Sushi Nozomi Torrance, CA

Sushi is one of my favorite foods. I never get tired of it. Maybe it’s because of how pretty it looks, and how good it tastes. Whatever the case, I’m always up to try a new sushi place. When I came across a list of the top 10 restaurants in the South Bay & saw a sushi place was on it, I of course had to give it a try & scratch off another restaurant on the list.

Nozomi is located in a strip mall close to the Old Torrance area but don’t let that fool you. I walked in around 11:30 and it was already buzzing with diners, people picking up take out and a few tables were reserved too. That alone made me look forward to my meal.

The lunch menu had your usual combo meals, tempura, salads, and of course, sushi. Food was a little pricy, but that’s to be expected at a Japanese restaurant anyhow. Ever review I’d seen so far raved about their sea urchin, so I had to try it out.

It was served with some miso soup, which was slightly different than the ones I was used to since it was served with carrots instead of tofu, but I’m all up for variety. A small salad also came with the meal.
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I ordered the sea urchin, crab, and salmon roe dish that was served atop a warm bed of sushi rice. Everything was so fresh. The roe had a slight saltiness to it and the crab was very tender. The sea urchin was very creamy. All of these blended so well with the rice. I really enjoyed my lunch, which hit the spot without leaving me too full. I’m eager to try the rest of their sushi dishes.

Sushi Nozomi on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Sushi Gone Wild Torrance, CA

Sushi Gone Wild, like many restaurants in Torrance is located in a strip mall. Tucked away from Pacific Coast Highway, it’s very easy to miss. Luckily, a friend of mine suggested we meet there for lunch so I got to experience it for myself.

Broccoli & Edamame at Sushi Gone Wild Torrance, CA

Broccoli & Edamame at Sushi Gone Wild Torrance, CA

While waiting for my friend, the server brought over some steamed broccoli and edamame. Always happy to see a freebie, I gave it a try. Unfortunately, the broccoli was ice cold. The edamame on the other hand was fine, just needed a bit more salt in my opinion. I was hoping this wasn’t a prelude to the meal.

As luck would have it, I was proven wrong. We ordered the Torrance roll that was composed of yellow tail & crab, the Redondo roll that was salmon, avocado, and albacore, and the calamari roll. In addition, we ordered eel, octopus and salmon sushi.

Torrance roll, Redondo roll, and Calamari roll Torrance, CA

The rolls all provided a unique taste. The fish itself was fairly fresh and the sauce on the calamari roll and the eel sushi was the perfect complement. The service was average at this restaurant. The server was quick at taking our order and refilling our drinks when needed but nothing was out of the ordinary. One drawback was the check took long to be presented to us, a pet peeve of mine. Sushi Gone Wild has lunch specials for those in the area looking to take a break from the office for a quick getaway for some Japanese cuisine.

Sushi Gone Wild on Urbanspoon
Sushi Gone Wild in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Boston Foodventures

I wrapped up my east coast visit with a trip up to Boston. I’d never been there before and I must say I truly enjoyed my stay. History was one of my favorite subjects so I appreciated all that Boston had to offer.

I found myself craving a lot of seafood while in Boston. Maybe it was because I’ve always known it as the crab capital. At any rate, I was in luck. Boston has many seafood restaurants & we went to one on our first night in town.

We went to Legal C Bar on our first night in town. The moment I walked in, the words industrial elegance came to mind. It reminded me of an old warehouse that was remodeled to be an elegant restaurant. I was informed that Legal C is known for its fresh grilled fish. After looking through the menu and finding it tough to make a decision, I was relieved that the server suggested the salmon special which sounded too good to pass up.

Salmon special Legal C Bar Boston, MA

A colorful and fragrant plate was presented to me. The salmon, complete with charred grill marks was covered with a salsa verde and sat atop two fluffy cornbread cakes. It was accompanied with diced jicama. Everything from the salsa, to the salmon, and the vegetables was very fresh. My favorite part of the dish was the corn cakes. Sweet and buttery, I wish they had this as a regular menu item. I can see why Legal C is such a popular place. I wish they had a branch out here. Until then, it gives me a reason to go back east.

