Torrance, CA 90501
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!