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ISO Japanese HOT food in the SGV

calabasas_trafalgar Jul 2, 2007 11:56 AM

I've got plenty of options for sushi, but it seems to me that the options for good HOT Japanese food have gotten extremely slim. There's Yama in Alhambra, Hanashima in Monterey Park, Hanabi in Temple City, and that's about it. Most of the rest I've tried(and that's a lot)range from mediocre to downright terrible. But I'm open to suggestions. I need to find someplace to replace Sushi of Naples(which has slid drastically in the last few months).

  1. rantsnravesnreviews Jul 15, 2007 01:49 PM

    Mako in Arcadia has decent hot food. The tempura is good, not greasy, love the yellowtail collar, a big piece and always cooked perfectly, udon is also good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rantsnravesnreviews
      calabasas_trafalgar Jul 16, 2007 12:00 AM

      I can't eat there. My wife used to work there and we don't like the owner.

    2. e
      Ernie Jul 9, 2007 11:55 AM

      Taihei in Monterey Park. Old-school place that has been there for years and a fixture for local Nisei and Sansei. Try their specials, I love the squid with ponzu when they have it

      6 Replies
      1. re: Ernie
        calabasas_trafalgar Jul 9, 2007 12:48 PM

        Hot food?

        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
          Ernie Jul 9, 2007 01:17 PM

          Yes, it is warm grilled squid served over Japanese-style greens. They have a small sushi bar, but I like their hot dishes and specials best

        2. re: Ernie
          calabasas_trafalgar Jul 19, 2007 11:02 AM

          I was all set to got here last night, but i couldn't find it. I discovered my error when I got home - it's on Garfield instead of Atlantic where I was looking. Doh! Oh well, at least I found out that Yama got their air-conditioning fixed, and that they do have good sushi!

          1. re: Ernie
            calabasas_trafalgar Jul 25, 2007 11:27 PM

            Finally went there tonight and it's(Taihei)wonderful. First of all, I love Japanese restaurants run by Japanese - just makes you feel more welcome and secure(and its pretty easy to tell - they speak Japanese to one another instead of Korean). I had a tempura tonkatsu combo and the wife had chiarashi, and we had their special roll, yellowtail paste with green onion - sublime. This was the first visit of many,I'm sure.

            Any idea about the shabu shabu place next door?

            1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
              Ernie Jul 25, 2007 11:31 PM

              So glad you liked Taihei! Simple, unpretentious, and friendly and always a comforting experience to dine there. Unfortunately I have never tried the shabu shabu place

              1. re: Ernie
                calabasas_trafalgar Aug 6, 2007 11:09 AM

                I went back to Taihei this weekend, this time for sushi, and it was fabulous. I would put them on a par with Z Sushi, Sushi Gen, and Toros. Now we have plenty of alternatives, and no need to venture to the Westside or SFV and all the trendy snobs.

          2. ipsedixit Jul 2, 2007 02:13 PM

            Well, there's SAN SUI TEI for ramen in Temple City.

            Also, DUCKS for curry in Temple City.

            Oh, and don't forget Tokyo Lobby ... just kidding.

            1. m
              Michelle Jul 2, 2007 12:24 PM


              We like Maki & Sushi in Arcadia and Sachi Sushi in Pasadena for their hot dishes...


              13 Replies
              1. re: Michelle
                calabasas_trafalgar Jul 2, 2007 12:52 PM

                Where is Sachi Sushi?

                1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                  monkuboy Jul 2, 2007 01:19 PM

                  Sachi Sushi is pretty good, too. They're right across the street from Vroman's bookstore on Colorado - something like 890 East Colorado? Small place, with indoor and outdoor seating.

                  1. re: monkuboy
                    calabasas_trafalgar Jul 2, 2007 03:04 PM

                    Oh, THAT place. I meant to go there years ago, but it kinda fell off the radar. Must try soon.

                    BTW, Tokyo Lobby is not that bad. But its not that good either...

                    I prefer Kiyosuzu for sushi as opposed to hot food.

                2. re: Michelle
                  Fru Jul 2, 2007 03:27 PM

                  There is a Teri & Yaki (used to be called Himeko) on Arroyo sort of across from Houston's. It is more take out but it is delicious. I second Sachi Sushi. I swear by their sushi as well and have been eating there for probably 15 years. They are very nice people and I like to patronize places where you are treated well. I also really like Matsuri on Green between Catalina and Wilson. Again, great sushi as well and the people are nice, nice, nice.