Fresh Lumpy Primate at JP Licks Boston, MA

We finished off our wonderful dinner with a trip to J.P. Licks; an ice cream parlor with a strange name. The large cow sculpture in the front reminded me instantly of Ben & Jerry’s while the interior reminded me of a cross between Ben & Jerry’s & a Coldstone although no mixing was done at this location. It was popular with the locals as the line stayed long but moved quickly. In addition to the traditional flavors, they also offered some monthly specials including, cucumber, peach, Boston greenfest, & brownie batter. However, the one that caught my eye was the strangest name I had seen, which was probably part of their master plan. That flavor was fresh lumpy primate. While it sounded like a monkey stew, to my relief it was far from it! To my delight it was banana ice cream, nuts, and chocolate fudge.  An enjoyable treat, it makes me want to be on the hunt for banana flavored ice cream so I could recreate it myself.

After completing the freedom trail the next day in downtown Boston and feeling cultured & educated, it was again time for food. Fortunately, Max & Dylan’s was at the end of the trail. With a wall of windows overlooking the bridges, it was perfect for people watching which there was a high volume of with the holiday weekend. The dark colors from the carpet to the furniture would suggest a fancy restaurant. However, the menu was just traditional American food with sandwiches, burgers, and salads albeit with a more elaborate presentation. What was odd was several choices of mac & cheese that was offered.

Portobella sandwich at Max & Dylan's Boston, MA

I settled on the grilled portabella sandwich complete with goat cheese and tomato jam. The Asian marinated mushrooms melded with the cheese, sprouts & the sauce ever so smoothly. It was at that moment I realized why the place was so done up with a seemingly regular menu. It made the ordinary extrordinary.

We went to Hillstone on our last day in town. Again like most of the restaurants I visited during my stay, this one was dimly lit as well. Located in the heart of downtown but tucked away from plain sight, the dining area remained quiet as we enjoyed our lunch. My sister in law informed me that it’s usually busy for dinner and rightfully so since many offices are nearby. It was one of those hidden places only a local would know & I’m glad we were with some.

The menu was rather small and I assumed it was a lunch menu but I wouldn’t have known as our server was touch and go for our entire stay. My sushi combo platter was very fresh & slightly different from what I was used to since it consisted of rolls with unique dipping sauces and unique ingredients such as nuts. However, the service was just average to me. We were one of the only tables in the restaurant but the servers didn’t seem to have a sense of urgency which is unfortunate considering how upscale the restaurant was.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy my time in Boston, both from a tourist standpoint as well as a foodies. It was nice to try different types of cuisines both in NY and Boston. It left me inspired, with a desire to look for more variety out here in LA.

JP Licks on Urbanspoon

Legal C Bar - Legacy Place on Urbanspoon
Max & Dylan's on Urbanspoon
Hillstone on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Yamashiro Los Angeles, CA

Take windy Hillcrest Road up the hill & you will be met with a Zen garden and an immense building evoking ancient Japanese architecture that we’ve all come to know. This building, built to resemble a Japanese palace is Yamashiro. Pull up to the front of the building and the valet will gladly park your car.  Have a look at the 600 year old Pagoda, that was brought from Japan before heading inside. Once you set foot into the restaurant, you will immediately see the cherry colored wood of Japan as well as the garden area in the middle of the establishment. Yamashiro offers 360 views of Los Angeles.

We were greeted and seated right away. However, it took our waiter a while to greet us while we looked at the menu. When he finally came over, he didn’t introduce himself or offer any specials.

Jasmine Tea served in a French press

Nonetheless we both ordered hot tea which was delivered minutes later in individual French presses, which was a nice touch. The Jasmine Pearl tea was soothing and had a very floral scent. It was so pleasant to enjoy the tea and take in the view of the city.

It took a while for our appetizer of Spicy Tuna to arrive. In fact, customers who were seated long after we were had received their orders before us.

Spicy Tuna Appetizer

The Spicy Tuna’s presentation was unique from any other I’ve seen. The mixed greens were a welcome addition, providing extra color. It was pretty spicy so make sure you can handle a lot of heat with this one.

Hawaii Five O Roll

We shared the Hawaii Five -O roll, one of their signatures. The fish tasted very fresh and the pineapple added a unique and refreshing spin on this as well as the macadamia nuts. It is definitely not something you would find at the typical Japanese sushi bar.

Sushi Entree

The Sushi Entree  consisted of tuna, yellowtail, albacore, whitefish, salmon, shrimp, scallop, unagi, spicy tuna, and avocado. All of the fish was very tasty. The avocado was a strange touch, definitely reminding me that we’re in California.

