Torihei

1757 W Carson St
Ste A
Torrance, CA 90501

Hours:  Mon-Sun 5:30 pm – 12 am

(310) 781-9407

 

Torihei is a really great yakitori/izakaya restaurant in Torrance.  Izakaya restaurants are Japanese beer houses, featuring small dishes.  Yakitori is basically meat or vegetable on skewers.  Torihei is only open for dinner, and since the restaurant is on the small/medium side, reservations are highly recommended to avoid a long wait!  Torihei is located in the same center as Musha and Nozomi – so parking is a breeze.

My last visit here was New Years Eve, which is one of the very few times that Torihei does not accept reservations.  Even so, the wait wasn’t too bad – it was about 45 minutes.  When you sit down, you’ll have a few different order forms!  One for the yakitori items, 1 for the oden items, and 1 for the yakitori.  Don’t be daunted!  Take a look at what other people have ordered… and also take a look at what we ordered:

 

Started off with some apple shoju.    Shoju is basically flavored sake.  Torihei uses chilled small apples to be served as shot glasses for the shoju.  So cute and ingenious!  This is the regular size at $8.99.  You can also order a large for $12.99.  The apple shoju is a little sweet but wonderful flavor!  I could hardly taste the alcohol…  mmm….

 

This is one of Torihei’s most popular dishes: chopped cucumber with sesame oil.  The cucumber is wonderfully seasoned with the sesame oil, and mixed with the tomato.  It’s both crunchy and refreshing!  $5.95

 

The cabbage salad is also one of the most ordered items.  It’s a simple cabbage salad tossed with scallions, in sesame dressing.  It’s also light and refreshing, especially to balance out the yakitori meats!  $5.95

 

This is also one of Torihei’s specialties:  half-done egg.  The eggs are immersed in the oden broth, while covered with salmon roe.  For people who love runny eggs, this is a must order!  $1.95

 

Grilled squid!  The WHOLE squid is grilled, then lightly brushed with yakitori sauce and is served with a side of mayo.  The squid is juicy and tender, and you can really taste the squid’s natural flavor!  $5.95

 

Chicken wing – the skin is crispy while the meat is juicy inside.  It’s just seasoned with salt,  simple yet so tasty!  $2.50

 

Asparagus with pork – it’s literally pork-wrapped asparagus.  The pork is a little crispy, and drizzled with a curry sauce.  Yum!  $3.95 for an order of 2.

 

Bacon-wrapped okra – perfect blend of meat and vegetable.  This is also seasoned with just salt, but so delicious!  $2.50

 

I love the “robata” rice balls at Torihei!  The rice balls are lightly covered with soy sauce, then grilled, so that the rice is crispy with a slightly burnt taste.  Just a warning – this make take up to 30 minutes to prepare, so make sure to order them during the first round!  Comes with the yellow pickled radish, and pickled mustard.  The rice balls are pretty sizable so 1 per person is more than enough.  $2.20 per rice ball.

 

Grilled shrimp!  It’s seasoned with salt and served with a dollop of mayo.  I didn’t try this but my friend said it was really good.

 

The Korean short-ribs.  We did not expect the plate to be so generous!  This is just 1 order.  The meat tastes a little sweeter than the traditional Korean version, but nonetheless, it was very soft and tender!   I think it was $5.95 or $6.95

 

Torihei’s chicken meatballs are also really tasty.  The meatballs are a good size, are lightly grilled with a yakitori sauce, and yet so juicy!  $1.80 per skewer

 

Torihei’s chicken meatballs are so good, but covered in cheese, they’re even better!  $2.50 per skewer

 

Chicken breast skewers!  You can select from 3 different sauces – spicy cod roe (the bottom 2), plum sauce (the middle) or with wasabi (the top two).  I liked the spicy roe version the best!  $1.80 per skewer

 

This is the fried pumpkin with cornflakes.  Little did we know it’d be a dessert sort of item.  The pumpkin is actually kabocha squash.  Dip the fried pumpkin in the accompanied vanilla ice cream, and you get the best of both worlds (hot and cold!).  YUM!  $5.95

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