                  1. re: Fru
                    calabasas_trafalgar Jul 9, 2007 11:53 AM

                    I tried it(Sachi) over the weekend and was pretty underwhelmed. Maybe they are better for sushi, but the hot food was nothing special. My wife ordered tendon, and said it was the strangest she has ever had. I had a tempura/teriyaki combo. The teriyaki was average, the tempura overdone, and with the blandest sauce you can imagine. Yes, the people were nice, but that only goes so far.

                    Another source revealed these:

                    Bento-Ya in Arcadia
                    Bishamon in Covina
                    Raku Raku in Glendora
                    Shina No Yoru and Sushi Osho in Monterey Park
                    Yoshida in San Marino

                    any takers on any of them?

                    1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                      ipsedixit Jul 9, 2007 12:54 PM

                      Yoshida is mostly sushi (very little in the way of "hot" food).

                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                        Fru Jul 13, 2007 09:10 PM

                        Sorry. I know they can be inconsistent with the hot stuff but like I said, I've been eating there about 15 years. Have you tried Matsuri? Yum on Yoshida. I haven't tried any of the others (too lazy to try any further east). I'm a transplanted Val.

                        1. re: Fru
                          calabasas_trafalgar Jul 14, 2007 08:32 PM

                          We tried Matsuri tonight. I ordered a yakitori appetizer and chicken katsu, and my wife ordered the berkshire pork shoga yaki with a small sushi appetizer. Both appetizers were great, the yakitori just a shade below what you'd get at Shinsengumi. Her scallops and yellowtail sushi were both good too. Then we got the main entrees. My chicken katsu was a bit dry(they use chicken breast instead of the dark meat which I prefer)but serviceable. It came with rice,potato salad, green salad with a nice dressing thousand island with vinegar I believe) and was served on a bed of shredded cabbage, which was a nice touch. All in all, a serviceable meal.

                          I looked over at my wife. She had stopped eating after having about half of the pork. I asked what was wrong. She said if was awful, very dry and salty. We flagged down the waiter and told him. He said he would tell the cook. Minutes later, the owner came to our table. My wife explained the situation, and asked her to try one of the remaining pieces she hadn't touched. She declined. She told us she had talked to the cook, and he told her that he made it the same way he always does and that no one has ever complained before, because it's Berkshire pork. My wife said yes, it's Berkshire pork which he ruined. She responded that next time we should order something else. After she left, I asked to try one of the remaining pieces. I took one bite. It was like a mouthful of salty sand. I needed half a glass of water to wash it down.

                          I doubt we'll be returning anytime soon. My search continues.

                          1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                            ipsedixit Jul 14, 2007 08:40 PM

                            That's an odd response by the owner ... what does the pork being "Berkshire" have anything to do with how it's prepared?

                            "It's artisan pork. Therefore I must overseason!"

                            1. re: ipsedixit
                              calabasas_trafalgar Jul 14, 2007 09:01 PM

                              we were really more upset with the owner's response than we were with the meal - talk about a backhanded apology. Any cook can have an off night, but her comments were just ludicrous.

                            2. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                              monkuboy Jul 15, 2007 12:06 PM

                              Kiyosuzu also uses chicken breast in their katsu but what amazes me is how tender and juicy it always turns out. Nice, crisp crust and tender chicken meat. By the way, that was an unbelievable response from the owner. I wouldn't go back, either.

                              1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                Fru Jul 16, 2007 07:49 AM

                                Oh well, I'm now 2 for 2. I'm going to have to try some of your recommendations if I can get myself further east. We do like Yoshida!

                                1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                  Fru Jul 16, 2007 07:59 AM

                                  Oh well, I'm now 2 for 2. I'm going to have to try some of your recommendations if I can get myself further east. We do like Yoshida. BTY, tried the Japanese grill next to Buco de Bepo in Pasadena and was very underwhelmed. It was overpriced and was sort of kind of more of a Korean BBQ (which I love but wasn't expecting). The items are $5 and up for an appetizer size amount of meat which means you need to order at least 2 portions per person. The quality was not up to my standards especially paying Old Town prices. You get so little and yet there is still gristle! Of course I didn't spend the money for KOBE. Almost $6 for a bowl of mixed kim che. My husband ordered their version of bimbimbap which came in a traditional stone/clay bowl but it was basically an ice cream scoop size scoop of rice sitting in the middle of the bowl.

                        2. monkuboy Jul 2, 2007 12:02 PM

                          Kiyosuzu in Arcadia is good - it's on Baldwin Ave. a couple of blocks north of Duarte Road. They have a sushi bar but they also have table seating and the non-sushi hot stuff is pretty good, at least as good as the other places you listed. Their chicken katsu is excellent.

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