The overall experience was average. The great views, ambiance, unique and fresh ingredients and the Japanese architecture were the highlights of the trip. However, the service was subpar, and the food, albeit fresh was nothing too spectacular which was unfortunate considering the hype about this place.

The average price per entree was $20.00. Please bring extra cash for valet parking. Reservations are highly recommended.

My rating **1/2 out of 5 stars
Yamashiro on Urbanspoon
Yamashiro in Los Angeles

Restaurant Review: California Sushi & Teriyaki Hermosa Beach,CA

Exterior of California Sushi & Teriyaki

California Sushi & Teriyaki is your typical Americanized sushi bar. Gone are the sushi chefs seen building your rolls, in fact, gone is the walk up sushi bar. In its place is an extensive menu lit on fluorescent light, and a soft drink case in the corner of the restaurant. However the tables still give off a slight oriental vibe as well as the paper lanterns. However, the “traditional” decor juxtaposed next to the soda case seems a bit tacky to me at least. However the dining area was very clean, just like it has been on previous visits.

The menu board received a much needed makeover. Once a hard to read font with many items crossed off, it is now replaced with legible font on a beige background with pictures of menu items as well. Smaller menus, now offered with menu covers are also available to peruse.

The menu consists of traditional appetizers such as edamame and gyoza. Entrees include bento boxes, a la carte sushi, noodles, and sushi combinations. There are chicken and beef dishes for those that do not care for sushi. Mochi ice cream is also available for dessert.

The cashier took our order right away. The sushi took about 10-15 minutes to prepare. Since sushi is handmade, it is understandable that it takes a little bit longer than other types of food.

We had our order to go. The staff packed our bag with plenty of soy sauce, two pairs of chopsticks, and even disposable soy sauce containers.

Crunch Roll

The crunch roll, made with crab, avocado, and cucumber, of course with fried shrimp was very tasty. The rice was warm and the vegetables were fresh. The shrimp was crunchy, not soggy, a sign that it had not been made too far in advance. The roll was very filling. It was a very refreshing dinner.

California Sushi and Teriyaki is great for those who would like a quick bite of sushi to eat. The customer service is good, the staff does have a proactive attitude when it comes to orders to go but it is just passable for dining in.

The average menu price is $10.00. California Sushi & Teriyaki has its own parking lot that does not fill up that often.

Click here for more Hermosa Beach sushi.

My rating ***1/2 out of 5 stars.

California Sushi &Teriyaki on Urbanspoon
California Sushi & Teriyaki in Los Angeles

Oki Doki Sushi Hermosa Beach, CA

Nestled in an unsuspecting strip mall by a 7-11 and a Pizzeria is a little sushi bar with big charm.

I love this little sushi place. The staff is always friendly, it’s always clean & the service is prompt. The best part of course is the sushi. There’s so many different types to choose from that you’ll find one that you’ll love to try. I’ve tried numerous of their rolls & have yet to be disappointed. They also offer salads & teriyaki bowls among other things if you or your friends aren’t fond of raw fish. In addition they have bento boxes that offer a sampling of several menu items. The service is always quick & the restaurant is always clean. I may have moved away from Hermosa but I will definitely keep coming back!

Oki Doki gets YYYY of 5 hearts

Children’s menu available? no

Prices? $15-$25

Cleanliness? Restaurant was always clean

Environment ? casual

Service? Food arrived within 15 min

What form of payment they accept? cash & credit

Parking? parking lot


Oki Doki Sushi on Urbanspoon

RA Sushi Torrance, CA

I’ve been here countless times on happy hour with my job. The servers always seem a bit scatterbrained & are not quick. Simply ordering drinks take forever. I’ve yet to experience a time when the server gets the drink orders correct.

The sushi is alright, not the best. Having moved here from Hermosa, I was excited at first to know that I’d be living a stone’s throw away from a sushi bar. As I mentioned, the food was just mediocre. I’ve had better. I’ll continue to frequent the sushi places in Hermosa. Its not that far after all!

RA gets ** out of 5 stars

Children’s menu available? no

Prices? $15- $20

Cleanliness? overall, the dining area was clean

Service? service has been slow each time I’ve been there

What form of payment they accept? cash & credit

Parking ? parking lot, parking garage

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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