Posts Tagged ‘skewers’

Restaurant Row’s best bang for your buck: Gonpachi Beverly Hills

Gonpachi's courtyard

Gonpachi's courtyard

Restaurant Row on La Cienega Boulevard has been long known for its large, overly expensive eateries — Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Benihana, Woo Lae Oak, The Stinking Rose. But the Row’s Gonpachi Beverly Hills, though large, is one of the best values on that strip with its incredibly fresh-tasting sushi-grade fish and satisfying hot dishes, including robata.

I was recently invited to dinner at Gonpachi to try out its new menu. I hadn’t been to the restaurant for years, and only for happy hour, so I was excited to go back. The courtyard is lush with foliage and a koi pond, and the interior is reminiscent of the film Kill Bill (which was filmed at the Tokyo location of Gonpachi). All this really sets the scene for the fine meals served here.

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09 2011

Real modern Korean cuisine in Culver City: MoKo

The new kid on the block in Culver City, MoKo, quietly slipped in to town in late April when it took over the former Gyenari space. The switch happened in a matter of about two weeks, when a truly modern Korean (get it?) restaurant replaced one that tried to be forward-thinking but ended up being stagnant. That’s why Gyenari owner William Shin made the change, along with partner Chris Heyman (Table 8, 8 Oz. Burger Bar) and Chef Gary Robins (formerly of The Biltmore, The Russian Tea Room and Aja in New York), who created a menu that’s contemporary without being overwrought.

We were recently invited to check out the new menu, which features updated versions of Korean ban chan, ssam, jeon and many other traditional Korean favorites. Don’t worry — the grills from Gyenari are still in place, so you can get your barbecue fix, too. And the cocktail list includes some nicely crafted drinks, too.

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06 2011

Happy hour report: Chaya Downtown’s Japanese beer garden

The downtown location of Chaya, a Japanese-French brasserie mini chain, has recently launched a weekly beer garden menu available on its patio every Monday night throughout the summer. This is a once-a-week special menu offered in addition to its everyday happy hour menu, both of which are available all night from 5:00 p.m. to close. Not too shabby!

The beer garden menu features yakitori skewers ($2 each) grilled on the patio on new hibachis and include chicken, short rib, beef tongue, shrimp and shiitake mushrooms. I was recently invited by the restaurant to try the new skewers, and I liked the chicken the best, which shows mastery in grilling skills, I’d say. All the others were good, too, though the shiitake were a bit dry for my taste. Maybe top them with some of that teriyaki or chimichurri sauce that come on the other skewers?

Yakitori, from top: shrimp, beef tongue, shiitake, short rib and chicken

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04 2010