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Cafe Suehiro Report [little tokyo]

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I enjoyed this homestyle Japanese cafe so much I ended up eating here two nights in a row. The food is simple and delicious and the endearing American coffee shop atmosphere is hard not to like. Suehiro reminded me of a favorite restaurant in Chicago known as Sunshine Cafe.

The first night I went for the House Special - a sweet miso based stir-fry of eggplant and green pepper and your choice of protein. This is a baroque textural symphony, crisp pepper, absorbing tender eggplant and nicely fried yielding tofu - all deftly stirfried in the perfect amount of an addicting sweet miso sauce -remeniscent of Mabo tofu. It was a pleasure to eat this with the foil of the rice. This came with a well-executed sunomono [bit sparse with the krab] and a miso soup which came with abura-age - a favorite.

The Mugicha was pretty watered down as I could barely detect any roasty quality.

The next night my friend came with - the place was packed at 5pm - we had to wait a bit.
I was in the recovering stages of a nasty cold so I tried out the Zosui - the rice cooked in broth with chicken and shrimp. I also ordered the sunomono again and a Tsukemono Moriawase ( Assorted pickle).

My friend had the Yakisoba.

This was my first time having Zosui - kind of like a Congee or Korean jook of sorts. This was a stellar choice, the piping hot rice (came in steel cooking element) in dashi broth was interspersed with chopped sweet shrimp and tender, wonderfully juicy chunks of thigh meat chicken. A Perfect bundle of spinach was nestled to the side. Finely Chopped fish cake and Aonori (seaweed powder) garnished this homey, comforting and filling dish. My cold felt immediately better.

The surprise of the evening was the decked out and overflowing tsukemono assortment. I am a japanese pickle junkie so I was thrilled. There was takuan, a beautifully cut fresh cucumber asazuke, a vaguely sauerkraut remeniscent hari-hari zuke, beautiful purple shibazuke, and my favorite the sweet Narazuke.

What a great place.

http://flickr.com/photos/98128783@N00/

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  1. I love Suehiro, because it's been a staple for so many years...I think I've been going there at least 20 years, maybe more. I usually get the nabeyaki udon or the soba but I really need to try that eggplant, Dommy has mentioned it too!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chowpatty

      At least 20 years. My favorite lunch special was the one with the grilled "Saury Pike".

    2. Too funny... just had lunch there yesterday with some folks I work with. Really good Japanese comfort food. I had the nabeyake udon and zori soba (yes i know that is two lunches). Others had the katsu curry (pork), katsu don (pork) and udon curry (i think?). All enjoyed.

      Really liked the writing in the sidewalk along that street.

      1. Great pics! Suehiro brings back SO many memories for me. :D Glad you enjoyed it and you just reminded me that I need to take P. to try that egg plant... SO delish... ;D

        --Dommy!

        1. How did you guys first come across this place?

          1 Reply
          1. re: kare_raisu

            I have been going to Suehiro's since before they were on 1st street. They used to be on 2nd. When I first arrived in L.A. from NYC I needed a late night place...there they were!

          2. Comfort food is the word. Tonkatsu Kare Raisu, Nabeyaki Udon, Sukiyaki... Been going there for 20+ years.

            1. i'm another long-time eater there, at least 15 years. one of my favorite summertime dishes is the soba noodles with lots of ingredients, including the little fried bits of tempura. for some reason this morning, i'm blanking on all my names. but try it when the temperature downtown hits 95.