slightly warm weather we’ve been having. So refreshing and cool. :blush:

Our friends felt this was the best Soba they’ve had in L.A. so far.

Inaba remains an enjoyable place to stop by if you’re in the mood for various Box Set Combinations or Small Plates. It also just so happens to be an outstanding Tempura Bar / Specialist, that makes some of the best Tempura in L.A., and you can get fantastic Handmade Soba Noodles as well. :wink: I can see why @bulavinaka likes this place so much, and it’s quite family friendly as well with it’s casual atmosphere and dining room. We can’t wait to go back.

Inaba
20920 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503
Tel: (310) 371-6675

http://www.restaurantinaba.com/

Update 2:

inaba3_002

We were craving great Tempura, so off we went for a return visit to Inaba. Make sure you make a reservation for the Tempura Bar if you’re craving Inaba’s specialty. Chef Hiro Kikuchi greeted us warmly as we sat down and he remembered us from our last visit. :slight_smile:

Trio of Dipping Salts (Curry Salt, Sea Salt, Green Tea Salt):

As before, a trio of Dipping Salts are offered to pair with the freshly fried Tempura throughout the evening. Each one imparts a dramatically different flavor, and our favorite remains either the Green Tea Salt (vegetal notes with the Salt), or their…

Housemade Tempura Dipping Sauce:

It’s just really pleasing, not overly salty, nor too watery either. It adds a real umami taste to every bite. :slight_smile:

Okra Tempura:

Nicely cooked, just soft enough to absorb the Tempura Dipping Sauce and with enough snap to make it interesting.

Nasu - Eggplant Tempura:

Still one of the best offerings from Inaba’s Tempura menu! Even if you don’t like Eggplant, Chef Kikuchi cooks these to the point where the Eggplant becomes like eating clouds. And as before, Inaba switches out their Tempura fryer oil daily, so every bite is always so fresh tasting and light. It’s like the opposite of the vast majority of Tempura being offered around L.A. Don’t miss their Nasu! :heart:

Ebi - Shrimp Tempura:

Perfect batter, crispy, slightly crunchy, moist, tender Shrimp within. Excellent! :blush: I loved this with their Green Tea Salt as well as the Tempura Dipping Sauce.

Shiitake - Shiitake Mushroom Tempura:

If you ever want to enjoy the greatness of Shiitake Mushrooms, look no further than Chef Kikuchi’s Shiitake Mushroom Tempura. You get this glorious meaty, but tender, succulent bite of pure umami flavor. It is so aromatic in a way that only good Shiitake Mushrooms can be, surrounded by a slightly crisp batter.

Definitely loved it the most with the Tempura Dipping Sauce! :heart: Tied for Best Bite of the Evening! :blush:

Battera (Marinated Mackerel Box Sushi):

We remembered to order Inaba’s Battera (Marinated Mackerel Box Sushi) (thanks @PorkyBelly). :slight_smile: Inaba’s Battera is delicious: An inherently stronger, oily fish nicely offset with a bit of the Vinegared Kelp. I think I still like Fukuno’s Battera the most, but this one is still very good and great when you want a break from the Tempura. :slight_smile:

Asparagus Tempura:

Perfectly cooked Asparagus.

Anago - Sea Eel (Kyushu, Japan) Tempura:

I really like their Anago (Sea Eel) Tempura a lot. This is a very meaty cut, but still very light and tender, wonderfully paired with the crispy batter exterior. :slight_smile:

Namatako - Raw Giant Octopus (Hokkaido, Japan):

They had Tako (Octopus) from Hokkaido again, so we decided to order it. It’s fried so that the Octopus is still mostly raw inside, to keep it from being too chewy. The previous visit’s Octopus was better: This time, it was still tasty, but a touch too chewy.

Hotate - Scallop Tempura:

There’s an almost luscious quality to the barely cooked, yet wonderfully crispy exterior Scallop Tempura. Tied for best bite of the evening! :heart:

Pure EVIL (or, Natto, Dried Seaweed and Shiso Roll):

Why do I continually fall for my friend’s pleading when we bring him along and Natto (otherwise known as Pure Evil) somehow appears at our table?! :sob: :stuck_out_tongue:

It seems that whenever we go to a Japanese restaurant that has Evil on the menu, our Natto-loving friend just happens to also be dining with us. Coincidence? I’m not so sure. :wink:

So somehow we see this appear and I can smell it already, even though it was put in front of our friend’s setting, a few seats over from me. :cry:

I nibble on a bite.

