Tag Archives: torrance

A Delicious 30th Birthday Dinner for the Wife

Yesterday was the day marking Michelle’s 30th year on this earth. Whoa! I know. In order to celebrate we decided to go to Musha, where we normally lie about it being someone’s birthday. This might be the second time we’ve ever been to this restaurant on someone’s actual birthday.

Tofu cheese and honey with bread and crackers.

Pork belly.

Beef Tenderloin.

They even bring out the charcoal grill to you so you can cook yourself.

Musha Fried Chicken.

Udon  with clams and mushrooms.

Ebi Mayo.

Cheese Risotto, getting to the bottom of the cheese block.

The risotto doesn’t look like much but it is one of the things we always order.

I had never seen this on the menu before. La Bomba. Three kinds of ice cream, cover in chocolate. Chocolate, vanilla, and peach. This was really good, especially the peach ice cream section.

We did a pretty good job eating, but you can see the hands are still moving to clean up the rest of the scraps.

This is the reason why like to tell Musha that it’s always someone’s birthday. They turn out the lights and play Happy Birthday, followed by a flaming finish in the kitchen.

Zenya

After running some errands in Torrance, Michelle and I decided to check out one of the two Japanese restaurants I saw the last time I was picking up some Oskar Blues G’Knight at BevMo. We decided on Hakata Yamaya. Unfortunately reservations had the place all booked up. Instead we settled on Zenya next door.

The first thing we noticed were drink specials, on sake martinis or pop drinks.

Green Tea Pop Drink and Green Apple Sake Martini.

Chicken Karage, done in chicken wing fashion.

Gyoza. The best part is the fried skin, so they give you a whole pan full of it.

Tonkotsu Ramen.

Shio Ramen.

I did get to try a new beer at the place. Unfortunately their fridge is so cold that the beer was a slushy in the bottle. I had to wait for it to thaw a little bit before drinking it. Even so, it was a pretty tasty beer.

Zenya was overall a disappointment. The chicken and the gyoza were decent, but the broth on both ramen bowls was pretty bland. We still need to check out Hakata Yamada, but if the place is booked again, I will just wait for the open table.

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

This weekend I went to check out the brew supply store in Old Town Torrance to see what my new local brew store was like. After looking around and realizing it will work out nicely, we decided to grab some lunch in the area. We found a gem of a place.

Rudy’s is only opened during breakfast and lunch hours.

They’ve got some great specials that change.

This is what I call a breakfast. All their portions are very generous.

Chorizo and cheese, topped with avocado.

Carne asada and over easy eggs, served with home style potatoes.

There are lots more items on the menu that I have on my radar. This is definitely a spot I want to come back to, and I will do just that, probably after a long night of drinking.

1321 Taproom Bistro: A Beer Place

I went to a surprise birthday party at 1321 Taproom Bistro. I’ve been to this spot once before. The beer selection was excellent like last time. I had the Allagash Curieux, a Belgian Tripel aged in Bourbon barrels.

I got to try some different things from the menu this time, sampling from my friends’ plates. The fish and chips were decent. Their mac and cheese was missing something. The taste stops short, having a great cheese flavor, but little else. My dish was the smoked pork banh mi. The smoked pork was excellent, but it did not go with the rest of the sandwich. I would definitely not order this again, nor recommend it to anyone.

Overall my impression of this place is that the beer selections are excellent, but the food I’ve had thus far seem incomplete. Given the option, I’d check out a new place rather than eat here. It’s not quite to my tastes to become a regular eating stop. If it’s just a chance to grab some beers, I would definitely come back here.

Southern Food

Nope. There will be no talk about grits and fried catfish here. I’m talking about food I’ve found since we moved to the South Bay. Michelle and I are looking for a spot to call our local eating joint.

Although I’ve been here before, Ramen Yamadaya deserves another mention. This is easily is my top five ramen joints after just the one visit. The second time we went back, I decided to try some other things.

Curry and rice. Nothing to write home about. It’s barely even worth writing about here on my blog.

Their friend chicken is nicely done. It’s light and crispy.

Their pork chop did not have the same light texture as the chicken. This just felt heavy.

While their side dishes are hit or miss, the main attraction is always superb. Ramen is what they do best. I can’t wait to make a trip back here.

