Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Mother Tongue@West Hollywood ★★★

Fantastic Innovative Restaurant by Michelin Star Chef Michael Mina. Grand opening. Loved everything to its perfection. Tartare was on the salty side, but the saltiness was excellent with flatbread and Deep Space cocktail. Extra flatbread $4. Lobster was served on top of a bed of toasted noodles. Amazing hand-crafted cocktails. Deep Space was like Old Fashion with coffee. Other cocktails were more fruity. Matcha Soft Serve Sundae was creamy and flavorful. Excellent service. Corkage fee is $35. It's inside HEIMAT, a new private gym concept, but membership is not required for dining. Members do get 10% off from the restaurant. $5 Valet or street parking.

Chilled Peruvian Bay Scallops $24
passion fruit, hearts of palm, huacatay

Toasted Walnut Muhammara (all three) $21
charred peppers, pomegranate molasses

Ancient Water $18
wonderbird gin, sherry, lemon, sparkling strawberry, tulsi
Deep Space $22 ($18 on menu?)
mina single barrel rye by rare character, rum +, coffee, amaro, miracle mile toasted pecan bitters

Hand-Cut Steak Tartare $23
usda prime hanger, pine nuts, turmeric, avocado, horseradish, salsify chips

Strange Magic $19 ($18 on menu?)
japanese whisky, inferno bitter, lime, pineapple gum, curry leaf, coconut spice

2lb. Maine Lobster (for 2) $125
rossejat de fideos, pimenton de la vera, shaved fennel

Matcha Soft Serve Sundae $12
sage roasted peaches, honey oat crumble, agave almonds

Pool by the Restaurant (members only)


HEIMAT, new private gym concept in West Hollywood

HEIMAT, new private gym concept in West Hollywood

Mother Tongue
960 N La Brea Ave Fl 4
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(213) 319-7850

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Kanpachi To-Go@Gardena ★★★ (closed)

To-Go Sushi with Nice Price and Quality. Though a long-time patron at Kanpachi (dine-in), it's my first time to try their to-go only branch. It was satisfying. This Uni is a bit bitter, but it may depend on your luck and differ. Comes with Miso Soup. A la carte sushi is also available to order.

10. Deluxe Sushi $27
11pc sushi and 1 roll: tuna, yellowtail, salmon, albacore, surf clam, shrimp, egg, salmon roe, uni, amberjack, freshwater eel, 3pc tuna roll, 3pc cucumber roll

1. Sushi $20
8pc sushi and 1 roll: tuna, salmon, albacore, yellowtail, salmon roe, uni, shrimp, egg, 3pc cucumber roll, 3pc tuna roll

Paired it with Song of the Sea Junmai Ginjo Sake (leftover from n/naka dinner)

Kanpachi To-Go
1425 W Artesia Blvd Ste 27
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 515-1391

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Sushi Nikkei@Long Beach ★★

Returning to Peruvian Japanese Restaurant. Innovative fusion with great taste. The sauce, seasoning, and toppings differentiate itself to traditional Japanese cuisine. The spices are best to be paired with sake. Friendly staff. The owner Eduardo Chang Ogata from Peru recognized us since our last February visit. Busy on a weeknight. Corkage fee is $20.

Grilled Scallop $16
peruvian scallops, butter, quinoa pop, garlic limo

Octopus Fire $21
parrillera sauce, lemon soy, chalaquita

Lava Scallops $11
scallops and blue crab, truffle oil/ chili sauce

Hamachi Tosada $14
corn tostado, avocado, salsa macha, spicy mayo, radish, serrano

Oba Roll $17
crispy salmon, avocado topped with salmon, parrillera, jalapeño sauce, chalaquita

Peruvian Cebiche $25
catch of the day, tiger milk, aji amarillo, cancha, sweet potato

Hakkaisan (Junmai) 720mL $59

Hakkaisan (Junmai) 720mL $59

Sushi Nikkei
3819 Atlantic Ave Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 283-3042

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Half & Half Good Old Time Cafe@San Gabriel ★★★

Cozy Authentic Taiwanese Cafe. I actually prefer Half & Half over the 2-Michelin-star-restaurant Kato in terms of price-worth and service. It's 1/10 of Kato's price with better service. Amazed by the attentiveness of the servers in the cafe. Been in love with their Noodle Soup with Thick Clear Noodles since my college time. You can choose different noodles and toppings. Satay Udon Soup could get oily sometimes. Have communal condiments in the back. Chicken Nuggets are Popcorn Chicken in generous portion. Boba Milk Tea is usually on the sweet side, so I recommend requesting 50% sweetness instead. The only downside is that their MSG is a bit heavy, so make sure to drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Mark on their paper menu to order. Best to come when they open to avoid the wait. Free parking in lot.