Nope. Nope. Nope. :nauseated_face: :face_vomiting: :grimacing:

We happily let both of our friends just finish the rest of it. :laughing: :sweat:

Zaru Soba - Handmade Buckwheat Noodles:

Thankfully we finished off the savory courses in style: Inaba’s sister restaurant is one of L.A.'s best Soba Noodle specialists: Ichimian. Ichimian makes their Handmade Soba Noodles every morning and delivers some over to Inaba, and it is glorious! :blush:

The cooling, firm, earthy Buckwheat flavor comes through in each bite. The Soba Dipping Sauce is also just right, not overly salty. It is so refreshing and makes most mass-produced Soba you get around L.A. seem sad in comparison. Outstanding Soba and a must order at the end of the meal. :heart:

Parfait:

inaba3_045

I love a good Japanese Parfait, so we had to give Inaba’s Parfait a try. :slight_smile: Inaba’s Parfait is a tasty blend of Custard, Black Sesame Ice Cream (@paranoidgarliclover it’s nutty and fragrant, but not as good as Shunji’s Black Sesame (but still a nice way to finish the evening here)), :wink: and Puffed Rice for some crunchiness, along with fresh Seasonal Fruit.

Inaba continues to be such a pleasure to visit: An inviting, simple restaurant with one of L.A.'s last remaining Tempura Bars. With a dedicated Tempura Chef like Kikuchi-san, who makes sure every piece of Tempura is cooked just right, with fresh oil at the right temperature (so it’s never oily / greasy tasting), and with the added bonus of getting fresh Handmade Soba Noodles to finish off your meal, Inaba remains one of our favorite places to relax and enjoy a great meal. (Thanks again @bulavinaka!)

Inaba
20920 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503
Tel: (310) 371-6675

http://www.restaurantinaba.com/

Update 3:

inaba3_001

While we were originally revisiting Inaba to see how their Soba Noodles compared to the other specialists, we couldn’t just stop in without enjoying their excellent Tempura Bar. :wink:

Inaba’s Tempura Bar is still helmed by Chef Hiro Kikuchi, who is as amiable as ever.

Trio of Dipping Salts (Curry Salt, Sea Salt, Green Tea Salt) + Housemade Tempura Dipping Sauce:

inaba3_011

Nasu - Eggplant Tempura:

Flawless. As before, their Tempura arrives piping hot, with a crisp, light batter. It tastes so clean and bright because they swap out their special Rice Oil constantly. The Eggplant Tempura within is silky, creamy, luscious but so delicate! :heart:

I love their trio of Dipping Salts as an option to see what flavors you enjoy, and their Housemade Tempura Dipping Sauce is far more delicate than most standard Tempura offerings at generalist Japanese restaurants. I enjoyed the Nasu the most with their Tempura Dipping Sauce. :slight_smile:

Ebi - Shrimp Tempura:

Very good. Nice clean, crisp batter, lightly briny, meaty. Loved this with both the Tempura Dipping Sauce and their Matcha Green Tea Salt. :slight_smile:

Shiitake - Shiitake Mushroom Tempura:

Probably my favorite standard Tempura offering at the Bar! It’s meaty, but tender, so full of deep, mouth-watering flavor that only Shiitake Mushrooms can impart! :heart:

Hotate - Scallop Tempura:

Their Scallop Tempura arrived perfect: Just barely cooked on the outside, beautifully clean and raw on the inside, allowing you to enjoy the taste of the Scallop with a slightly crunchy exterior. :slight_smile:

(Seasonal) Ichijiku - Fig Tempura:

Finally! We were able to enjoy Hiro-san’s Seasonal Only Fig Tempura! :blush: Taking a bite, it is incredible! The natural sweetness in the Figs are enhanced by the light Tempura batter exterior with a touch of Sea Salt (or Matcha Green Tea Salt). :heart: (A huge thanks to @PorkyBelly for the recommendation!) :slight_smile:

While Inaba is our favorite Tempura Specialist in L.A., it also happens to be the sister restaurant of Ichimian. Same ownership group, and Inaba gets their Handmade Soba every morning from Ichimian (a few miles away), however, they make their own Tsuyu Dipping Sauce and prepare their own additional ingredients for each of the Soba variations.

