Sawtelle Blvd: What's Your Favorite Place?
I gotta say I am totally obsessed with Furaibo's tebasaki--these chicken wings are to die for! I tell people all the time, no one makes fried chicken like the Japanese but they just don't believe me.
Also, the Blue Marlin Cafe rocks! I LOVE their Japanese pasta dishes--the tuna tartar with sansai (moutain veggies) is killer.
What's your favorite place on Sawtelle, and what dishes do you recommend there?
Down a bit from all the other restaurants, I know, but I love Empanadas Place. Not a bad thing on the menu and I prefer to go with a group of four so that we can all order different types and cut them up for more tasty bites.
I think Restaurant 2117 is by far the class of the field. I've been eating there for years and have yet to be disappointed. Chef Hideo has a deft touch with fish, the regular menu items are quite good, and the specials are always worth trying. The food is wine friendly, and with a nominal $5/bottle corkage charge, we typically dredge up some older Burgundies from our personal collections to enjoy there. It's often fun to present the wines to the chef, request dinner to compliment them, and then sit back and wait to be surprised.
Sawtelle Kitchen is also a long time standby, although my visits have tailed off in the past couple of years. Solid, but not spectacular, it's cozy and enjoyable. With what passes for cold weather here now approaching, the (very tender) slow cooked lamb shank w/demi glace is worth trying. Bring a big hearty red wine to accompany it - they have no alcohol license and therefore corkage is free.
I had never eaten there but was invited to a complimentary wine tasting last Sunday. It was a private event so it was staged during otherwise down-time for the restaurant as 20 of us gathered to taste nine different Austrian and German Rieslings, Spatlese, Auslese and more.
With them, Chef Hideo accompanied some of his standard appetizers which worked wonderfully with these light, white wines. We started with a Garlic Soup that knocked my socks off; very flavorful and hearty. Next was a Tuna Tartare with Avocado in a fried WonTon shell that was quite well-received. Next was a four-way sliced Eggroll, the contents of which I can't determine except for Wasabi. The day ended up with a Shrimp/Cheese/Cilantro Pizza. I can appreciate it but the fact that the layer between the crust and the cheese was entirely and wholly Cilantro was too much for me (can't stand the stuff).
Shawn and I perused the menu and except for being hideously exhausted from an 18-bottle wine tasting the night before, seriously considered driving around for a few hours and coming back for dinner. Another time, definitely!
It's a little small place on the north east side of the street called TEMPURA HOUSE. It's a to-go type place but well worth it for the tempura. Enjoy!!
I had my first tongue ever at Manpuku, the japanese korean barbeque on Sawtelle. Very tastee. Enjoy it with a beer in one of the big frosted mugs they give you, mmmm.
I don't get the shabu-shabu thing, but that's just me. The place you are trying to think of is on the the southeast corner of LaGrange and Sawtell, named 212. I have pasted in a link for more s-s places in LA below. If you look at the last post in that thread by Lisa Bee you will see that she provides a link to more s-s places. A link within a link, kind of neat.
re: Mike Kilgore
Me neither. If I wanted to eat boiled meat, I could go to my mother-in-laws...
I do like the sauces though. Shabu Shabu and Korean do-it-yourself BBQ go against my food rules of no assembling (fajitas) or deassembling food in a restaurant. If I wanted to cook for myself, I'd stay home.
Korean BBQ is just so good that I don't mind cooking it. Plus, I like my meat with some rare part left because it's so much juicier, that doing it myself gives total control on desired doneness. Also, every bite is hot when you eat it, and not having the later parts cold and congealing is a big plus. Finally, the surly chowteen actually enjoys doing this, and for a dinner out with your 13 year old, his enjoyment is most certainly yours. :-D
I also hate having to cook my own food in a restaurant, but many places will cook it for you, including the Japanese take on Korean BBQ, Manpuku, which is on Sawtelle in the same plaza as Volcano Tea, 2117, Place, Kinchans, Hurry Curry &c. They will cook it for you if you ask.
And, should you want to marinate your own beef for pulgogi or kalbi, here is the marinade:
1 cup ponzu sauce (or 7/8 cup soy and 1/8 cup lime juice)
2 Tbsp. sour orange juice (or 1 Tbsp. each lime/orange)
2 Tbsp. sesame oil (may need more)
1 Tbsp. pimenta moída or crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp. crushed pineapple-in-a-can
3 scallions, chopped
Mix and let it stand for an hour. Pour over the meat and let refrigerate overnight, turning once (go get a midnight snack).