South Bay Staples

Otafuku pretty crowded at 6:15. Lots of well spaced tables outside in the parking lot. No food pictures as we didn’t replace. Yakitori broiled in toaster oven was great. Loved the seibo cold soba. Much firmer than usual but maybe that was due to the drive. Would love to eat here next time instead of taking out.


I love Torimatsu, still can’t bring myself to try the chicken sashimi. No thanks. I am open minded but not that open minded


This is probably too late but don’t forget Nagomi Cake House. It’s down the street from Otafuku. You should just add Meiji Tofu as well.

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Last time I went to Nagomi later at night the pickings were slim. The chocolate dobash and rainbow cheesecake at Kings were delish.


Otafuku is now doing wagyu gyu-tan!


Any love for Chicken Chick? I’m surprised it’s not mentioned here. Eater mentioned their Juicy Chicken in The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week, etc so I decided to give them a try as I live near Glendale and am very picky about kabobs/Mediterranean food, having tried so many top notch establishments in glendale as well as westwood etc. Anyhow I’m surprised to report that Chicken Chick’s juicy chicken is probably my favorite now, no idea how they get it that juicy. I also liked their rice and sides, a quality establishment that I hope gets their due exposure and support especially during this pandemic situation. I’d gladly drive the hour again just get this juicy chicken!

Chicken Chick
16300 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504


Thanks for the heads up! I must have driven past this place 100s of times heading down to Auntie Mailies!! Will check it out…

Currently my favorite Kabob place in the South Bay is Al Hamra. Awesome Combos… GREAT hummus.


FYI Painters Tape is doing a bodega chopped cheese


Heading to Redondo tomorrow morning; any good coffee shops/bakeries?

Boy & The Bear is solid, and there’s a Klatch too. If you’re headed through Torrance before or after, Offset is nice, and right around the corner from Chantilly.


The Boy and The Bear is pretty close to Redondo Pier.

I like 2 Guns Espresso in Manhattan, the Sepulveda location.

More inland but Chantilly and Nagomi are worth a trip.


:round_pushpin: Big Island Eats and Shave Ice, 550 Deep Valley Drive, Rolling Hills Estates :us:

First of all it should be noted that when dealing with this Hawaiian treat, there is no past tense in name, so no “shaved” please. Dishes of shave ice can be as simple and as complex as you desire, but the present tense is important. While the name is the descendant of pidgin vernacular, the treat is the descendant of Japanese immigrants working on the island using their tools to shave off small pieces from large ice blocks as a form of refreshment.

Opened originally in 1951, Matsumoto’s Shave Ice in O’ahu was one of the first and is still a very popular place for locals and tourists alike. Even though afternoons have been pretty chilly lately, it was in the spirit of these classic places that the shave ice was enjoyed before lunch.

The few small eateries on the ground level at the Promenade on the Peninsula mall each have some tables outside not quite in the sun as the angles in February are not high enough. Set amongst the well-to-do neighborhoods of Rolling Hills Estates and the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Big Island Eats & Shave Ice opened last August and is an unexpected place to have a very pleasant meal.

Just like reaching for the most colorful candy in the checkout lane of the grocery, the LavaLava ($5.99, above) stood out from the top of the list like a shiny object. The filtered ice is topped with sugarcane and coconut syrups, then a nice molten flow of dark chocolate and strawberry syrup. A big scoop of vanilla ice cream rests on the top and chips of hard chocolate surround it all. It easily succeeded in making a hot weather visit get on the to do list.

With some recent promotion on Instagram and a big photo in the window, one of their new offerings was also irresistible. There must have been a gasp though when the spicy lipslidah ($11.95, above) was presented, an enormous sandwich that even prevented its container from being closed.

They use about the largest cut of meat ever seen to form their guava chicken katsu, before blanketing it with chopped cabbage and a gochujang aioli of your desired heat level. A side of macaroni salad comes standard with the sandwich, which if we are being honest is impossible to pick up and eat. It is certainly delicious, but might try to do this guava chicken katsu as part of a combo next time since it required a knife and fork anyways.

The combo that was ordered was with kalua pork. Combo plate 1 ($9.95, above) is another good value which lets you select one meat over rice or fried noodles, two sides, and two sauces, of which they have 13 options. The Big Island crunch was picked and is their version of a Japanese furikake, and paired with the cilantro jalapeño, which came recommended for the pork.

The fried onion-y noodles created a very nice base, which became onion overload with the macaroni salad but in a good way. If your Valentine’s Day date went well and you are planning a second, maybe just do not eat this combo beforehand. The kalua pork itself was dry, but this could have been the result of being eaten the next day after overnight refrigeration in an unsealed takeout container. The flavors were good, especially with the sauce and furikake.

The loco loco moco ($12, above) has all the bones of a wonderful dish, especially the delicious gravy, but the burger patty, while gigantic and thick, is a bit tough and gristly. It is always hard to turn down a loco moco though. They top it off with eggs done in any way (here they are over medium and perfect), and a generous row of more Big Island crunch. This is a good touch.

The best dish to stand up to takeout, refrigeration, and reheating is probably their garlic fried rice ($11.75, below) which can be ordered plain for $10 or with proteins like fried tofu, guava chicken, or hickory bacon and Spam. On this day the Portagee (Hawaiian for Portuguese) sausage was selected and enjoyed, and since it was enough for four decent portions, the next day as well.