One of the first joints we checked out was Nelson’s at Terranea. We know people in the area are always stopping here for food and drinks. It’s a great location, right along the cliffside overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately the food and drinks are not cheap and mediocre as well.

This is their burger. It tastes like a cafeteria burger.

This is Michelle’s portobello mushroom sandwich. It’s a lot better than the burger, but it’s nothing special. Since it was Cinco de Mayo, she also ordered a margherita. It just tasted like nothing but mixer.

Nelson’s gets a big thumbs down from me. I won’t be coming back except to enjoy the view on a warm summer night.

Another place we checked out was Coco Ichibanya, a curry house in Torrance. I originally thought it was going to be just like the well known chain, Curry House. I was surprised by how many options they had for their curry dishes.

I decided to order the mushroom curry and went for a level 3 out of 10 for the spiciness. I was surprised about how much heat this dish had. Their menu notes that they won’t let you try level 6-10 unless you’ve eaten a whole plate of level 5 first. That’s probably a pretty good idea.

Since this was a first time for me at this restaurant, I decided to gorge myself and try another dish. I ordered the mini keema curry with naan. The naan was fluffy and light. It went well with the curry.

A newly opened joint, 1321 Downtown Taproom Bistro Restaurant, was my stop this weekend. I’ve been meaning to check this place out but with the move of my office, I’ve had zero time to do it. The place was busy when I showed up, always a good sign for a new restaurant. I took a seat at the bar to wait for my friends. The bar staff was very friendly. I was pleased with the wide selection of beers available, and for a double bonus the beers weren’t all priced at ten bucks a glass like some gastro pubs.

Meatball appetizer. Not sure what kind of meat they used. It seemed a bit spongy, almost the consistency of tofu. Other than the sauce, I was not into this dish.

Chicken and waffles, definitely not the traditional take on this dish. The waffle portion was a blue cornbread muffin, very donut-like. The chicken was perfectly fried and the crispness of the skin went well with the soft texture of the “waffles.” I did wish that the chicken would have been slightly saltier. It’s sweet with a hint of mustard in the taste, but coupled with the “waffle” portion of it, it was a bit too sweet.

Other dishes that we scarfed down but forgot to take pictures of include the Mod Burger, Turkey Burger, and Hot Link. Both burgers were solid. I opted for the turkey, because it said something about hot. I was in the mood for some heat. The heat on this burger was very minimal, but definitely enough to satisfy my craving. I normally don’t like sauerkraut, but the kraut they were serving with the hot link was not too sour, a great compliment to the wiener.

Last on our new discoveries of the South Bay was Inka Wasi, a casual Peruvian joint that is owned by the same guys as El Polla Inka. This storefront in the Peninsula Center in Rolling Hills Estates is aimed at people who want a quick bite or even something to take out. I figured we should try this since the local pho restaurant is across the plaza from this place and I’m sure I will have plenty of that in the future.

It’s pretty apparent this restaurant runs under the same group as El Pollo Inka with their chicken soup to start off the meal.

Michelle’s seafood dish. The noodles here were a bit overcooked, but overall the dish was pretty tasty.

Chicken Saltado. I remember this dish being very salty at El Pollo Inka, but it was good this time around.

Don’t mistake that compliment to mean that it stacks up to Mario’s in any way. Mario’s is the de facto standard to which I measure all Peruvian restaurants. Even the special green sauce here isn’t the same, probably not enough crack in it. I would come back to this place again, but mostly because I want something other than pho.

There you have it. We have exhausted all the restaurants in the South Bay. Kidding. While it doesn’t have the smorgasbord of choices that Los Angeles area has, I’m sure we will discover some more treats. If you have any recommendations, please share.

Cruising Pictures

I wrote a little while back that I like taking pictures of when I’m on the road, specifically pictures of collisions. I don’t know why. I just do. Today was even better than normal.

I started my day off visiting a customer with my dad, so I didn’t take my normal route to work. I went straight down Crenshaw, and the whole time he kept saying we should have taken the freeway. I couldn’t figure out why the traffic was so slow until I saw this.

On the corner of Crenshaw and 234th in Torrance.

That was pretty exciting. Who says Torrance is boring?

This is where the cops are going to meet up aftewards and give each other high fives.