This is my brother. He is happy in this photo. And I know he appreciates me as his sister even though this photo shows otherwise. There's nothing he loves more than Korean BBQ and Hot Pot. But for his 30th, though these are his favorite things, I thought it would be nice to take him out to experience Japanese Yakiniku. Like Korean BBQ, Yakiniku in Japanese means "Grilled Meat" (Yaki-niku). I feel Japanese Yakiniku is less sweet when it comes to the marinades. I also like dining in a Japanese Yakiniku restaurant over Korean BBQ because I find the meat quality not just better, but the idea of not indulging over an All-you-can-eat just makes the experience less stressful and much more enjoyable.
We ordered a pitcher of Sapporo to share. Easily ordered another one because this went down so easily. Not just because it's Sapporo, but because their pitchers and glasses were extremely cold which made the beer that much more crisp, and that much more refreshing. Don't forget to always kanpai before taking a sip.
On their menu, you can order items a la carte or you can choose between 1 of their 3 Manpuku choices. It ranges from $35 to $75. We had to get the $75. Not only because of my brother's birthday, but also because they had the best choices we would want to try.
The $75 offering came with: Cabbage Slaw, Edamame, Assorted Vegetables (for grilling), Manpuku Kalbi Shio, Shrimp, Kobe Fillet, Rice Wrap Sukiyaki, Kobe Short Rib, Kore Rib Eye, Kobe Finger Meats, Garlic Rice, Yukke Jan Soup, and Ice cream (13 items).
We ordered this on the side. I've had yukke a few years ago, but haven't had it in a while. When my friend came to visit from Japan, the family she was staying with took her to get Yukke since they banned this dish in Japan. Apparently, a lot of people got sick. That was also the case for raw chicken liver (delicious by the way). The yukke here at Manpuku was AMAZING. Made with Kuroge Wagyu. I was the lucky one to eat this with the shiso. I would recommend asking them for a few more just so everyone can eat this with it. A must order. must.
This is another popular item that we had to try. Their sliced original salted premium prime beef tongue topped with Tokyo onions. The trick to keep the onions on is to cook the bottom side first. Once the bottom is grilled up with some nice char, flip it around and count to 8 seconds which they say will be the best taste. I do what I'm told.
We enjoyed this much more than the fillet. I'm normally not a fillet eater because of how lean it is. I love the fat trails you would find in short ribs and rib eye. These cuts were delicious. Just make sure your heat is on high when grilling these.
You have a choice at the beginning of your meal to have this near the beginning or towards the end. They recommend the end because the rice wrap is extremely rich with the added egg yolk. In my opinion, I would prefer to have this a little sooner. It is rich, but after a whole meal of meat, having a really rich bite makes it harder to eat than if it were much earlier on. This, though, was Heaven. Seared so slightly after rendering the beef fat on the grill. The meat is then rolled with a small ball of rice, then drizzled with a creamy egg yolk.
We were full, but not overly stuffed. We stopped by the Mitsuwa Marketplace after to pick up snacks for a movie. This, 2 pitchers, snacks, movie. A great 30th if you ask me!
1870 W Carson St Torrance, CA 90501
Learn more about Manpuku here.