Monthly Archives: August 2012

Aburiya Toranoko Sushi Bar & Izakaya

243 S. San Pedro St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Little Tokyo

(213) 621-9500

 
 
 
Wanted to try a new restaurant during the DineLA restaurant week last month, so I started reviewing all of the different menus.  This restaurant’s menu sounded pretty interesting and the prices seem reasonable, so off we went!
 
The executive chef hails from Nobu!  Street parking can be a bit of a challenge, since it’s in the heart of Little Tokyo.  So play it safe and park in one of the nearby lots!  The DineLA menu was $35/person for dinner, which included appetizers (3 item plate), sushi or NY steak, and green tea pudding for dessert.  There was also an omakase menu ($45 for five courses and $65 for six courses).  We decided to order one of the DineLA and a $45 five course omakase, just to see the difference.  Both comes with miso soup.  Not sure if  omakase is available all the time, but it’s a good value!
 
Toranoko means the tiger’s son…
 
Soy sauce came in a little tea pot.
 
Uni goma tofu – sesame-flavored tofu topped with uni, caviar and gold flakes.  This came with the $45 omakase.  Stand alone order is like $9.  Tasted luxurious – I really liked the sesame tofu!
 
The 3 item appetizer which came with the DineLA menu.  From left to right:  squid sashimi salad, uni gelee topped with caviar (pretty similar to the uni goma tofu, except without the tofu), and monkfish liver in raspberry sauce.  I had a taste of all three – never had cooked monkfish liver before (always had it sashimi style), but it went surprisingly well with the raspberry sauce.  All three were yum~
 
Sashimi appetizer – salmon and hamachi carpaccio.  This came with the omakase.  The fish was really fresh!
 
Teriyaki chicken wings.  This also came with the omakase and was the only cooked/hot item of the meal.  It was good, but compared to everything else, it didn’t stand out.
 
The main entree – sushi!  This came with the omakase.  The DineLA one is very similar, except that it also included ama-ebi (sweet shrimp) and octopus.  Like other sushi restaurants, Toranoko serves the shrimp head, fried on a separate platter.  The sushi was great – rice was perfect and fish was fresh.  Yum yum…
 
Green tea pudding with caramel sauce.  This came with the DineLA menu.  Sooo good!
 
Chocolate lava cake with coffee ice cream.  This is the omakase dessert.  This was delicious too… and I couldn’t decide if I liked the green tea pudding or this more.  Both are good!
 

Jinya – Ramen Bar [Now Closed]

2208 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Neighborhood: West Los Angeles

(310) 481-0977

This is probably my current favorite ramen place around the Sawtelle/Olympic area.  Tops Tsujita in my opinion.  I’ve been waiting since last September (when it was supposed to open) ’til June (when they finally opened) to try it.  Why, you ask?  Because Jinya is listed as one of the best ramen places in LA by LA Weekly.  I went on a Saturday for lunch, and surprisingly there was not much of a wait (maybe because they just opened so not many people knew about it).  It’s located in the same shopping plaza as Starbucks, Champagne Bakery and Marshall (which has the parking structure), so parking was pretty easy.
You can add $4-$5 to your ramen to make it a combo.  So I added the crispy chicken (karaage) and salad for an extra $4.  These came ahead of the ramen.  The chicken was nice and flavorful and crispy, yet still juicy.  I like!
Tonkotsu spicy – you can choose the level of spiciness.  It’s pork broth with chunks of pork chashu, cabbage and spicy bean sprouts.  It’s pretty thick broth, but good spicy flavor.  $8.55
Jinya tonkotsu – pork broth with pork chashu, spinach, cabbage, dried seaweed and fried onion.  It also comes with the seasoned egg on the side.  The broth is milky white, which means they’ve cooked it for a LONG time.  Rich broth but didn’t taste greasy.  Yummm…  $9.55
Close up of the pork chashu – I thought it was going to taste fatty, but it was melt-in-your-mouth goodness!!!  I wonder how they cook the chashu…
Tonkotsu original – the only difference between this and the Jinya tonkotsu (as far as I can tell) is the seaweed and seasoned egg.  So if you like your ramen with an egg, go for the Jinya tonkotsu.  $8.55
I see the recent yelp reviews haven’t been too kind to this place, so will have to make another trip soon to get a more accurate review!
UPDATE:  Went back on 9/8/12 for a second visit, this time for dinner.  It was as good as the first time.  I ordered the curry with the ramen this time, and the curry was also really good!

Jinya – Ramen Bar

2208 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Neighborhood: West Los Angeles

(310) 481-0977

 
 
 
This is probably my current favorite ramen place around the Sawtelle/Olympic area.  Tops Tsujita in my opinion.  I’ve been waiting since last September (when it was supposed to open) ’til June (when they finally opened) to try it.  Why, you ask?  Because Jinya is listed as one of the best ramen places in LA by LA Weekly.  I went on a Saturday for lunch, and surprisingly there was not much of a wait (maybe because they just opened so not many people knew about it).  It’s located in the same shopping plaza as Starbucks, Champagne Bakery and Marshall (which has the parking structure), so parking was pretty easy.
 
 
 
 
You can add $4-$5 to your ramen to make it a combo.  So I added the crispy chicken (karaage) and salad for an extra $4.  These came ahead of the ramen.  The chicken was nice and flavorful and crispy, yet still juicy.  I like!
 
Tonkotsu spicy – you can choose the level of spiciness.  It’s pork broth with chunks of pork chashu, cabbage and spicy bean sprouts.  It’s pretty thick broth, but good spicy flavor.  $8.55
 
Jinya tonkotsu – pork broth with pork chashu, spinach, cabbage, dried seaweed and fried onion.  It also comes with the seasoned egg on the side.  The broth is milky white, which means they’ve cooked it for a LONG time.  Rich broth but didn’t taste greasy.  Yummm…  $9.55
 
Close up of the pork chashu – I thought it was going to taste fatty, but it was melt-in-your-mouth goodness!!!  I wonder how they cook the chashu…
 
Tonkotsu original – the only difference between this and the Jinya tonkotsu (as far as I can tell) is the seaweed and seasoned egg.  So if you like your ramen with an egg, go for the Jinya tonkotsu.  $8.55
 
I see the recent yelp reviews haven’t been too kind to this place, so will have to make another trip soon to get a more accurate review!
 
UPDATE:  Went back on 9/8/12 for a second visit, this time for dinner.  It was as good as the first time.  I ordered the curry with the ramen this time, and the curry was also really good!