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Nov 20, 2008 06:47 PM

Taiwanese Oyster Pancake (O-ah jian) at Ju Ju Shine (Torrance)

Disclaimer: I am not an O-ah jian expert. In fact, I can't even remember when I last had one - I know I must have had one before, but I can't say for sure I've had one in the last decade.

That said, I really, really liked the O-ah jian at Ju Ju Shine. I've read paens to the sliminess of O-ah jian, and... eww. I do not like sliminess. This O-ah jian is not slimy. It has supple and silky segments, from the potato starch or tapioca starch or whatever it is that cuts the egg, but no sliminess. There's a generous amount of baby bok choy and scallion, along with the oysters, and the whole mess has a nice touch of char/wok hay. The thin slick of sauce on top is sweet and gingery and tasted exactly like the sauce from an okonomiyaki stand I love in NYC.

The rest of the dishes we tried were very homey - braised pork belly and soy sauce on rice, a platter of more red-cooked pork belly, pickled cucumbers, and stif-fried cabbage with carrot; a soup with tasty, fluffy minced fish balls but excessively salty broth. The pork belly was a little tough, and the flavor too heavily dominated by soy sauce. Dad enjoyed the O-ah jian, Mom was unimpressed by the meal in general (she found the sauce on the O-ah jian too sweet).

The room is, quite frankly, hideous, with two clashing shades of green duking it out on the walls, a shelf of Japanese DVDs and manga next to the door, and scattered tchotkes (some religious, some cats) giving it a distinctively "Summer at Grandma's House in Taiwan" vibe.

Ju Ju Shine Restaurant
1631 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

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  1. Going to Ju Ju Shine is like going to my Taiwanese Aunt's house for lunch. The food is very homey and not very elegant, but it's good hearty Taiwanese fare.

    Haven't tried the oyster omlettes yet, but I will the next time I'm there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: huaqiao

      I'll be interested in your report - I don't have many experiences to calibrate this one against - I think my closest points of comparison are okonomiyaki and pajeon.

    2. do they also serve stinky tofu (chou dofu)?

      3 Replies
      1. re: wilafur

        They do - we didn't try it, but we could smell it.

        1. re: wilafur

          Yes they do, I've had it and while it wasn't horrible, I will probably not order it again (even if I was having a hankering).

        2. Have heard about this joint. Definitely on my top 10 to try in the area.

          1. Thanks for this! I'm always looking for new Taiwanese spots to surprise my wife with. Great renditions of Taiwanese snack food are surprisingly hard to find in LA. (There's a lot of so-so to good, but hardly any great.)

            Is this located in the L-shaped plaza next to the Arco? I couldn't find it in Google street view.

            Mr Taster

            3 Replies
            1. re: Mr Taster

              I don't think it's in a shopping center--just a store with street frontage.

              1. re: Mr Taster

                I haven't been since the original report, but I think Chandavkl's right about the location. Not sure the food here was *great*, but it's worth trying. I'm actually amazed to see this thread resurrected, I thought it had been buried deep in the archives years ago :)

                Look forward to your report!

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  I wouldn't drive out of the way for it. I've been here a few times out of desperation for some homey Taiwanese goodness but the last two or three times I've been disappointed so I just stopped going back.

                2. ARGH! My parents and I live in Torrance, so going over to this restaurant wasn't a big schlep at all -- but we arrived at around 11:45 a.m. today (Saturday), and they were closed! Not a soul was inside. I had seen in some photographs posted online (by random bloggers) of their menu that they were open 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., 7 days a week. Perhaps they've downsized a bit due to the economy but boy, were we disappointed. Has anybody eaten here lately on the weekend?