Tamaya on Main St. in Alhambra Closed Last Month - Has Anyone Been to the New Japanese Restaurant That is Now There?
I went tonight
It was quite bz while I was there. I was surprised, the owner, who is Sarah Kim per tonyc, is the waitress that has been working at Ramen Yukino-ya in arcadia for this past year! She recognized me, sat my party and began recommending dishes.
Ordered probably more than my group could eat:
-Mini Katsu - crunchy, but meat was a bit dry, and the filling didn't seem to match.
-Shoyu Ramen - very avg, tamaya had better shoyu and char siu. Portion was huge though.
-Nonkotsu Kaarage - interesting, but because of the way it was breaded (soft tempura-like breading), it just fell apart when you ate it, not in the good way. Not enough flavor.
-Kaarage - Not bad! The sauce was interesting, but I felt that the portion was very small for the price paid. Meat quality seemed good though.
-Roasted Lettuce - I don't know how to rate roasted veggies, but this had decent flavor.
-Korean ribs - decent portion, nicely cooked, but lacking in flavor.
A few things that kind of bothered me:
-She's going for a "non-asian feel" yet have an asian restaurant in an asian city. Maybe I shouldn't be taking it so literal, I think she's going for the "urspace" type of feel. The type where local asian restaurant owners haven't figured out what ambiance means, so she wants to fill that gap.
The restaurant appears to be izakaya, or tapas, style, but there's no yakitori or alcohol. There are some teas, but I'm not sure that's what the area wants at 8pm.
Most of the food items were "not bad", but I didn't feel that anything was "outstanding" There was a familiarity when I ate the ramen. The noodles appeared to be similar to the ones tamaya used, and the soup looked similar, even reminded me of tamaya's shoyu for a quick second. But I started to eat it quickly and it became generic, the soup, charsiu, everything.
The pricing wasn't bad, I paid about $17 per person after tip. For comparison tho, won tin was (just approx) under $9 per person, and tamaya was about $11 per person.
She has worked in restaurant for years, so maybe just a few adjustments to the food and/or menu.
It could become a hit with the local young ppl, or 626 can avoid it like others that try to price (and class) themselves out of the area.