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Shishito peppers--where else to try them

slacker Aug 25, 2006 12:31 AM

I don't think I've had them before, but have tried them at three different Japanese restaurants in the last week. They are small green mild peppers, roasted with soy sauce and topped with bonito shavings. And I am now addicted! Is anyone else eating them too? And where?

Beacon (Culver City): lightly roasted with lots of sauce (soy and ponzu, I think) and lots of bonito, I liked these the best so far.

Sushi Karen (Culver City): over-roasted, but they removed the stems, so it's even easier to pop in your mouth. A little greasy, bonito shaved a little heavy.

Shaab (Pasadena): lightly roasted, a bit greasy.

  1. liu Aug 25, 2006 12:48 AM

    slacker -- I, too, am addicted to these small, mild peppers.

    Beacon is at the top of my list, but I also like the ones at Nanbankan. They are grilled with a secret spice shake and a secret slather of probably soy or sake or mirin???? I have asked, but they don't tell! Their smoky grill adds a lot of subtle flavor, so this might be my second choice; unfortunately, they don't serve them with bonito flakes.

    I try them whenever and wherever I see them on a menu! I am looking forward to other responses here to your search!

    1. s
      smogqueen Aug 25, 2006 12:58 AM

      Ita-Cho on Beverly has my favorite version of Shishitos. They are not overly greasy, a little bit crispy and full of flavor. We always have to get an extra order.

      3 Replies
      1. re: smogqueen
        liu Aug 25, 2006 01:11 AM

        smogqueen - What else can you tell me about Ita-Cho? Is it a good destination for dinner?

        1. re: liu
          smogqueen Aug 25, 2006 02:30 AM

          Ita-Cho is very nice for dinner. They have a lot of Japanese country-style dishes - some creative sashimi and a lot of interesting vegetables. It is fun to go there and order a bunch of stuff to share. All of their fish is very fresh and well-prepared. I also very much like their marinated lotus root, spinach/gomae and baked mushrooms. They have some kind of pork belly dish that I remember as very good as well.

          The service can be a little rushed and impersonal, but it is worth checking out.

        2. re: smogqueen
          cincyn Aug 19, 2008 02:55 PM

          I totally second that. And they have great food. Alway been one of our favorites!

        3. p
          peifferc Aug 25, 2006 02:09 AM

          Ita Cho.

          Also "Sake House Miro" at 809 S La Brea (near Wilshire.)
          Very good there.

          1. L nrs Aug 25, 2006 02:15 AM

            You should double check (I've been on a grilled okra kick of late, instead of shishito) as pregnancy has dulled my brain as well as my taste for spice, but I'm pretty sure you can get them at Haru Ulala and Kokeokoko. Both in Little Tokyo downtown.

            3 Replies
            1. re: L nrs
              ironykettle Aug 25, 2006 03:03 AM

              Yep, Haru Ulala has them, or did last October when I ate there. Tasty!

              1. re: ironykettle
                lotta_cox Jan 28, 2008 04:20 PM

                haru ulala still had them the week prior to christmas 2007, and they were FAB!!!!!! we had several orders.

              2. re: L nrs
                themirthmobile Aug 25, 2006 04:11 PM

                I had a special of these peppers stuffed with spicy tuna and then battered and fried tempura style at Haru Ulala a couple months ago. They were sooooo delicious.

              3. m
                MrShoop Aug 25, 2006 02:16 AM

                You should try the Japansese Korean BBQ's (e.g. Gyu-Kaku). You can grill and season yourself. :)

                1. tritip Aug 25, 2006 02:23 AM

                  The Hump in Santa Monica. Very fresh, not too mushy. Lightly sauced. Perfect spiciness.

                  1. omotosando Aug 25, 2006 03:48 AM

                    I second Nanbakan on Santa Monica Blvd., just west of the 405. Not too greasy - perfectly seasoned. By the way, I have been growing my own shishito peppers in a pot. Pretty easy and I walk outside in the morning, pick a few and scramble them in my omelet (yum). I bought the shishito plant at the bonsai nursery on Sawtelle.

