June 2019 Weekend Rundown

what locals eat…yay or nay for a star?


hiramasa / yellowtail

maguro / bluefin tuna

sake / salmon

kurodai / black snapper

hirame / halibut

tai / red snapper

ikura / salmon roe

santa barbara uni / sea urchin

tombo / albacore tuna

o-toro / fatty bluefin tuna

hotate / japanese scallop

amaebi / spot prawn

fried amaebi heads

unagi / freshwater eel

anago / saltwater eel

matcha ice green


Yohei-san not serving this heavy hitter himself?!

He wouldn’t dare not to.

Have had some pretty great eating weekends lately that I haven’t mentioned. Also, don’t take too many food pix so I apologize because this is going to be a little dry, but:

Chaak Kitchen - went because of Patricia Escarcega’s review in the LAT a little while ago. Downtown Tustin was a ghost town when we showed up around 8, except for Chaak, which was buzzing and more upscale than we had anticipated. Cocktails were fine, but the food absolutely lived up to Escarcega’s glowing review. Had duck panuchos, a large format cochinita pibil, a tamal, and the crudo. It was all excellent, but the salsas that came with it were truly stellar. If it weren’t so damn far, I’d definitely go back, and soon.

Sushi Inaba - Shoutout to the other posters who called attention to this place (and also to @g_sny in LA Mag). Had a lovely and affordable 10 piece lunch here, and we were the only people there so it was basically a private tasting. I am no sushi expert, but I thought it was great. Had a really nice chat with the itamae, too, who was friendly and knowledgeable and cited all sorts of research he had read about rigor mortis and aging fish and such. Maybe rehashing material that’s posted elsewhere, but one other touch that I enjoyed - instead of using a torch directly on a couple of the pieces, he held it to a log (?) of binchotan, so it was flavored with smoky wood instead of butane.

Bavel - dammit those oyster mushrooms are so good. There was also a new tomato salad that I really enjoyed, with cheese and a salsa macha/chili crisp type condiment all over it.

Angel’s Tijuana Tacos - they opened up a new location close to my place in Eagle Rock. The asada had good flavor but more gristle than the last time I was there. The al pastor remains excellent and more heavily spiced in Middle Eastern style than other places around town. The tortillas are made fresh and are excellent.

Mariscos El Faro - lobina + aguachile tostadas, that good good. empanadas are alright.


SGO WeHo? How was it?

In short, I understand why they got 2 stars while Hayato ended up with 1 despite minor shortcomings. In general, the combination of flavor and texture of their otsumami are head and shoulder above almost everything that Mori and Hayato offer.

As far as sushi goes, I feel that I can get similar quality offerings at Mori with Maru-san. In fact, I slightly prefer Mori’s rice even though SGO’s rice and seasoning is exellent in their own right. There’s no issue with the rice being too toothsome or its seasoning overwheming delicate white fish. Lastly, Yohei-san’s rice formation is superb with an ungodly amount of air packed in so each nigiri has a very apparent sigh when it’s placed in front of me.

Anyway, that’s my macro view. I’m sure @PorkyBelly has differing opinion and will give you details on individual courses.


This place has excellent house-made noodle and dumplings which really separate themselves from 99% of SGV’s Chinese offerings.

pickled cabbage / mung bean soup - complimentary and perfect the slightly sweet soup/drink is perfect for taming the spicy dishes

steamed egg & minced pork - delicate and smooth egg custard flavored minced pork that reminds me of taiwanese braised pork

pork dumpling - fantastic Q on these porky dumplings with a sweet and chili spiked oil

clear broth zajian noodle

good texture

szechuan cold noodle - it’s damn good even though there’s no meat! Did I mention that you can get extra noodle for free?

301 W Valley Blvd
Ste 114 And 115
San Gabriel, CA 91776


best omakase i’ve had in la. i’m still thinking about that fucking ankimo.

1 Like

Proper highlight…it’s foie with less of a funk but immensely creamier

1 Like

I had a decidedly less-than-stellar experience at SGO (this was back when they first opened), but I will concede that Yohei-san’s ankimo is tied for best ankimo in L.A.

I’m just a bit trigger-shy about giving them another $300+ just for the follow-up comparison.


I read your review again before going and I thought I would hate it especially given the $$$$. But they proved me wrong and I’ll gladly plunge down another $300 to go again. I’m actually contemplating whether I should cancel my n/naka reservation and go back there in a few weeks :grimacing:

Paging @Chowseeker1999


Just did n/naka last month - Worth it. No question.

Not sure I can say the same about SGO. But then again, no one else is doing top tier modern kaiseki in LA, whereas top tier sushi omakase…

It’s the complete opposite for me but my n/naka visit was back in 2015 so time to give them another shot…those fucking seats are so difficult to come by too

Not when your favorite dining partner in crime is your buddy.

Tony Khachapuri


Lemon pasta x2




Can you describe the lemon pasta more? Is the lemon countered with olive oil, butter, or cheese?

We make it all the time when we have Meyer lemons on the tree. it’s the simple and when well done, delicious and bright. The serious eats recipe we use starts with butter, garlic and zest, then put in the pasta, then bit of pasta water, finally lemon juice and cheese.

I’m sure both dishes above are good—and I’ll prob have to talk myself into some trancendental simplicity bs if I ordered it, but man, I’m just laughing at the portions. we typically thrown in some seafood like shrimp or scallops.


EAT Las Vegas -The best damn pancakes in Las Vegas, so pillowy coupled with crispy edges.

Post glucose baptizing

Back Home in Lahaina - Beef katsu and bacon fried rice plate lunch

Love Letter - 1/2 garlic soy 1/2 spicy extra crispy wings

Honey Bird Los Angeles - Phil-Lee-O-Fish and Popcorn Chicken

Nozomi Torrance - sushi, alcohol and prawn head

Saba handroll :heart_eyes: wish they used a slightly higher quality nori sheet but otherwise excellent, the saba was buttery and smooth.


These spot prawns were freakin gigantic, so much fried shrimp guts, went extra good with this dry and light sake.

Also, the kohada was super buttery, had many many of these fuckers. Kinmedai, amaebi, and honmaguro akami/chu toro were great.

I :heart_eyes: Torrance

PSA Mitsuwa Torrance sale


@A5KOBE I need to try your EAT rec in Vegas. We’ll probably take the kids the next trip, and they love pancakes.
Is that Love Letter the same as the Love Letter Chicken & Pizza place?