Tag Archives: japanese

Paiche – Marina Del Rey, CA

Beautiful decor, incredible ambiance, I really love the look of this place, a simple open floor, wall side booths, a bar as soon as you walk in, and an open kitchen. This is definitely a step up for the mar vista/marina del Rey food scene, which has been making strides to move past the Del Taco and iHop. I was seated quickly, though it took a few minutes for my server to get to me and he quickly made up for it by putting in my order and being attentive through the rest of the meal. I went with the margarita, and tsukemono(assorted pickles) to start.


– absolutely on point, most people that know me know that I love margaritas and this one didn’t jump off the menu at me, but I tried it and the house-made orange bitters elevated this into a margarita I’ll remember, like the meal, the flavors start out bold but as you progress they become subtle, elusive, pervasive. I really enjoyed the playfulness that something as simple as agave nectar and bitters can bring to a margarita. The bitters created almost a hint of smokiness.


– good balance, a bit on the sweet side, which comes together beautifully with the spice in the brine and the kick of the grain mustard. The fennel was insane with the contrasting natural licorice flavor and the forcibly introduced brine, everything was light refreshing and crunchy, and it’s garnished with a chiffonade of ohba/shiso, one of my favorite herbs that’s in between a basil and a mint flavor


– the namesake of the restaurant, and it lives up to the task, a nice slight sear, still a bit chewy, in a good way, paired with aji Amarillo lemon vinaigrette, soy, sesame oil and a delicious sweet potato purée/chip. It was light, with an elusive flavor, definitely dish you’ll want to try again and again.  Who would’ve thought such a monstrous fish could have such delicate flavor?

Pork Neck

– this is incredible, and exactly what I wanted. The pork neck was more tender than any Korean BBQ place I’ve eaten, with a subtle flavor of the gochujang chili paste that blend PERFECTLY with the yuca purée that had delightful aromas of  coriander and cumin. Frankly this is a fusion of cuisines I’ve been searching for but haven’t found, I’m so glad Paiche is down the street!


–  yuca beignets with Manchego topped with Parmesan, do i have to say anymore? Yes, yes I do, the menu doesn’t mention the salsa verde this comes with, it’s on completely different level of delicious, dangerously so. I could drink it by the glass, but that said, the beignets were perfect, crispy, crunchy, ooey, gooey, and to me it looked like a take on that Japanese street food Takoyaki, the way the Parmesan shavings are on top.  While the pork neck exploded my mind, I’m still thinking about the Yuquitas!


Since this article I’ve been back a few times since and have not been disappointed.  The prices are a bit steep, but if you’re looking to splurge I highly recommend it as the food and cocktails are above standard and the service is very attentive.



13488 Maxella Ave.

Marina Del Rey, CA 90292





Baby Arugula Salad with Shiso Rice Wine Vinaigrette

With Burger and Togarashi Fries
Photography by Lark Killelea

So this salad is extremely simple and INCREDIBLY flavorful.  It combines some interesting regions, we’ve got my friend Desirae’s Bolivian salad recipe that includes quick pickling of red onions, carrots, cilantro, and some other vegetables with a cider or red wine vinegar and we switch up some of the ingredients for traditionally Japanese items.  In my variation we’ve got diced onion and tomato, shaved carrot, and fresh slightly under-ripe avocado with Japanese Shiso, which is kind of like a blending of mint with basil, with a mirin rice wine vinaigrette.  All of this is marinated in rice wine vinegar, mirin, sugar, salt, pepper, a splash of sesame oil and togarashi.  This acidity cuts through the spicy/nutty baby arugula and creates a fun contrast when you get the shiso and the arugula in the same bite.



(All dices rustic chop, don’t worry about gettin fancy!)

