Monthly Archives: October 2012

Kotosh Peruvian

 

2408 Lomita Blvd
Lomita, CA 90717

(310) 257-1363

http://www.kotoshrestaurant.com

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kotosh-lomita

 

Kotosh is a bit of a fusion restaurant, but it’s not your average fusion restaurant. The restaurant serves Peruvian food and Japanese sushi with a Peruvian twist. Tucked in a little plaza, across from the popular Gaja okonomiyaki restaurant, it is very easy to miss. There is limited parking spots in the plaza – make sure you don’t park in the adjacent lots, otherwise you will be towed! If in doubt, check with the restaurant server.

The restaurant is separated into 2 parts: the front has the sushi bar and seats smaller parties; the back section seats 3 large tables/parties. Reservations are recommended! Sometimes you can find Kotosh deals on Restaurant.com , so check before you go and maybe save yourself some $$.

Now onto the food!

 

No trip to a Peruvian restaurant is complete without starting off with some ceviche! There’s 2 varieties to choose from: all fish ceviche or mixed seafood. This is the all fish version – the fish is marinated in fresh lime juice. Comes with roasted corn, hominy and sweet potato. Nice and tangy! $13.50

 

This is also a must order – spicy tuna salad. The name is a little misleading, as it’s only the tuna that’s actually spicy. The assorted lettuce is tossed with spicy tuna, masago and sesame/ponzu sauce. $14.25 for the large size.

 

The papa rellena is also pretty good. This is 2 orders – it’s mashed potato stuffed with seasoned ground beef and onions. Crispy on the outside, yet nice moist potato texture with the filling inside. Mmmm… Only available Fri – Sun! $3.95 per order.

 

We also tried the fish chowder during our last visit. There’s also a shrimp version. It’s a creamy concoction of fish, corn, egg and rice, with a bit of saffron. Yummy! One order was enough to split among the 7 of us. $12.25

 

The Peruvian standard dish – lomo saltado. Stir-fried beef with tomatoes, onions and french fries, served with rice. Your choice of chicken, beef, fish or mixed seafood. We usually order the beef version. The other dishes easily outshines this one. For great lomo saltado, look to El Rocoto in Gardena or Marios in Mid-Wilshire! $11

 

Chicharron mixto al ajo – fried seafood (shrimp, squid, fish) in special garlic sauce, served with rice. The seafood coated with the sauce is so tasty! $15.25

 

Acebichado roll – one of Kotosh’s special menu items, it has shrimp tempura, crab mix, cucumber and avocado, wrapped with halibut and topped with special ceviche sauce. The sauce is a spicy creamy sauce, which goes really well with the sushi. You’ve never had sushi like this! $12.75

 

Macchu Picchu Roll – shrimp tempura and avocado topped with tuna and special spicy mayonnaise sauce . This rolls is also really good, especially for tuna lovers! $13.25

 

Halekulani Special – tuna, salmon and avocado, topped with spicy masago. For people who are not fans of shrimp tempura, this is a great choice! $12

 

Food portions are pretty generous. Between the 7 of us, we still had plenty of left-overs!

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Kantaro Sushi

1542 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501

(310) 320-0200

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kantaro-sushi-torrance

 

Kantaro is such a hidden gem in Torrance – were it not for a Japanese friend, I wouldn’t even know it existed!  The restaurant is located just a few blocks north of Western and Carson, in a ghetto strip mall.  But, make no mistake, the sushi here is great.  And the omakase at $39.50 is probably one of the best values in LA, in terms of quality and price.  The restaurant is operated by a husband and wife team.  The husband is the sushi chef and the wife serves as a waitress.  Service may be a bit slow at times (since it’s just the two of them), but it’s so worth it!  I’ve been here a few times – food has always been consistent and the owners are so nice!

 

The omakase includes:  1 plate of sashimi, 10 pieces of sushi (chef’s choice), 1 handroll, soup and ice cream.  It’s seriously a lot of food.  At my last visit, between 4 of us, we ordered 2 omakase and 2 appetizers and barely finished all the food.

 

See this sign and you know you’re at the right place.  Kantaro is in the same plaza as a liquor store and a laundromat

 

The restaurant is tucked in at the corner

 

The complimentary appetizer – grilled salmon skin with pickled cucumber.  Mmm…

 

The potato salad is also complimentary.  Good flavor, and not heavy with mayonnaise

 

Ankimo/ monkfish liver.  So fresh and creamy, with a bit of ponzu sauce.  One of my favorites.  Yum!  $7.90

 

Spicy squid arms – chewy and tender, but not too spicy.  $5.90

 

Complimentary miso soup – full of seaweed and tofu!

 

This is one of the highlights of the omakase.  If two or more omakase are ordered per party, then the chef will dissect a whole fish, and display it on the platter.  The rest of the fish (head and non-sashimi grade parts) will be fried and served later.  If only ordering 1 omakase, you will just get a plate of various sashimi.  So ordering 2 or more is the way to go!!!  The fish tasted so fresh… as the waitress will tell you, start with the light color fish first, so that your taste buds won’t be overpowered.  🙂

 

The rest of the fish is later fried.  So you get two different textures.  Crunchy and tender, nom nom nom…

 

Scallop and a white fish.  Don’t really need much sauce or wasabi for this, the food’s natural sweetness speaks for itself with a splash of lemon!

 

We ordered 2 omakase sets, which is why there’s 2 plates of the same sushi here.  One was a tuna belly and the other was from a fish that was just flown from the East Coast that day.  Melt in the mouth goodness!

 

My favorite!  Salmon roll and uni.  Both are really good, but nobody beats the uni at Nozomi in my opinion.

 

The fresh water eel

 

Salmon skin with pickled veggies roll

 

Tamago – I love the texture of the omelette!  Just a bit of the soy sauce flavor, and not that sweet.  Mmm…

 

Salmon with pea sprouts

 

Mini chirashi bowl – with sweet shrimp, tuna, squid and masago with a bit of rice at the bottom

 

The sweet shrimp head is taken to be fried, after the mini chirashi bowl has been served.

 

Since I was there for my birthday, the owners were so nice and brought this out especially for me!  The obasan lit up candles on the ice cream, and kept relighting them so that we can take better pictures.  Good times!