Category Archives: Fusion

Fishing with Dynamite


1148 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 893-6299


Fishing with Dynamite is a very small restaurant (about 5 tables total), owned by the same chef as MB Post a few doors down.  I’ve heard that it’s very hard to snag a dinner reservation, since the restaurant is so small.  So decided to go here for lunch instead.  Lunch reservation for New Years Eve was relatively easy — just made it on OpenTable!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect — the best seafood I’ve had was in Seattle, and hadn’t had anything in LA that came close.  But the restaurant has an impressive selection of oysters and other seafood.  Everything we had was so fresh and delicious!  Parking is always a little tricky around Manhattan Beach, so make sure you’re parked at one of the longer-term parkings, like the one with the underground parking. Most of the street parking is 2 hours max and may not give you enough time.   Bring lots of coins, as most of the meters only take coins.  Try to make a reservation if you can, otherwise the wait could be horrendously long!


Inside of the restaurant.  Like I’ve mentioned… it is very small!


The oyster sampler with half a dozen oysters.  The oysters come with a little card, which says the type of oyster and the place where it came from.  We also got the live uni (a daily special)!  It was all very fresh, and naturally sweet.  My favorite oyster was the Double DD (second from the right).  The oysters were hands down, some of the best I’ve had.  Mmmm…..  $18.25 for the half dozen oyster sampler.  $15 for the live uni.


The oysters came with 3 different sauces:  horseradish/mignonette, cocktail sauce and the ponzu.  The horseradish and the ponzu were really great on the oysters.  Really brought out the natural taste.


Steamed manila clams comes in a little iron crock.  It’s steamed in tomato, vermouth and linguica, and comes with grilled foccacia bread.  The clams were really tender and flavorful.  And the foccacia was perfect to soak up the sauce with!  $15


The Cape Code Squash Rolls with rosemary butter were really good, but a bit on the small side.  We also used this to dip in the clam sauce.  Mmm…  $5

We’ll be back to try the oyster poboy and the mahi mahi fish tacos!  We saw that people all ordered different dishes and everything looked so good~~

Maruhide Uni Club 丸秀

2130 W Redondo Beach Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504

(310) 323-2864


Maruhide Uni Club started as a store that sells uni (aka sea urchin)… many varieties of uni at that.  In order to introduce their uni to more customers, Maruhide Uni Club launched its restaurant business earlier this year, in May.  The restaurant is located in a small shopping plaza, across the way from Target.  Parking lot is a little small, so try your luck at street parking (shouldn’t be too hard to find) if the lot is full.  The restaurant itself is medium-sized, and we didn’t have much of a wait for a large party on a Saturday at noon.  However, it filled up pretty fast, and by the time we left, there were a few parties waiting.  So, best come earlier!


The store front


You can also buy the different uni choices to go!


From the store’s website — it’s the only factory-direct uni restaurant in the US! And now an omakase (chef’s choice) menu is offered, but must be reserved 7 days in advance.  Tempting…



The menu


The uni cream pasta —  one of my friends ordered this.  It tasted pretty good, there was a lot of uni and the pasta was relatively light.  However, if you like more uni flavor and stronger taste, go for the one at Marugame Monzo in Little Tokyo.


The rest of us opted for the nigiyaka bowl – which is basically a chirashi bowl with lots of uni!  And it came with a small side salad…


And a bowl of broth, which had a sliver of uni…


And the nigiyaka bowl itself!  There’s scallops, salmon, salmon roe, albacore tuna, sea cucumber and 4 different types of uni (fresh uni, marinated uni with squid, salted uni, and uni omelette).  Everything was fresh and the portions were really generous.  I was pretty much uni-ed out by the end of the meal.  I think I definitely prefer fresh uni!  $19.80

I think the nigiyaka bowl is a really good chirashi bowl.  However, if I’m in the mood to just eat good uni, I’d opt for the uni bowl at Nozomi!

