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Maneki, Seattle

Whenever I do a Seattle weekend trip, I never fail to make a reservation for Maneki for a quick Japanese fix. Located in a secluded corner of international district, with all the construction going on, you will often drive by and totally miss it. Street parking ard the area during dinner time isn’t easy to find. Without a reservation, you either have to head there right when they open or after 8.30pm. So be sure to make your reservations dayS in advance. All that aside.. the restaurant is pretty cozy and the food at Maneki is GREAT! never fails to perk me up after every meal at Maneki 😀

Maneki, Seattle

Sashimi

2 things not to miss! black cod collar miso and sashimi! The black cod collar miso is probably the best black cod miso i ever had! As for sashimi, I usually just pick what I like and they will lay it out in that gigantic plate. They also offer a chef choice for those that aren’t as picky.

Maneki, Seattle

Black Cod Collar Miso

Some Maneki trivial.. Apparently, the elderly woman that serves you at the front desk is the daughter of the owner. And they have been in operation since 1904!

Maneki, Seattle

More Sashimi

Maneki
304 6th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
Tel: (206) 622-2631
Cell: (425) 954-6469
Hours: Tue-Sun 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Categories: Asian, Japanese, Seattle

Tatsu Ramen, Los Angeles

Greeted by 3 ipads on the wall at the entrance of the ramen joint that opened 23 May by Ryu Isobe, a recent USC graduate, who walks around the restaurant and chat with customers. On the walls of the restaurant, there was a photo of him and a short paragraph that gives a brief introduction about his life. From what I could remember, Tokyo, Japan, son of actor, Hiroshi Isobe, Hawaii, USC, best entrepreneur program in Los Angeles, wanted ramen in US to be like that of Tokyo, learned from pro Jap chefs, Tatsu = Dragon. Pretty sure I missed some stuff but I think I got most of the main parts.

Tatsu Ramen, Los Angeles

Naked Ramen and Tonkotsu Ramen

Anyway, the concept was pretty interesting with the ipads on the wall and ordering and payment was done right at the ipads. The app was clean with a white background and nice pictures. The ramen was fully customizable with only 2 types of ramen, tonkotsu ramen and naked ramen. Customization includes amount of garlic, green onions, spiciness, pork or chicken or tofu and egg (sweet corn, seaweed and garlic cloves are free). Apparently they have “holy water” for free too LOL. The ramen was kinda too oily for my liking but I have heard many mixed reviews from friends that visited. Suggestions to maybe include the amount of oil in ramen and strength of soup base like that of Shin Sen Gumi would be good. Other than that props for opening till the latest on Sawtelle.

Tatsu Ramen
2123 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 684-2889
Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed, Sun 11 am – 12 am
Thu-Sat 11 am – 3 am

Komasa, Los Angeles

March 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Restaurant Komasa, Los Angeles

Sashimi

Restaurant Komasa, Los Angeles

Shrimp Tempura

Restaurant Komasa
351 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: (213) 680-1792
Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat 5:30 am – 10:30 pm
Sun 5:30 am – 10 pm

Categories: Asian, Japanese, Los Angeles

Yojie Japanese Fondue & Sake Bar, Los Angeles

March 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Yojie Japanese Fondue & Sake Bar, Los Angeles

the sumo sukiyaki
12oz. certified angus beef

Yojie Japanese Fondue & Sake Bar
501 W Olympic Blvd
Ste 102
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu, Sun 11:30 am – 10 pm
Fri-Sat 11:30 am – 12 am

Categories: Asian, Japanese, Los Angeles

Sushi-Gen

Sushi-Gen, Los Angeles
Sashimi Deluxe

Sushi-Gen
www.sushigenla.com
422 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: (213) 617-0552
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri 11 am – 2 pm
Mon-Sat 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Categories: Asian, Japanese, Los Angeles

K-ZO – DineLA 4th Stop

February 4, 2012 Leave a comment

The chef, Keizo Ishiba, is trained in both Japanese and French. thus i guess the food will be japanese and french fusion? I didn’t really get the feel of the french part though. I thought it looked rather japanese with all the decor and also the sushi bar seats.

