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Disappointment with Blue Marlin's uni spaghetti!

I went out of my way to try the uni spaghetti (spag w/ sea urchin) at Blue Marlin on Sawtelle today. The dish didn't blow my socks off (as I expected after hearing some raves on this board). That place is a bit "off". I can't quite put my finger on it, because I WANT the place to be great! But it wasn't.

Is there a place in Little Tokyo that does this dish better? Or any other recommended seafood pastas in Little Tokyo?

I know that Spoon place in Gardena gets good reviews. But I'm kind of too lazy to travel these days.

On a positive note: I loved the honey milk tea from Volcano, a few doors down from Blue Marlin. Expensive, but good.

Thanks, Hounds!!

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  1. i would to know if someone can make a good uni spaghetti as well. tried blue marlins and spoon and both were equally disappointing. spoons version was slightly better but not worth a trip. blue marlin is a hit or a miss. sometimes their curry is really good and i've had it other times when it was barely edible.

    i'm thinking maybe right next door at 2117? there is also a japanese italian restaurant in gardena but i do not know the name nor have i been there. in the mean time i just make it at home.

    1. You might try Il Chianti in Lomita...

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      Il Chianti
      24503 Narbonne Ave, Lomita, CA 90717

      2 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka

        yes! thanks for the name bulavinaka.

        1. re: bulavinaka

          A little bit of a drive but I would recommend cafe hiro in cypress.

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          Cafe Hiro
          10509 Valley View St, Cypress, CA 90630

        2. Hi Liquid Sky,

          Sorry to hear about your Uni Spaghetti experience. I only go to Blue Marlin for their homemade Curry (distilled down from Fruits and Vegetables with *no* Flour / Corn Starch). It's a lot lighter and nicer than, say, Curry House. I've never tried their Uni though.

          3 Replies
          1. re: exilekiss

            exile: I have to confess that I quite like the "generic" Curry House curry. Especially their chicken katsu curry. Perhaps I don't have a trained palate when it comes to curry?

            As for uni spaghetti, I did remember liking Basta Pasta's version in NYC. BP is, I guess, Japanese-Italian fusion? Anyway, it's good! Perhaps I'll seek out this dish in an Italian restaurant here in LA instead.

            1. re: Liquid Sky

              Hi Liquid Sky,

              Did you get a chance to try any of the curry at Blue Marlin? Just curious. :)

              I was in the same position as you a couple years ago (thought Curry House curry was tasty and good), but that was until a friend of mine from Tokyo told me about the many varieties of Japanese curry and how House Foods' mass-produced curry (House Foods owns Curry House) wasn't that good, and introduced me to Blue Marlin's made-from-scratch curry, that I appreciated something beyond Curry House's curry. :)

              I haven't eaten at Blue Marlin in about a year+, so maybe they've gone downhill? But when I went a few years ago with my tomodachi, the curry was really tasty and fresh. And you didn't feel weighed down from the curry like at many places that use lots of Flour / Corn Starch and MSG (Curry House prints their ingredients on their menu now, and they admit to using MSG). I'm pretty sensitive to too much MSG as well, so that's another reason I prefer something else. :)

              1. re: exilekiss

                Thanks, exile. I appreciate that. I guess I was having this very specific craving for spaghetti with sea urchin, I didn't even consider ordering anything else.

                Curry is something I crave when the weather is cooler. When it's warm, my thoughts automatically go to seafood!

          2. I was hoping Blue Marlin's uni spaghetti would be recommended since the one at Spoon House isn't very good. At least the one I had. Like Bulavinaka, I think Il Chianti is the most promising of the wafu-pasta places. I've just resorted to making my own.

            5 Replies
            1. re: E Eto

              E: Where do you buy the uni to make in your pasta?

              1. re: Liquid Sky

                You can get uni at just about any Japanese market. A tray of uni will make you a good amount of pasta. You just have to use it up quickly.

                  1. re: Liquid Sky

                    My experience with Japanese Market as far as uni is concerned, is a hit or miss thing. As E had mentioned, you have to use it quickly, and at times you don't know how long the uni has been sitting there in the market. For a number of years, I have gone to IMP(International Marine Products(7th & San Pedro)), to get my uni. This place was introduced to me by my favorite sushi chef Kawasaki San (who used to work with Shibutani San (now in Costa Mesa), bought Shibucho from the master, that became Kawacho (the spot is now Sushi-Go-55), and after a lot of short stints all over the city is now with Sushi Kiyano in B.H.). Anyway, he introduced me to some workers there in IMP, it was there where I got my uni, the best grade in wooden box for $32 a couple of years ago. My family are all suckers for uni, it was really a treat. A lot cheaper, a lot fresher, than ordering from sushi bar which can cost $7-$11 for an order of sushi of 2 pieces. The only drawback as E mentioned, is you have to consume earlier than later. The bad news is IMP has since been closed to the public. I can only get in if I hook up with Kawasaki San on a Saturday morning, which is too much of ahassle. The good news is I still think you can get them from some of the reputable fish markets in the area, like Pacific Fresh Fish. Enjoy !

                    If I were not mistken, the following place opens early and closes by noon.

                    Pacific Fresh Fish Co - 700 E 6th Street - 213-623-6220- Try calling ahead.