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shin sen gumi yakitori in gardena (with pics)

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little else needs to be said about this place - most already consider it the best yakitori in L.A. (and the ever-long wait in line reflects it!) but i finally got a chance to chronicle my ordering habits there, as i try to go at least once a month. i think i overdose on the skewers, and astonishingly, i think yakitori-ya on sawtelle actually has a better tare negima, but ssg's shio negima stands head and shoulders above anything that has ever been impaled by a sharp wooden stick. also i can't get enough of their bacon-wrapped goodies and the general atmosphere of the place. i think their tsukune might have been a little off though - anyone else been lately?

http://www.xanga.com/rickmond/5105757... for the food porn photos...

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  1. Yummm!!! Thaks for the review and details... we'll have to try totally! :)

    --Dommy!

    1. Yummm, yummm! I'm there!

      Rameniac -- great photos (sorry to have drooooled on them!), and I love the commentary along the way.

      1. Great webpage. The photo of the chicken hearts did me in; Liu's not the only one drooling.

        1. did you get the pork belly wrapped around shiso leaf? that's the one i order in multiples. also the potato croquette (!!!?)

          1. I went to the Fountain Valley location this evening. Do I dare say that I give it the edge over Honda Ya?

            1. Honda Ya > SSG so far. First try of SSG: very dissappointing! Prior to going to LAX my gf and I decided to try SSG in Gardena. Heard great things about it but we were thoroughly dissapointed. It began with a 25 minute wait outside with empty tables and seats in plain view of the waiting patrons. Once inside, we ordered 8 various skewers and waiting literally an hour--THIS IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION. As we sat at our table, I counted 36 people in the place that can seat probably 70. While waitingat our table, we had plenty of time to observe the operation. It appeared as if the cooks had a little too much to drink. They appeared confused at the grill, walking back and forth and seemingly having to correct everyones skewer order. Expectedly, after an hour wait, we received the wrong skewers. There is quite a bit of yelling (hellos, goodbyes and thank yous) by the staff in this small restaurant--which might have been more tolerable if we were not so irritated. All other irritations aside, the assessment of the food was fair/poor. Selection is comparable to other yakitori grills (ie Honda Ya in Fountain Valley...etc.), method is identical (charcoal grill), portions are smaller than most, exectution of the grilling was good and presentation was sloppy. We are going to give it another try in the interest of fairness and hope they do better. On the night we went, it appeared to be a place where alcohol had brought the standards down of both the cooks and the patrons. We realize this happens and will try them again even though we pretty much feel other places are equal and mostly superior in the perspectives of quality and selection of food--(Honda Ya definitely). Based on our first visit: if loud atmosphere, drinking and comradarie is what you're looking for, SSG was a great place. However, for food Honda Ya has the edge so far.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ChefDawg

                Interesting, when were you there? I was there last week and things were spot on.

                Of course, alcohol does play a major factor in the night...both for the guests and for the chefs...but that's half the fun! =D