K-Zo is hidden in a secluded corner of Culver City, right by Trader Joe’s, away from the restaurant strip. We got there pretty early so the restaurant was really empty and quiet when we got seated. Guests eventually starts to stream in and as when we were bloated, the restaurant got pretty packed and was bustling with noise and excitement. From what it seems like, the restaurant is filled with regulars that know the chef. He came out from the kitchen a couple times to greet his guests. Anyway, the restaurant had a nice contemporary design and by the side there was a corner with streamlines of beads hung from the ceiling that worked like a curtain that looked pretty cool for private dining.

K-ZO, Culver City

“Rokuten-Mori”
Oyster caviar, Ankimo-Monkfish liver, Octopus Carpaccio, Crab Cucumber Salad, Kobe style beef Tataki, Hamachi Verde

K-ZO, Culver City

Delux Assorted Sushi
Chef’s choice of 7 piece nigiri sushi and a handroll

There was a dinner prix fixe menu that had a bamboo course and a pine tree course that was really similar to the dineLA menu where they had a large variety of appetizers, sushi and dessert to choose from. Personally, I felt that it was rather expensive japanese fusion food.

K-ZO, Culver City

Chocolate Fondant
Warm chocolate cake with a scoop of Vanilla Ice cream.

K-ZO, Culver City

Raspberry Roll Cake
Raspberry creme fresh rolled with sponge cake.

The service was pretty good as the server keep coming back to check on us and make sure everything was fine. The appetizers were pretty good but the sushi was only alright, nothing like a Komasa experience. And according to L, the desserts were good too. Presentation was mostly really simple and nice. Usually a good japanese restaurant will be bustling with noise in japanese, with a couple of tables of Japs sipping their sake, eating and chatting away. Didn’t see much of that sight that night. Then again, maybe it’s just that day.

K-ZO, Culver City

Purple Parfe
A scoop of ice cream covered with our original purple sauce made with purple sweet potato. Topped with Moch balls, sweet redbean and roasted almond.

K-Zo
9240 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 202-8890
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri 12 pm – 2:30 pm
Mon-Thu 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Fri 5:30 pm – 11 pm
Sat 5:30 am – 11 pm
Sun 12 pm – 10 pm

Categories: Asian, Japanese, Los Angeles

Shin-Sen-Gumi, Los Angeles

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

You know how sometimes, you wish you could customize your ramen a little more than just the ho hum requests like, “no spring onion“, or “add a flavoured egg“, or “additional chasu“? Ok, so maybe you are not as fastidious as I am when it comes to eating, but never underestimate the power of choices! The concept at Shin-Sen-Gumi Little Tokyo fits finicky eaters like myself, and the health conscious like T, to a t! Over there, you get to tailor the ramen to your liking, and the choices go down to the smallest details, like firmness of noodles, strength of soup base and even the amount of oil. You order by filling up this matrix of choices that would overwhelm you at the onset, but once you got used to it, it’s a breeze. Just tick the choices of what you want and don’t want, and you’re good to go.

Shin-Sen-Gumi, Los Angeles

We ordered the half bowl, because we don’t eat that much, and added all the usual stuff like egg and bamboo. For mine, it’s sans the ginger, for sure. Oh and we had our noodles hard, with light amount of oil and strong soup base. We were lucky to get seats by the counter, where you can could watch the chefs whip up a storm, effortlessly. There is a guy who prepares the ramen with the soup and toppings, and I reckon his job is the toughest, because every order is unique. He has to dilute the soup, use different amounts of oil, cook the noodles to the various desired hardness.. it really takes some coordination man. And sitting there watching him do it, order after order, in seamless perfection, it is impressive. I wish I had his brain power. Heh.

Shin-Sen-Gumi, Los Angeles

We went to Shin-Sen-Gumi at Little Tokyo, the latest branch that just opened its doors in Sept 2011, and they specialise in Hakata ramen, the same type as Ippudo. The Hakata ramen broth is white and creamy, and Shin-Sen-Gumi uses top grade Berkshire pork and filtered water, simmered over 15 hours to make its delicious tonkotsu soup. The Japanese really do have lots of patience and tenacity, which undoubtedly translates into perfection. That’s what you get at Shin-Sen-Gumi; a perfectly assembled ramen, just for you, with great service to boot. The best part is, you don’t have to wait over an hour like at Daikokuya for great ramen. Sweet.

Shin-Sen-Gumi 
Hakata Ramen – Little Tokyo
132 S. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 687-7108
Fax: (213) 687-8572
Restaurant Hours: Open 7 Days 11am – midnight