Torihei is the truth

Tried to go to this Izakaya/Yakitori spot 3 times before. It’s tough to get a table day off, plan ahead.

4 adults and 2 kids put this down no problem. Pretty damn amazing after a couple of breweries

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I assume you’re talking about this place?

http://www.torihei-usa.com

Yes, Torihei

Yeah, we’ve found that it’s practically impossible to jump in here on a weekend and expect a table without waiting 90 minutes or so. Like you say - plan ahead.

Call for reservations, never had a problem getting a table with even 24hrs notice.

If you like Torihei, try Koshiji, 22807 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

I think for Yakitori, Koshiji may be better. You will need reservations for Friday and Saturday dinner.

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Thanks. Been really trying to get in to Hachi too.

You need reservations for this as well for Friday and Saturday dinner. Hachi is totally different than Torihei and Koshiji. All 3 are very good.

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SSSSSHHHHHHH, not so loud about Koshiji!

is this place worth the drive and wait over a place like raku?

Depends if you like Yakitori. But make sure to get reservations or you may have to wait for an hr or more on Friday and Saturday evenings.

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I’ve only been to Raku once earlier this year, and Torihei once two years ago. They are two completely different restaurants and styles. My take is that, if you do make it down there, make it worthwhile.

  • Drop by Hisaya Kyoto Chestnuts in the same complex, pick up a bag of roasted chestnuts (if that’s your thing, I personally love kuri based desserts/wagashi) or if they have it, try their chestnut ice cream though it’s outsourced.

  • At Torihei, get the special heart. Want to say it’s the hatsu moto/aorta, but my memory is a little fuzzy. Try their Kyoto style oden dishes, though the “xiaolongbao” is probably a dumpling or pseudo wonton in their oden broth. I would focus on items where you cannot get at places like Kinjiro, Raku, Morinoya. Their yaki hamaguri (grilled clam) is certainly Instragrammable material and worth trying, though beware of overheating it that it turns a bit too firm. The sake/nihonshu selection at Torihei is nothing like the breadth and depth offered at Raku (super impressive) or Kinjiro (lots of excellent choices and some very nice high end with super reasonable markup).

  • squeeze in a visit to Mitsuwa Torrance while you are down there.

  • another approach is not to get full at Torihei, then explore other eats around the area. For me I might even attempt Torihei, but also plan ahead and make a reservation to try Shoya in Lomita to finish off the evening, but only even think about this (and Shoya) if you really really love oden. Personally I have not been to Shoya, but it’s high on my radar if I am visiting again. Plus it’s going to be “callous frigid chill/nothing left to kill” weather (for those Metallica fans out there), that oden + properly warmed/hot sake is one of the ultimate classic cold weather JP comfort foods! Though I am not clear on their nihonshu selection at Shoya (probably not that much)… And maybe before that, a trip to Patisserie Chantilly in the same area, in the early afternoon at the latest to try to get their choux sesame before they sell out for the rest of the day.

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No

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your thoughts on Hachi?

Never been, on the radar but not top of the list for the area, but from photos I’ve seen I would check what’s on the daily specials board, try their oysters (raw or grilled) and perhaps partake in a nabe/hotpot. The kurobuta shabu shabu sounds awesome (apparently they have a tonkotsu soup base?) and it’s possible they have buri (wild yellowtail) shabu shabu during fall/winter months. Motsu nabe (if you are into innards) would be awesome too. Sake selection seems limited though.

I thought it was top of the list for the area. What is your top of the list please.

Sorry, I meant top of the list for me to try, based on personal preferences, and not for comparing places (since they all offer something different/unique). If I had a choice, I’d visit Shoya first since I’ve already been to Torihei, but that’s only because I love oden (and it appears they don’t really have that many non oden items on the menu or at all, which is perfectly fine for me, but maybe not so much for others).