                    1. liu Aug 25, 2006 04:17 AM

                      Our pepper plants are very productive this year -- though no success with the tomatoes. We found our shishito plants at San Gabriel Nursery, a Japanese grower. They had a lot of different varieties of peppers.

                      Our gas grill, however, can not compare to the charcoal effect of Nanbankan -- even if we are able to crack their very secret seasoning code!

                      Perhaps next year we will take a walk through the Sawtelle nurseries as you have mentioned (I think there are at least a couple there?)and buy our pepper plants on the Westside. Thanks!

                      1. c
                        CulverJack Aug 25, 2006 05:43 AM

                        Kiriko on Sawtelle - had them just last night in 2 dishes - one was shishito and portabello in a ponzu-like sauce with a bit more sweetness than most. Great dish. Also a couple garnishing spicy fried burdock. Very artful, another good dish.

                        1. luswei Aug 25, 2006 04:14 PM

                          Izayoi, Haru Ulala, Koshiji, Sakura House, Gyu Kaku...and at home (Buy at Mitsuwa, HK Market, etcetera!) I'm also growing a few shishito pepper plants -- bought them from a hardware store on 1st ave in Little Tokyo.

                          1. j
                            Jonah Aug 25, 2006 05:33 PM

                            The only place I have had them is Hamakawa downtown on Central, just on the outskirts of Little Tokyo. I'm going to have to pick up one of those plants on Sawtelle!

                            1. e
                              echo eater Aug 25, 2006 06:07 PM

                              BLD on Beverly/Vista has them in their crispy tofu salad. yum

                              1. b
                                bobbyperu Aug 25, 2006 06:50 PM

                                The Zen Grill (I've had them at the one on Third Street, and the one on Olympic, haven't been to the one in the valley) has a delicious side dish of sauteed shishito peppers - I always have to get an order to share when I go there.

                                1. liu Aug 25, 2006 07:01 PM

                                  What a great post, slacker! I could not have imagined so many shishito peppers in this city! I oftentimes look at the menu and stop when I come to my favorite...but I know I must be missing a lot by not reading on. I really think there is a technique to REALLY reading a menu.

                                  1. j
                                    Jerome Aug 25, 2006 08:03 PM

                                    I don't get it. They're everywhere. Try any kushiyaki place
                                    Kuishimbo in the Valley.
                                    14622 VENTURA BLVD #207
                                    SHERMAN OAKS

                                    and I'm pretty sure Kyushu ramen has them as well
                                    KYUSHU RAMEN
                                    15355 SHERMAN WY #N
                                    VAN NUYS

                                    1. b
                                      budlit Aug 25, 2006 10:37 PM

                                      try the ones at orris with crispy proscuitto & parm cheese....so good

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: budlit
                                        maybelle Aug 25, 2006 11:37 PM

                                        I second this rec for Orris.

                                        1. re: maybelle
                                          hrhboo Jun 7, 2007 11:21 AM

                                          Third it!

                                      2. Akitist Jun 6, 2007 06:39 PM

                                        I was searching shishitos and found this older topic on Chowhound. Hope nobody minds if I resurrect it.

                                        We've grown these and they are delicious fried. They do have a Mr. Hyde side, fairly hot when red, and getting hot before that. Not all of them are mild, so don''t be shocked when you get a little heat.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Akitist
                                          liu Jun 7, 2007 07:54 AM

                                          Thanks for the warning, Akitist. We did decide to grow them this year after having enjoyed them in so many L.A. izakaya places; we found these and many other small pepper plants at the San Gabriel Nursery. They are not quite ready for picking, but now I will watch them closely so that we can harvest before they begin to show red!

                                        2. m
                                          Mos Jun 7, 2007 09:15 AM

                                          I haven't had it there in a while, but I think that Azami on Melrose often has an excellent sautee shihito in miso!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Mos
                                            liu Jun 7, 2007 09:55 AM

                                            I enjoy Azami, and when I am at a sushi bar, the sushi is the main event and I forget to ask about some of their cooked specialties. Thanks for reminding me to inquire about shishito peppers, as I have found that they are often available but sometimes not on the menu.