Ume Oroshi Soba (Cold Broth Soba Noodles Topped with Grated Daikon Radish, Japanese Plum, Shiso Leaf):

Taking a slurp: Perfect Tsuyu salinity balance, not too salty, not too diluted, it had the same excellent bite and chew of Ichimian’s Soba Noodle preparation (it’s the same Handmade Noodles), but here, it’s more balanced, and the combination with their Grated Daikon Radish, Ume and fragrant Shiso Leaf is everything we wanted to beat the heat wave! :heart:

Another (12th?) Visit:

Nasu - Eggplant Tempura:

As awesome as before. :heart:

Asupara - Asparagus Tempura:

Simple, vegetal. I enjoyed their Asparagus Tempura the most with their Tempura Dipping Sauce.

Battera - Marinated Mackerel Box Sushi:

One of the great So Cal places that does Battera (or Pressed Marinated Mackerel Sushi), today’s version was still as pleasingly briny, with a sweet-tartness in each bite. :slight_smile:

(Seasonal - Off Menu) Farmers Market Corn Tempura:

The farmers market fresh, seasonal Corn sells itself: This was wonderful! With the fresh, perfectly fried Tempura batter exterior, naturally sweet Corn within, we devoured the Seasonal Corn Tempura in seconds! :heart:

Kisu - Whiting Tempura (Chiba, Japan):

Flawless. Moist, delicate, flaky, just cooked through. :blush:

Ebi Shinjo - Shiso Herb with Minced Shrimp Tempura:

So good! :heart: The Shiso Leaf imparts that unmistakable aromatic, Spring-like brightness, and the Minced Shrimp within is nicely seasoned. Together with the light crispy batter = Joy! :blush:

Anago - Sea Eel Tempura (Kyushu, Japan):

Their Anago (Sea Eel) Tempura today was perfectly cooked through, but a touch muddy in one piece at the end. But otherwise, a nice last Tempura for the meal.

Zaru Soba (Cold Buckwheat Noodles with Cold Dipping Sauce):

Just look at the gorgeous texture on those Housemade Soba Noodles. :slight_smile: Like with Ichimian, you can see the Buckwheat particles in the Noodles. There’s a nice pleasant mouthfeel and density to the Soba Noodles, and the Tsuyu Dipping Sauce is indeed not as salty as Ichimian’s (with the new staff).

Cool, refreshing, calming with a nice earthiness, it is now our favorite place to enjoy Soba Noodles. Simply outstanding! :heart:

Be sure to ask for Soba-Yu (Pasta Water) for a warm way to finish off the meal, diluting the Tsuyu Dipping Sauce.

Inaba remains a great place to enjoy excellent Tempura with Chef Kikuchi, just be sure to sit at the Tempura Bar. (Tip: If you’re at a table, just be sure to order your Tempura piecemeal (just 1 - 2 pieces at a time), so you’ll get the Tempura fresher and faster out of the fryer.)

From the delicate frying, clean (constantly swapped out) Rice Oil, to the crispy, light batter, Inaba’s Tempura Bar remains a great way to enjoy Tempura in L.A. And as a bonus, they have the same excellent Housemade Buckwheat Noodles made fresh daily from Ichimian (their sister restaurant), but Inaba’s Tsuyu Dipping Sauce (and other variations on the dish) are more balanced and superior in flavor to Ichimian, which makes for an excellent way to enjoy fantastic Tempura and the best Soba Noodles in L.A.

Inaba Japanese Restaurant
20920 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503
Tel: (310) 371-6675

http://www.restaurantinaba.com/

16 Likes

Wow, this is one epic tempura-centric meal, @Chowseeker1999! Thanks so much for sharing with us. You know me too well; shiitake tempura is one of my absolute faves!

1 Like

Thanks @MaladyNelson. :slight_smile:

Definitely give this a try and see whatcha think!

1 Like

Don’t even bother, not worth it.

2 Likes

The scallop and shiso leaves look dreamy.

