Showing posts with label gaja. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gaja. Show all posts

Friday, April 24, 2009

South Bay Japanese Food Marathon, Part 1

The South Bay has rapidly turned into a Japanese food mecca, with the likes of yakitori-turned-izakaya Bincho, etc in the area. I haven't been there much. Why? It's really not that far. There should be no reason! So why not go and hit em all, food marathon-style? I was joined by Food Destination + 1, Pepsi Monster, the nascent Kung Food Panda, Mattatouille, Choisauce, Teenage Glutster, and Rumdood.

Our first stop: some okono and monjayaki at Gaja in Lomita.

Which one do we want to order? Do we want to cook 'em ourselves or have them prepare it for us?
Luckily Food Destination(a.k.a Gilded Palate)'s Japanese gf was there so we could order properly.
Look at her skilfully whip out our okonomiyaki on the teppan!

This time we also had something I haven't tried here before, the monjayaki. We ordered the one with mochi and spicy roe.

You also grill this monjayaki on the teppan, but it doesn't quite solidify like the okonomiyaki.

Okay, you got me, I just love eating it with the cute lil spatula they gave us!
The monjayaki might look weirdly gooey and runny, but it's actually a creamy mochi-like concoction that's pretty flavorful with the spicy cod roe.

Gaja Japanese Restaurant
2383 Lomita Blvd Ste 102
Lomita, CA 90717
(310) 534-0153

Next we went right next door to one of my favorite patisserie, Patisserie Chantilly. Communist-style, we each put in $3 and got a bunch of stuff. Except that the ones below are bought separately by Pepsimonster and added into the pot ...

We had almost everything, including their popular cream puffs (popular because Mr J Gold raved about it) - all three flavors: Chantilly cream, chocolate, and sesame.

One of our favorites was the souffle fromage - which is kind of like the love child of a rare cheesecake+souffle.
Light and fluffy, Food Destination claims it's like eating clouds. Agreed. A sweet, cheesy cloud.

Maybe you're thinking that we were sitting nicely around a table, taking a small bite of each cake and passing it around ... well, I wouldn't want to mislead you. When food bloggers share teeny cakes like these, our approach is to ...

P√Ętisserie Chantilly
2383 Lomita Blvd
Lomita, CA 90717
(310) 257-9454
P√Ętisserie Chantilly on Urbanspoon

The day had just started. Next stops: a detour from Otafuku and Hakata Ramen to Ichimiann, and a grand finale at Izakaya Bincho :)
In the meantime, you can read about it on Food Destination and Pepsi Monster's blogs.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cooking your own: Gaja

I finally got to try okonomiyaki at Gaja Restaurant in Lomita! When you first open the door to this place, it will smell and feel similar to a korean bbq restaurant - the smoke! At Gaja you make your own okonomiyaki on the teppans that they've built in the tables, although they will also make it for you in the kitchen if you're not confident with your own cooking skills ;)

The place is busy, so you go in and put your name down, then wait outside. They have a few chairs outside and a cart filled with games like othello, cards, chess, etc. So if you're quick enough to grab chairs and a game, the wait is easy. Next door is the bakery Chantilly (whose cream puffs Jonathan Gold raved about. They ran out that night, so I'll have to review them next time).

I wanted to get the full experience, so when they offered to cook it for us because it was just so obvious that it was our first time, I quickly said No! We got an order of the "Modan Mix" (Modern Mix) ... whatever that was. (They probably thought "Stupid gaijins")
They heated up the teppan and brought us our order. The bowl of ingredients. Yeah! A sheet of instructions, a bowl of stuff, and a hot teppan! I think we're ready!

First cook meat, then cook noodles,.. *hum* *hum*

Don't those bacons look GOOD?!

Towards the "Flipping" step of the whole cooking process though, we ran into some trouble :(
One of the chefs from the kitchen was making his rounds, so he grabbed the spatula from us and showed us The Proper Way.

Eventually, we got this amazing looking thing (left side with mayo for me, right side for the other party who for some obscure reason does not like mayo):
*sniff* so proud of ourselves. Now I don't know if I thought it tasted so good because I made it myself, but I'm sure other people would feel the same way :D

You can close the meal with one of their dozens of parfaits if you have room.
It was good okonomiyaki, and a totally fun experience :) You can either bring someone who knows what they're doing, or bring someone totally new and just have fun together.

Gaja Japanese Restaurant (misspelled as "Japenese")
2383 Lomita Blvd Ste 102
Lomita, CA 90717
Phone: (310) 534-0153

Gaja on Urbanspoon

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