The Standing Room

144 N Catalina Ave
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 374-7545


This place serves one of the best burgers in LA, in my opinion.  And it’s not even a full restaurant!  The Standing Room is actually hidden in a corner, INSIDE a liquor store, just blocks from the beach.  The liquor store has a small parking lot, but your best bet would be street parking.  Also, if you’re lucky, you can grab a seat at one of the 3 tables outside.  Otherwise, grab your order and head to the beach for a picnic!

First order from the counter, then pay for the order at the liquor store cash register.  After that, take the receipt and ticket stub to claim your order.  Generally takes 10-15 minutes to cook the burgers/ sandwiches.  Burger patties are cooked medium – perfectly pink in the middle.


The Standing Room literally is at a corner in the liquor store.  You can watch the sports on TV while you wait.  🙂


There’s also a special menu on the side, just in case you can’t choose from the regular menu.  Burgers from the regular menu range from $7 to $14.50.  Sandwiches are $6 to $9.50.  Pretty reasonably priced for the quality and quantity that you get.


This behemoth is known as the Napoleon burger.  It’s 1/2 pound of patty, bacon, smoked gouda, cheddar, caramelized onion, spring mix topped with braised short rib, fried egg… all on top a bed of truffle parmesan fries.  It’s like a meat lover’s dream.  A knife and fork is literally needed to eat this burger… it’s that tall!  Easily enough for 2.  $14.50


I love these truffle parmesan fries!!!  Tossed in truffle oil and grated parmesan cheese, The Standing Room version also has seaweed flakes (I think they must use furikake) which gives it such an unique flavor!  The fries are fresh and crunchy.  Nom nom nom… this is one order and it’s more than enough for 2-3 people.  $4.50


The Dressed Burger – 1/2 pound patty, bacon, caramelized onion, spring mix, bleu, smoked gouda, fried egg, tomato jam and Korean aioli.  I’m told this is also one of their most popular burgers.  The tomato jam gives it a sweet and savory taste, but couldn’t really taste the Korean aioli.  Loved the fried egg and gouda on the burger.  $8.50


The Standing Room also does really great sweet potato fries and the portion is also generous.  $4.50

Kotosh Peruvian


2408 Lomita Blvd
Lomita, CA 90717

(310) 257-1363


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 , 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!

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!

Tin Roof Bistro

3500 N Sepulveda Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 546-6180


A lot of my friends have August and September birthdays.  One of my friends chose this place for her b-day dinner.  I didn’t even know it was so close to me — it’s located in the same plaza as the Manhattan Village Mall.

Tin Roof Bistro is a pretty cozy place, with an extensive menu that has something for almost everyone.  There’s the regular menu plus daily specials.  Also, there’s a long wine menu as well.  Of course, some of us yelped before going to the restaurant, so we’d know what to order.  😉

Food is pretty good, although I think the pizzas are probably the highlights, besides the innovative appetizers.  Give it a try if you’re in the area.


Haystack fries – shoestring fries, garlic, homemade blue cheese dressing, dash of spicy sauce.  Yum!  6.00


Indian-spiced spinach dip – fresh spinach, cheese, curried cream, woodfire flatbread. This was highly recommended on Yelp and the Yelpers are right! 12.00


Soup of the day:  cream of mushroom.  I could taste the mushrooms.  Very good!  Make sure you tell the waiter/waitress which size you’d like.  They didn’t ask me and out came a big bowl, which I could barely finish…  cup 3.50  / Bowl 6.50


Fig and Pig pizza – this was brilliant!  Perfect blend of sweet and savory. Smoked bacon, figs, garlic, mozzarella, blue cheeses, balsamic syrup 13.50


Cobb salad – lots of chicken!  Romaine, tender chicken morsels, bacon, black grapes, walnuts, celery, crispy shallots, avocado and a combo of herbed vinaigrette & homemade blue cheese dressing 12.50


Lamb bolognese with pappardelle – homemade pasta, sauteed spinach, shaved parmesan, 12-hour sauce.  You can taste the richness of the sauce! 21.00