                                            1. re: liu
                                              Mos Jun 7, 2007 12:44 PM

                                              You're welcome Liu!

                                              While I do love their sushi, I think that they often have a really interesting mix of cooked dishes - some fusion type things and others that are more traditional.

                                          2. m
                                            moeberg Jun 7, 2007 11:08 AM

                                            iroha and wa.

                                            misoy in a good way, well done, bonito topped and totally delicious.

                                            1. d
                                              diningdivala Jun 8, 2007 10:24 AM

                                              At Japon Bistro in Pasadena, they stuff them with spicy tuna and tempura fry them. Sounds like a lot, but you can taste the pepper, the coating isn't too greasy, and the tuna inside is delicious (but it does get a bit cooked). These are one of my weaknesses, and almost always the reason we'll go to JB and deal with the OK sushi. Plus, it's close to home.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: diningdivala
                                                liu Jun 8, 2007 05:28 PM

                                                You have reminded me of a similar dish at Izayoi in Little Tokyo. It was quite different because as you pointed out, diningdivala, the tuna gets cooked. I think I would prefer a post-stuffed shishito that they cook first, and then stuff with spicy tuna.

                                              2. gomagoma Jun 8, 2007 06:01 PM

                                                I just had a few that came with the abalone tempura at Mori Sushi - not really a side order though as it was part of the omakase course dish.

                                                1. g
                                                  girlwonder Jan 7, 2008 04:45 PM

                                                  I know I am bringing this up again but does anyone know where to buy these lovely peppers? Any markets in Los Angeles????

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: girlwonder
                                                    Servorg Jan 7, 2008 04:56 PM

                                                    Check with Nijiya Market on Sawtelle just north of Oympic Blvd. in West LA or Mitsuwa Market on Centinela Blvd. @ Venice Blvd. in Mar Vista.

                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                      girlwonder Jan 7, 2008 05:00 PM

                                                      next time I get over to that side o' town

                                                    2. re: girlwonder
                                                      Hailyn Jan 7, 2008 05:04 PM

                                                      Check out the supermarkets in Little Tokyo: Nijiya (in the Japanese Village Plaza between First and Second and Central and Los Angeles); Mitsuwa (3rd and Alameda); Marukai (in the Weller Court at Second and Los Angeles).

                                                      1. re: Hailyn
                                                        girlwonder Jan 7, 2008 05:39 PM


                                                    3. i
                                                      ickster Jan 29, 2008 08:23 AM

                                                      At Izayoi I had a heaping plate of grilled Shisito peppers that were sprinkled with a good amount of Bonito flakes. I enjoyed them this way. Im not sure if it was on their menu or was one of the specials. The kitchen is pretty accomodating when asking for specific items.

                                                      1. TonyC Apr 24, 2008 05:30 PM

                                                        Korean markets sell shishito peppers.

                                                        i deep fry 'em just like padron peppers, then sprinkle (white) pepper + salt.

                                                        1. p
                                                          PayOrPlay Apr 24, 2008 06:37 PM

                                                          I just bought some at Nijiya, very nice looking. At some times of the year (but not right now, I don't think) they're available at the farmers markets, Easy to cook; we just wok 'em with minimal oil. Also they may be still be on the menu at Mishima on 3rd (but IIRC no longer at its spinoff Yashima on Sawtelle).

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: PayOrPlay
                                                            omotosando Apr 24, 2008 07:58 PM

                                                            The proprietor of the Flora Bella stand at the Wednesday and Saturday Santa Monica farmer's markets said he will have them this summer.

                                                          2. j
                                                            jotfoodie Apr 25, 2008 07:58 AM

                                                            Kushiyu in Tarzana on Ventura Blvd serve them Kushiyaki style (Tasty Tidbits on Skewers) or some would say Yakitori (w/c is mainly chicken technically). While you are there, you can try their Ground Chicken w/ Chives (Nira Tsukune), also in skewer. You can find Shishito peppers in both Japanese and Korean supermarkets. The former is more pricy. I always oven roasted them at home, put a little mirin or ponzu, enjoy with a glass of sake and I guarantee it will give you a grin.