  • 1/2 – small sweet yellow onion – 1/4′ dice
  • 1/2 – medium vine ripe tomato – 1/4′ dice
  • 1/2 – avocado – 1/4′ dice
  • 1  – small carrot – shaved
  • 1/4 Cup – white wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP – mirin
  • 1 TSP – granulated sugar
  • 1 TSP – salt
  • 1 TSP – black pepper
  • 1/2 TSP – togarashi
  • 2 shiso leafs – 1/8th’ chiffonade
  • 3/4 cup – baby arugula
  • 1/4  cup – pomegranate seeds



  1. Dice/shave your vegetables, set aside avocado and arugula(shave the carrot with your peeler)
  2. Combine with all seasonings and dressing
  3. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours (it tastes even better the next day)
  4. Dice avocado and chiffonade shiso leaf, combine with vegetables
  5. Adjust seasoning if necessary
  6. Combine with arugula
  7. Serve with a pomegranate seeds a garnish also a single grapefruit supreme would be good!

This salad was the underdog.  My friend Lark was like, “I have arugula.”  And I said we’d make something awesome with it.  So I threw together some ingredients and it really has incredible flavor contrast and texture.  We both thought the burger was going to be the best part of the meal, or even the Togarashi sesame roasted potato wedges, but nope, this salad was demolished before anything else!  It’s great to see the harmonious recipes that can be created from cultures across the globe from one another and this salad is  a great example of Japanese-Bolivian fusion!  So don’t be afraid to mix flavors and make new dishes!

Ramen California, Torrance, CA | NOODLE FEVER!

Japanese Ramen

This article is actually one that I meant to post months ago, but lost it in the drafts.  I had just moved to Torrance (Thus the amount of restaurant reviews for Torrance) and my friend Sean was in town, and we wanted to see what the local cuisine was like.  We drove around for a while and finally decided on Ramen California on Lomita and Crenshaw.  When we walked in we were hastily greeted and seated, followed up quickly with our beverages.  When the noodles came it was bliss

Heirloom Tomato Ramen

Next it was on to the menu, and everything was very reasonably priced, including the beers.  I had the Grilled Chicken Ramen, and you can have your choice of 14 oz, 20 oz, or 40 oz bowls.  I obviously went with 40 and couldn’t finish it, but that’s not the point.

Grilled Chicken Ramen

The point is that the noodles were still slightly firm, but tender and flavorful.  The broth was clean without the overly salted flavors that ramen is stereotyped with.  The chicken was succulent and the vegetables were still tender crisp.  There’s also the California Ramen on the menu that has 20 garden fresh vegetables in it, along with an Heirloom Tomato Ramen that sounds off the walls.  The cheapest bowl starts at $3.75 and the most expensive is $13.20 so even if you’re broke you can still have some delicious ramen.






24231 Crenshaw Blvd. Unit C
Torrance, CA 90505
tel: (310) 530-2749
fax: (310) 530-4318
Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays
Lunch: 11:30am to 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm to 10:00pm


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Matsui – Torrance, CA | Delicious Japanese Noodle Combo Platters

My friend Adam and I went to Matsui after a long discussion of wanting Japanese food that wasn’t sushi.  We scoured the yelp and urban spoon and came across Matsui in Torrance.


Japanese Food
Photography by Nick Kern


I got the Pork Miso Don, which consists of Sauteed Pork with shiitake mushrooms and onion with a miso sauce.  The whole dish is served over rice.  It came with another bowl of rice, a bowl of hot or cold (udon or soba) noodles.  There was also a side of green beans and some weird sweet pickled thing that was delicious.  I added it to the soup and I got the hot soup.  I was very satisfied with my meal and somehow managed to eat all of it.  Adam and I also got their Spicy Tuna Handrolls.

Japanese noodles, soup, sushi, rice bowls
Photography by Adam Latz

Adam got their special for the day, it came with sushi, salad, and tempura with noodle soup.  It was all nigiri sushi, which is when there is a small patty of rice topped with a tiny dollop of wasabi to bind a thin slice of fresh fish or seafood to the rice.  They’re very fresh and light.  He said the salad had a great sesame ginger dressing and there was a spice on the table that seemed like dried chili flakes that he blasted the soup with.  It was really spicy but didn’t over power the flavor of the broth.  The tempura was freshly fried with a crunchy outside and tender shrimp and vegetables.