Showing posts with label west los angeles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label west los angeles. Show all posts

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Robataya: Low Key Westside Robata & Yakitori

A lot has been happening in the West LA dining scene since I graduated from UCLA. Returning to Sawtelle a year ago, I noticed at least three new spots. One of these was Robata-ya located next to Chabuya. At the time, robata was made somewhat popular by the Katsuya in Brentwood, so we were eager to try this more affordable option.

The menu was pretty extensive. From traditional cold appetizers like the cucumber sunomono - always a refreshing starter when not overdressed - Robataya's version was nice and light with a big enough portion to share.
I was also enticed by the fancier options like the truffle chawan mushi.
The truffles weren't that fragrant and didn't add much to the dish at all, but the chawan mushi itself was really quite good. Next time I'd rather have the chawan mushi and not pay a premium for the truffles.

Seared foie gras might have been the most affordable at only $12.
Not the best quality and a little stringy, but for $12 what more can you ask for? If you can pay a bit more, Orris next door has quite a delicious version.

An order of corn from the robata bar was a whopping plate of six pieces of grilled corn.
Way too much for 2 people to share, even if they are as much of a corn lover as we are.

It was pretty exciting to see options like bonchiri (chicken tail) and seseri (chicken neck) on the menu at Robataya. I fell in love with seseri at Yakitori Totto in New York. The seseri here is not as good as it was fattier, but as decent an option as you can find for seseri in Los Angeles: crispy skin, tender and juicy meat.
When you see chicken tail, you should think chicken butt instead.
In other words, fatty.

They had a nice, although small, rotating dessert menu and the flourless chocolate cake ended the night on a high note.

All in all, not a bad meal. Everything was quite enjoyable and very much comparable to Yakitoriya down the street but with more options. Oh, and no minimum skewer order here either! Nothing mind-blowing (unlike Yakitori Totto); the most memorable dish was actually the flourless chocolate cake, but it's still a good everyday place.

Robata Ya
2004 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 481-1418
Robata Ya on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wakasan: One of Westside's Best Deals

Wakasan is one of my favorite recent discoveries. Why? Well, 1) they're open late - 11:30PM M-Th, and 12:30AM F-Sat (they close at 10:30 on Sundays). I don't know if you remember my ordeal on finding late night places on Mondays, but, well, this about fixes it all! 2)It's a great deal. They prefer you to do their prix fixe menu that's $35 - when I did, I ended up getting 12 items and was stuffed - probably too much so for 11pm on a Monday ...

Thanks to Mattatouille for pointing this place out to me!

1. Cold bean sprouts

2. Bean curd - before it's formed into tofu with vegetables, and
3. Ankimo with ponzu sauce, cucumbers and salmon eggs
The tofu curd had a very interesting texture and the dish overall was great.
The ankimo was also good, and I really like the combination with the cucumbers!

4. Sashimi: Tuna, old yellowtail, red snapper

They're not the best quality sashimi, although it wasn't bad. I wondered why the "old yellowtail" - because, yes, it tasted pretty "old". Anyway it wasn't bad and for $35 for this and a lot more I wasn't going to complain.

5. King crab legs
Yum. They're king crab legs, I don't know what else you want me to say O:)

6. Grilled items: Miso salmon and green beans wrapped in wagyu beef
Pretty standard, salmon's a bit overcooked and hence, dry, for my taste, but overall everything was solid, even though not remarkable.

7. Braised Skate wings
This was my first time having skate. It was pretty fishy, but also pretty meaty. The braising has made it tender, so it was quite tasty - although I wasn't able to finish it because I was full and also because it was too fishy for my taste.

8. Shrimp with sweet potato fried rolls
This was served with cocktail sauce, which I wasn't too keen about. Overall this was pretty bland in my opinion, although it did have nice textures.

9. Chawanmushi
With ginkgo, small shrimps, etc, this was one of the best chawan mushi I could remember having.

10. Miso soup

11. Chirashi with tuna, scallops, uni.
Again, the fish quality is not the best, but the uni is not bad. I didn't really like the scallops as they were not fresh, but I thought the other two were decent.

12. Vanilla ice cream
I can't say for sure but this tasted very much like Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream. Which meant it was good :)

Overall we had a great variety of dishes, and some of them very interesting ones I've never had before, and all for $35. Plus they're open late daily. I'll be back here, and I think you know when :P

1929 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 446-5241

Wakasan Food Service on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Things to Slurp: Soba!

Right now I prefer soba to, say, ramen or udon, and my favorite place right now is Yabu on Pico! If you guys know other good soba places, please let me know :>
My only gripe about yabu is that they don't have soba with beef or pork (I like my red meat).

This time I ordered the Tori Toji Soba (chicken with eggs).The broth is soo tasty. This time around I didn't find much chicken though, bummer, but everything inside that bowl is so good (organic eggs, chicken, fish cake, green onions). I was mainly going for the eggs anyway. It would be good to have more meat/other things inside though, I think. Maybe tempura.

Their soba is handmade fresh daily (their claim to fame?) and was quite al-dente.

My friend got the broiled black cod, which was also good, but a bit salty. The veggies, especially the mushrooms, go really well with the cod , though.
11820 W. Pico Blvd
W. Los Angeles, CA 90064

Yabu on Urbanspoon

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