                                                            18713 Ventura Blvd
                                                            Tarzana, CA 91356
                                                            (818) 609-9050

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: jotfoodie
                                                              mc michael Aug 20, 2012 12:01 PM

                                                              At Kushiyu last night, there was an off menu item of yellowtail sashimi with truffle oil. Very rich and quite tasty.

                                                            2. o
                                                              Ollie Apr 29, 2008 06:26 PM

                                                              Nebu @ Agoura sushi makes a great Shishto plate!

                                                              1. d
                                                                deadre Apr 29, 2008 11:13 PM

                                                                In Calabasas, a wonderful place called Bonzai or Banzai. I tried them and became immediately addicted. Since I live on the westside, I just found them at a little shabu- shabu dive on Pico and Barrington called Shabu-something. Sorry to be so vague. They're a tad greasy but still addicting....

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: deadre
                                                                  Servorg Apr 30, 2008 05:02 PM

                                                                  http://www.banzaisushi.com/ and I think the Shabu place is called Shabu Shabu and it's in the same little mini mall as Raku, (a really good Korean influrenced Izakaya) on the SE corner of Barrington and Olympic.

                                                                2. Mr. Gohan Apr 30, 2008 12:18 PM

                                                                  my favorite places to eat shishito is Koshiji in Little Tokyo. They grill these with a miso glaze. They are absolutely delicious. Also, I always order the garlic shishito at Tokyo Table, also very delicious!

                                                                  1. LindseyH Apr 30, 2008 09:04 PM

                                                                    Just had some tonight!

                                                                    Sushi Asakura (Camarillo)

                                                                    1. c
                                                                      cheesenun Apr 30, 2008 09:12 PM

                                                                      on 3rd just east of la cienega on the south side of the street. it's a relatively new restaurant by katsu-ya...and if i try and spell it it will be wrong. i love them and they're great there

                                                                      1. c
                                                                        cheesenun Apr 30, 2008 09:19 PM

                                                                        try the relatively new restaurant by katsu-ya on 3rd just east of la cienega...more specifically between la cienega and orlando...south side of the street. i would tell you the name but i can't spell it.

                                                                        1. c
                                                                          cincyn Aug 19, 2008 02:58 PM

                                                                          also, Sushi Go 55 has good ones!

                                                                          Sushi Go 55
                                                                          333 S Alameda St Ste 317, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                                                                          1. nomnomnoms Aug 19, 2008 02:59 PM

                                                                            Sasaya's is pretty good too... They give you quite a bit.

                                                                            1. c
                                                                              Cinnamon Mar 24, 2009 07:20 PM

                                                                              Soban on Washington just east of the Costco shopping center, next to the Victorian building. I really liked the peppers here, sort of dry-fried (or whatever).

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Cinnamon
                                                                                Cinnamon Mar 25, 2009 05:41 PM

                                                                                I have just been informed on another thread that Soban may have changed its name to Sushi but same ownership.

                                                                              2. westsidegal Feb 11, 2011 12:48 PM

                                                                                my friends go for the ones prepared at K-Zo on culver blvd in culver city.
                                                                                haven't tried them myself.

                                                                                9240 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                                                                                1. e
                                                                                  estone888 Feb 11, 2011 01:19 PM

                                                                                  I had a lovely dish of them just last week at Barbrix on Hyperion in Silverlake.

                                                                                  1. johnnyshungry Feb 11, 2011 02:42 PM

                                                                                    I love this post is from 2006.
                                                                                    I recently said while out eating somewhere that was not a asian restaurant,
                                                                                    "geez is everyone serving shishito I'm seeing them everywhere I go".
                                                                                    I had to laugh when I saw this post as the 3rd post from the top on the board

                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                      compucook Aug 8, 2012 01:02 AM

                                                                                      My DH heard good things about them and wants to try them. I'll check the Japanese markets, but can you suggest restaurants in Culver City or the SFvalley where we can find them already cooked?

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: compucook
                                                                                        Baron Aug 8, 2012 09:25 AM

                                                                                        Just bought some at the Japanese market at Centinela and Venice Blvd. Very cheap. Fry them in a little oil.