Good Old Time Noodle Soup w/ Thick Clear Noodles $10.68
mixed combination topping with garlic chips, spicy paste, bean sprouts, mushroom slices, and cilantro

Satay Udon Soup $9.68
poached egg, seafood balls, and vegetables

Chicken Nuggets $8.98
served with mayo on the side

Thick Clear Noodles

Boba Milk Tea $3.68
remember to ask for less sweetness

Cozy Interior

704 W Las Tunas Dr, Ste E2
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 576-8010

Saturday, June 11, 2022

n/soto@Mid-City ★★★

Quality Izakaya Spot by the Creators of n/naka. Reminds me a lot of Raku in Las Vegas (or West Hollywood, which is no longer there). Fantastic Kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and Sushi. Tofu was smooth and silky. Love the Bone Marrow with Miso and Wine flavor, paired with Grilled Rice Ball. Great cocktail. Good service. Accepts walk-in, but reservation highly recommended. Corkage fee is $30. Valet parking or street.

Sashimi Moriawase $43
chef's selection

Warm House Made Tofu $8
ginger, tosa joyu

Brussels Sprouts & Salmon Skin Salad $16
red onion, poached egg

Unagi Kushiyaki $9
japanese freshwater eel

Tebasaki $6

Geoduck Nigiri $15
jumbo clam

Sakamushi Clams $18
shiitake, dashi

Miso Baked Bone Marrow $16
umeboshi onigiri

Beachwood Lager Beer $7, Umeshu $16 (umeshu, pommeau, yuzu tonic)

4566 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 879-9455

Yelp Elite: Cheers Bar & Grill@San Gabriel ★

Yelp Elite Perk: Free Margarita + BBQ Chicken Pizza. Also got a free drawstring bag from the perk. Thanks to this Yelp Elite Perk, or else I would have never found this place in the San Gabriel Valley. A bar with nightlife ambience – with karaoke stage, pool table, and couches. Decent food & drinks. Margarita was nice and refreshing. BBQ Chicken Pizza and Cheesy Tots were tasty and up to standards. The oil-absorbent paper they used was cute with comic strips (eg. Garfield) printed on it. Bartender George was nice and friendly. They also have bottomless Mimosa on Sunday from 11am - 2pm. Street or lot parking.

Watermelon Margarita (originally $12)

Hand Tossed BBQ Chicken Pizza (originally $17)
chicken breast, caramelized onions, yellow peppers, cilantro

Cheesy Tots $12
sharp cheddar, bacon crumbles

717 S San Gabriel Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 688-2228

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Kaijin Sushi@Los Angeles ★

Sushi Rolls with Lower Price Point. Great option for affordable sushi, especially during times of the great inflation. Great quality. Seems to be Thai-owned. Connected to the Thai restaurant next door.

Kaijin Special Roll $16
deep-fried soft shell crab, spicy tuna, cucumber inside, topped with seared tuna, seared albacore, green onion, and fried onion

Spicy Scallop Roll $7

Paradise Roll $14
baked roll of imitation crab & avocado inside, topped with salmon, green onions, and smelt egg

Kaijin Sushi
7825 Beverly Blvd, Ste 1
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 852-3092

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori@Gardena ★★★

My Go-To Restaurant for Yakitori. Authentic Food, Consistent Quality, and Reasonable Price. Everything was great. Miso Cheese with Crackers was nice and interesting but won't order again. Grilled Rice gets sold out a lot of times. Best to pair the Yakitori with Draft Beer to balance out the heat and dryness. Having the staff cheer "Kanpai" for your beer is fun. Walk in only. Arrive early to write down your name on the list. No wait around 5pm on a Saturday. Best seating is at the bar, where the food comes out right fresh from the grill to your plate. Loud & fun ambiance.

Chicken Thigh w/ Green Onion (Sauce) $2.95, Meatball $3.25
Here are my 3 tips:
1. Ask for the Free Cabbage
Off the menu, but you can request free cabbage salad (unlimited refills) to enjoy with your Yakitori. It balances your appetite with all the meat. The cabbage is mixed with tasty yuzu ponzu sauce. The catch is that the server sometimes forget about it, so you have to remind them again.

2. Don't Order All at Once
The food comes out pretty quickly. It's a good idea to split into ordering 2 times so that your food won't get stacked up and become cold.

3. The Reward
You can redeem $3 reward with every $50 you spend. Scan the QR code on your receipt to register your credit card and use the same credit card every time. The same reward system can be used at different Shin-Sen-Gumi locations in US.

Free Refillable Cabbage

Chicken Liver $3

Flap Meat $3.95, Shiso Basil w/ Pork Belly (Sauce) $3.50

Chicken Wing $2.95

Grilled Mix Rice Ball $2.95
shiso basil & dried bonito

Beef Tongue $3.75

Miso Cheese w/ Crackers $8

Ginko Nuts

Chicken Thigh w/ Green Onion (Salt) $2.95

Onion $2

Pork Intestine $3


Chicken Skin $2.95

Pork Feet $4.50

鬼太郎 Sake Bottle Label Wall

Cute Packaging

Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori (Original) – Gardena
18517 S Western Ave Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 715-1588