Gonpachi, Beverly Hills + photos (long)
Last Sunday, April 8th, we went for dinner at the new Gonpachi Restaurant on La Cienega Blvd. We had an early 5:30 pm reservation, it wasn’t too busy when we arrived, it was quickly getting busier by the time we left.
We really, really liked it. The restaurant is extremely nice, and we got a very peaceful feeling as soon as we walked in. We were seated upstairs, where they have these semi private enclosed tables with a view of the garden and the restaurant downstairs. Service was excellent. I have seen many photos of Gonpachi in Japan, and Gonpachi BH looks just like the one in Japan. The menu includes many different items, from sushi to soba noodles, and great desserts. We ordered many different things from the menu, everything is served in small portions, more like tapas style. For us, it just like a great tasting menu from start to finish. We ordered hot green tea, my dh had a 'moshiso' from the bar, very similar to a cuban mojito.
We had edamame to start, it was great semi warm, and very fresh. Red miso soup, and white miso soup. Shrimp 'Shinjyo', a very good dish. Spider roll, (soft shell crab roll), one of the best I have tasted. Classic California roll, nothing special, but good. Tempura assortment, different kinds of vegetables, shrimp, scallops and fish, about 7 pieces total, also good, but nothing very special about it. From the robatta (sp?) we had chicken with onions, and asparagus wrapped in bacon, both very good, 1 skewer each per order. Also 'corn on the cob', corn was grilled to perfection, it tasted very good, like if it was marinated or something, served with a slice of lime and grated cheese. We also had duck breast served with wasabi mashed potatoes, I loved this dish, can't wait to go again and have more of it. Miso marinated rock cod, served with Japanese eggplant and Japanese pickle slices, another great dish, I still like Nobu's better, but this was very good. Ribeye Steak, very tender beef, I can't exactly remember what was served with it, some kind of vegetables, it was very good, I have to ask my husband or daughter, and I'll let you know later. We also had 'kamo seiro soba', soba noodles served cold with hot dipping sauce, sauce was a vey nice broth with green onions and grilled duck, I will also order this again, the freshly made soba noodles really make a difference. For dessert we had poached pineapple, warm chocolate cake, and citrus gazpacho, and coffee. All three desserts were very good, but my favorite was the citrus gazpacho, for me a perfect ending for this great meal. The coffee was very strong.
We will definitely go back, soon I hope. We liked their food, their service, which was great, and their beautiful and peaceful restaurant. Prices, there's something for everyone, you just order as much or as little as you want. I don't think their prices are excessive, I was actually surprised, since I was expecting a much higher bill. Valet parking available for 5.50. I took many photos, I will try to post as many as I can. Another thing that I noticed is that 90% of the customers that night, while we were there, were Japanese/Asian, and our waitress, a very nice Japanese girl, told us that most of the customers have been Japanese. I can’ wait to go back. We had a great Easter dinner.
glad you liked it! i was tempted to try the kamo seiro soba... someone else at our table tried it actually and i took a sip of the dipping broth. very heady on the duck flavor, but for my first time out i wanted to go with the standard fare.
i do think the place is a little bit on the pricy side, not ridiculously so, but you wind up spend ing a few bucks more than average for the kind of food you're getting. especially if you want to get full that is. those skewers add up. if you are able to and haven't yet already, i'd suggest a trek to one or more of torrance's famed izakaya, yakitori, or soba restaurants at least for the sake of comparison - shin sen gumi, kan yuzen, musha, otafuku, ichimi an honten... gonpachi reminds me of a highlight reel from those places, of course in a more elaborate, luscious setting, which may justify the extra cost depending on what you're looking for.