                                                                                        1. re: Baron
                                                                                          liu Aug 8, 2012 01:36 PM

                                                                                          Add soy into the pan -- and perhaps a little honey or brown sugar -- to give them color.

                                                                                          You can also bake them in the oven with a tiny bit of oil plus soy and dust with brown sugar.

                                                                                          Adding mirin into the mix will give you a Japanese touch!

                                                                                        2. re: compucook
                                                                                          MonsieurKnowItAll Aug 21, 2012 12:04 AM

                                                                                          Culver City? K-Zo has it. Pretty standard: soy sauce, bonito shavings.

                                                                                          Anyone know of a place serving non-boring shishitos? Like stuffed with bacon or sausage?

                                                                                          1. re: MonsieurKnowItAll
                                                                                            Ciao Bob Aug 21, 2012 09:00 AM

                                                                                            ink had a very, very unique and tasty shishito dish on the menu a few days ago:
                                                                                            "shishito peppers, almond-bonito sand, tofu mustard"
                                                                                            It was really good.

                                                                                            1. re: Ciao Bob
                                                                                              MonsieurKnowItAll Aug 21, 2012 11:59 PM

                                                                                              That sounds crazy good. Thanks.

                                                                                            2. re: MonsieurKnowItAll
                                                                                              gordo26 Aug 23, 2012 09:22 AM

                                                                                              Not bacon but Kiriko does it with Truffle oil....I now do it that way at home. Very tasty.

                                                                                          2. Ciao Bob Aug 8, 2012 02:01 PM

                                                                                            Had a specail pizza at Mother dough last night with shishito and soprasatta - really good.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Ciao Bob
                                                                                              gordo26 Aug 10, 2012 11:49 PM

                                                                                              Kiriko does a nice dish of Shesitos with truffle oil. Love it.

                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                              MsLyn Aug 11, 2012 01:32 PM

                                                                                              Try them at Olio on W. 3rd St. in Los Angeles. It's a really small pizza place with great food. The peppers are roasted in the wood burning oven and served with a citrus aioli dipping sauce.

                                                                                              1. Servorg Aug 20, 2012 12:40 PM

                                                                                                While I only got one with my shrimp bowl at Hannosuke it was delicious (done tempura style just like everything else in the bowl). I wonder if I can buy more of the peppers separately or added to the bowl? I'll ask next time around.


                                                                                                1. t
                                                                                                  trimtab Aug 23, 2012 04:15 PM

                                                                                                  My daughter was visiting from back East and just made some Shishitos lightly fried and sprinkled with kosher salt. So simple but they knocked me out! I'm in the Pasadena/La Canada area. Can anyone recommend where I might find them around here?

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: trimtab
                                                                                                    Kittyf Aug 23, 2012 05:06 PM

                                                                                                    I love the ones Fumito-san serves at the Ai in South Pasadena (on Fair Oaks)

                                                                                                  2. orythedog Aug 29, 2012 12:33 PM

                                                                                                    CUT. They serve them with wild mushrooms. Very tasty.

                                                                                                    1. Novelli Aug 29, 2012 01:31 PM

                                                                                                      Also known as Friarelli peppers (Italian) or Padron peppers (Spanish).

                                                                                                      Sotto has them fire grilled, salted and topped with fried capers. Good stuff.

                                                                                                      1. m
                                                                                                        merna Jul 21, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                                        Late to the game here, but Gjelina on Abbot Kinney in Venice serves a wonderful version.

                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                          steveburstein Jul 21, 2013 12:54 PM

                                                                                                          I believe Pedalers Fork in Calabasas has them on the menu. Haven't tried them so I don't have an opinion.

                                                                                                          1. y
                                                                                                            yoyo Jul 21, 2013 06:16 PM

                                                                                                            I had Shishito peppers at Asian Ya in West-La. The table next to me had them on their table. It was stir fried in a garlic sauce. The smell from the other table was so good that I had to order it for myself. It tasted as good as it smelled. Don't forget to get the tan tan mien.
                                                                                                            11660 Gateway Blvd
                                                                                                            Los Angeles, CA 90064

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