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

Follow That Food Truck! The Temaki Truck

Yes, I told you I visited enough food trucks at South Bay Food Fest to last me through the rest of the year! The Temaki Truck was another sushi on wheels. Not that I’m complaining. I can’t get enough sushi & the more sushi trucks, the better. Yes I know it may seem weird to get sushi from a truck but I figure, the rest of the trucks are also transporting raw meats & what have you. As long as it’s kept at the right temperature, it’s all good. Haven’t gotten sick from a food truck yet, so I’m happy.

The Temaki Truck has a good selection of hand rolls, which is in fact what temaki means. They’re portable sushi, no chopsticks needed. Although if you prefer chopsticks, there’s also a few maki rolls too. They also have vegetarian selections as well.

What I liked about the Temaki Truck was the fact that they carried octopus, something rarely seen at most quick service sushi places.

 

I had the octo shrimp served in their rendition of an Asian ceviche. Fresh shrimp, octopus, and smelt eggs all in a mildly spicy sauce with crunchy veggies, wrapped in warm sushi rice and seaweed. It was pure happiness in my mouth. If that wasn’t enough to bring me back to sample more of the menu, the staff was. They were all very polite and friendly. Yes you have to wait a little longer for sushi than fast food, it’s a given but totally worth it.

Thanks for the deliciousness Temaki Truck! Hope to see you again soon.

 

Follow That Food Truck: Jogasaki Sushi Burrito

Ladies and gentlemen, rumors of the fabled sushi burrito have spread far and wide in the greater LA area. I can assure you it’s real. I have proof.

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I finally caught the elusive Jogasaki truck when they stopped at the ADM Eat Fleet. I guess I was super excited because I was the first person in line. Didn’t take long for them to open up though, about 5 mins or so. I survived.

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I opted for the lobster burrito wrapped in soy paper which was an additional charge but no biggie. In the end I ended up paying around $10 for lunch. It was an average price for sushi. The sushi did take a little bit to prepare but that’s to be expected anywhere you go.

The taste was all in all very fresh from the soy wrapper to the sticky warm rice and of course the lobster. Really what set it apart from the sushi you’d find elsewhere is how portable it was. It’s eaten like a burrito so it’s unique in that respect. Its taste was on par with other sushi I’ve tried. The burrito just gives it a quirky feel.

I’d try the other offerings that Jogasaki has to offer the next time they come to the South Bay. Yes granted it’s a food truck so the options are obviously limited, but I’d like to try some more. The service was quick and friendly and the sushi had a good taste. Just be sure to bring your appetite if you want to try them out. The portion is very generous and you’ll probably want to save the rest for later.

Looking for more Food Trucks?

Jogasaki Sushi Burrito (food truck) on Urbanspoon

Sushi on the Go

In college, I’d treat myself once a week to grocery sushi. When you’re living on practically nothing, grocery sushi is a big deal. I still grab grocery sushi every now & again when I’m in a pinch but I crave fresh sushi more than anything. However, I don’t want all the pomp and circumstance of a full on restaurant sometimes.

So I used to frequent California Sushi & Teriyaki in Hermosa when I wanted a quick sushi lunch. However I’m in Torrance now & while the trek to the beach isn’t too bad, I’d like something close to home when I’m super hungry.

That’s where Sushimon comes in. It’s not the best sushi in the South Bay let alone Torrance but if I’m craving a small snack, it does the job & doesn’t hurt the wallet either. I first became intrigued by the place when I saw that it was busy on most evenings. On this particular afternoon, it wasn’t too full. We were seated & waited on right away. As we waited on our meals, we were served complimentary miso soup which tasted like every other I’ve had. I’m not complaining though, it was free!

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Like many of its fast food sushi counterparts, there was quite a selection to choose from. I settled on the 10 piece Osaka ($8.99) which was colorful and very refreshing. No complaints on the taste front. The sushi was fresh, the rice, warm, nothing wrong there. The only issue I had was the settling of the bill. After we finished eating, we couldn’t find our waitress. A few moments later, she pulled up to the bar & started having a meal which was a bit awkward. We finally got her attention and got the bill.

An awkward way to end the meal but I wasn’t expecting anything fancy when I walked in. So I’m glad to have some fast food sushi in the area.

Lookin for more Asian restaurants?

Sushimon 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

Happy Hour at Sashi in Manhattan Beach, CA

Part of the reason I started this blog was to get myself to explore the neighboring cities, rather than getting into routine. When I was invited to check out Sashi in Manhattan Beach, I knew I had to accept the opportunity. Even after years of living in Hermosa Beach, I hardly ventured to Manhattan Beach, even if it was only the next town over. This invitation gave me even more of a push to check out the town more often.

Upon entrance at Sashi, I first noticed the dark brown wood interior providing that Japanese feel. The lounge was filled with oversize couches, round stools, and low tables. Liquor was displayed in front of a bright pink light at the bar. The music was lively and club like. Energy levels were high & the lounge was filled with people that just ended their work day. The lounge area was candle lit. Clearly this was a place to unwind & let go after a busy day.

Sashi has happy hour Sunday thru Thursday from 5-10 featuring drink specials and small appetizer plates that are good to share with a group of friends.

Green Tea at Sashi in Manhattan Beach

I ordered some green tea that was served in a personal size cast iron kettle. The server explained how to work the tea dispenser which looked similar to a large salt shaker, something I’d never seen before but I thought it was pretty neat. The strength of the tea could be determined simply by pushing a button. A card that displayed more information about the tea was placed next to the teacup. The tea was very soothing and definitely just what I needed. The small kettle and tea dispenser made something routine such as drinking a beverage more fun and interactive.

Next up was a trio of small asian bbq steak, ginger pork, and spicy chicken tacos served with wasabi guacamole. With a total of six tacos, this small meal was perfect to share with a friend. All three meats were cooked perfectly. No dryness or blandness could be found in this meal. My favorite of the three was the ginger pork. Having grown up with eating many ginger spiced meals and being without that for so long definitely brought back a nostalgic yet refreshing feeling for me.

Up next & last was the hand roll trio of baked crab, spicy tuna, and eel avocado accompanied by curry, spicy mustard & eel sauce. Each roll was tasty in its own way. The white wrap on the crab provided a nice contrast to the black rolls. The eel sauce was tangy and sweet, a great complement to the eel as well as the other rolls. I’ve never been a fan of curry so I skipped that sauce. The spicy mustard was just that. Even a little taste of it was too much for me so I stuck with the eel sauce or no sauce at all.

The small appetizers ($9 each) are perfect for one or for a group of people to share. The atmosphere of the lounge is perfect after a long day of work. I will definitely be back to sample more of the happy hour menu including the steamed bun trio which was unavailable when I went to Sashi. I’ll also stop by once again to check out the sushi bar area as I’ve always been a sucker for sushi.

I thank Cathy and the staff of Sashi @Sashi_MB for having me that evening. It was a great time and I will be back with a few friends in tow to share in the happy hour & dining room experience.

Sashi is open nightly at 5pm. A metered parking structure is located across the restaurant for convenience.

Sashi: sushi and sake lounge on Urbanspoon
Sashi Sushi + Sake Lounge in Los Angeles

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
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