Only went to Inaba once, so I don’t have a strong memory of it, other than the tempura being really light and not greasy. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the (good) quality of the tempura at Kaido in SaMo, although the rest of their menu is only okay (certainly good enough for a low-key neighborhood joint). AFAIK, though, they don’t do any of the more interesting tempura dishes that you had.

2 Likes

Agree.
Glad I went once but that’s it unless someone is treating.
I-Naba is good enough

Hi @CiaoBob,

Thanks for the thoughts and advice. With you and @PorkyBelly chiming in, it sounds like I can save my money. :wink:

Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

Hope you get to go back and fully explore the Tempura menu. :slight_smile: I really like the flexibility of just ordering what you like (a la carte, like ordering Yakitori skewers or Sushi). And Chef Hiro was really nice.

As always terrific reporting, @Chowseeker1999! Now I must get tempura…but I hardly ever find myself in the South Bay.

1 Like

Hi @attran99,

Thanks. :slight_smile: Maybe make it a nice excursion into a bunch of things at once (all in the area): Great Tempura (Inaba), Handmade Soba Noodles (Inaba / Otafuku / Ichimian), Mochi (Sakura-Ya / Chikara Mochi), stop by Mitsuwa Market Torrance (the largest branch), French-Japanese Cream Puffs (Patisserie Chantilly), and a few other things. :wink:

5 Likes

@Chowseeker1999 Patisserie Chantilly is so good. I love their pastries. Good idea…now I only need to generate the stomach capacity to handle the Japanese Tour de South Bay.

2 Likes

Might I add Kansha Creamery for excellent ice cream!

2 Likes

We had a great dinner sitting at the tempura bar tonight. We had many of the same items that @Chowseeker1999 so expertly documented in his/her original post. The shitake mushrooms were indeed a highlight.

But the biggest highlight was the tempura persimmon. Boy howdy. There was such a great, subtle sweetness that partnered like a champ with the light crunch and salt. The interior almost had a meatiness. It doesn’t photograph well, but I thought it was great.

The biggest disappointment of the night? First Lady Mochi was singing the praises of the women’s restroom set-up… But shock-a-khan, no toto in sight in the men’s room. Fuzz.

Then a quick jaunt through the Palos Verdes Candy Cane Lane with a Starbucks eggnog latte + bulleit rye.

10 Likes

Call Kasha to make sure they are open. Their hours seemed some what random to me.

I think the credit should go to Torrance. PV is so lack in Christmas spirit, it’s shameful.

2 Likes

I am sure you are aware of this, so this is just a PSA, THE item to get at Chantilly is their Sesame Cream Puff.

2 Likes

Loved that too, can’t go wrong with deep fried fruit.

2 Likes

Hi @President_Mochi,

Nice report, glad to hear you liked it! :slight_smile: They didn’t have their Persimmon Tempura last time we went, boo! Sounds delicious.

And I had no idea Palos Verdes had a Candy Cane Lane. Looks festive and fun. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Had a great lunch here yesterday.

The kisu, shiitake, anago (and spine!), scallop, and uni were definite highlights of the meal. The only miss was the Shiso leaf - as @Chowseeker1999 noted, it lacked any flavor. I think this must be an artifact of the direct frying it experiences - the shiso in the uni (and in the chicken breast) definitely had flavor. A pretty great value for $45 a head. I have to say that it did not feel like a revelatory experience, unlike my other “first-time” experiences with high-end examples of any particular cuisine - I think the fact that each item shares a certain similarity in flavor makes it difficult to distinguish any individual bite after the fact, but maybe it’s just me.

Still, I wouldn’t hesitate to come back once or twice a year.

2 Likes

Hi @T3t,

Thanks for the report back. :slight_smile: Glad you liked it, and the shiitake, scallop and anago are tasty. Agree that it’s not life changing, but I think what I’ve enjoyed about Inaba is just how light and wonderful crisp Tempura can be (compared to most places around town). In that sense it stood out, but overall, yah it’s course after course of deep fried items. :wink:

Did you get to try the Handmade Soba Noodles? Quite refreshing on warm days.

We didn’t try the soba - we were full enough off the tempura we ordered. Maybe next time, or I’ll just go to a soba specialist!

1 Like