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Kotohira Restaurant


Kotohira Restaurant

I'm not in this area often, but was attending an audiophile event in the area. What I love about traveling a few 10-30 miles outside of my neighborhood is that it really pushed me to find a new restaurant to try. Being at the event, walking up and down stairs, visiting rooms by rooms filled with amazing HiFi can really stir up an appetite. It can also make me very hangry. 

What sucks about being a nowaday foodie is no matter what, you are in charge of picking a place. Even if that baton has passed... it always comes back.

Kotohira was discovered by the love Yelp app. I'm not a fan of the reviews people leave, but I use it just to know what there is around me. I've been to this plaza before where Kotohira is located. I've eaten at Furaibo a few times mainly for their tebasaki karaage. 

I wanted something warm, hearty, and comforting. Kotohira was a perfect choice. It had the traditional Japanese lunch combos available with sizeable bowls that will make you take a nap. Here are a few things I was able to snap.

Side udon that comes with a combo. Slurp away.

Pan fried gyoza. Dip this in a mixture of vinegar and hot chili oil.

Chicken Karaage. Another one of my favorite dishes as mentioned before somewhere in this blog. I love extra lemons. I'm salivating just thinking about it.


Bento combination with tuna sashimi, chicken karaage, grilled saba, tempura, and Japanese root vegetable. When I went to Japan a few years ago, I ate a lot of combinations like this. It's really comforting and brings back a nostalgic memory.


unagi over hot rice. 


Subtle scoop of Neapolitan ice cream.

Edit 1747 W Redondo Beach Blvd Gardena, CA 90247


Boiling Seafood Wok

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Boiling Seafood Wok

My brother introduced me to Boiling Seafood Wok. Funny that I've never seen this here. I've been to this tiny plaza to buy donuts. Then again, there are tons of hole in the restaurants just like this all over 626. At this point, I recommend you just checking it out without reviewing on Yelp. Most of the reviews are biased anyways. And honestly, it's the places you least expect to be great that comes out on top. My only recommendation is to always bring cash.

Complimentary soup during lunch

This is the boiling Chilean sea bass pot. This was supposed to be spicy, but I found it far from it. If anything, there's a strong dose of white pepper. This was simple, but comforting. You will find bean sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, pickled cabbage, and leaf celery (aka chinese celery). You can add noodles to this, but I love soaking this into my rice. The pot comes with a butane stove. You can also order this in a larger size as well with the addition of adding more seafood if you want to pay extra.

Chinese green mustard. I wasn't a fan of this growing up because of the slight bitterness this had. I've definitely grown to love this vegetable. In fact, I started to love greens that contained more fiber. This isn't something I would order if I see pea tips or ong choy on the menu, but since we ordered a few fatty dishes that day it felt suited for the occasion. 

Steamed chicken is a staple of Chinese cuisine. I don't know what about it makes it for me, but I always like to order steamed chicken. This is served bone-in with a soy-ginger-onion oil. Growing up, this appeared on the table a lot with the usual bowls of rice.

Braised pork belly is something I naturally gravitate towards. It takes a lot of time to perfect this dish. I've had this inconsistently prepared where parts would be dry why certain edges would melt. This was pretty good. I definitely recommend this if you're a pork belly lover like me. This is like the Chinese version of pork kakuni. A dish from heaven for all the rice lovers as well.

Fried large pork intestines. Ok. I get it. Looks gross, because it does. And it takes the right people to share this with. It's not something I get to order. Normally, I am the only one that wants this, so it's not ideal to order this. Luckily, the company I was amongst enabled me to order this. A good fried pork intestine will be cleaned out from any... impurities.. that may still linger within the linings. Should be boiled ahead in a light seasoned broth to tenderize the meat. Must be fried golden and crispy. From time to time, the intestines may be stuffed with green onions. This helps reduce the gamey flavor, but I grew up eating this so I don't mind it. This and some beer is the perfect late night grub.

Life is short, try new things.

7940 Garvey Ave Ste 108 Rosemead, CA 91770



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Bowl Kitchen - Santa Monica


Bowl Kitchen - Santa Monica

An LA inspired approach on Vietnamese cuisine. The chef boils the bones for 7-8 hours before roasting the bones in the oven to create more depth of flavor. The owner was also inspired by LA street tacos so you'll also find salsa verde and pickled habanero as condiments besides Sriracha.

Vietnamese coffee pick me up.

Fresh herbs for the pho.

Starting the meal with some egg rolls (Shrimp & Pork).

Beef Mi - Grilled beef, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, pickled daikon, carrots and red onion. My favorite bite. I topped this off with some pickled habanero for that summer heat.

Beef Mi - Grilled beef, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, pickled daikon, carrots and red onion. My favorite bite. I topped this off with some pickled habanero for that summer heat.

Spicy Pork Bowl Bop - Griled spicy pork with grilled mixed veggies

Pho Combo - Beef Steak and Brisket.

2127 Lincoln Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90405


West Coast Fish - Costa Mesa


West Coast Fish - Costa Mesa

There's been a lot of gourmet food brought down to the fast food hype and I am definitely digging it. After seeing the menu and a few photos from local eaters, I wonder what can be so great with grilled fish, "simple" sides/appetizers. From the items I've tried, the first bite was all it took.

I was blown away by how amazingly delicious everything was. With a mouthful, oh my god was the only thing I kept blurping out. 

Salmon over brown rice with veggies. (broccolini, pickled shishito and fresno chilis.) Salmon, cooked to perfection. Also, they cure the salmon in house making the skin extra crispy when grilling. Will order this again... will be hard to want something else after having this.

West Coast Fish desires to simplify what it means to have good seafood. Utilizing organic non-GMO herbs, original sauces and wild fish, our produce is hand-picked fresh from farmer’s markets as well as The CAMP’s community garden.

faux crab handroll

You'll be surprised with the level of expertise at West Coast Fish when preparing the food. Some inspirations they've adapted to is  Japanese techniques. Cooking with binchotan charcoals for example, gives a nice smokey aroma that doesn't overpower the food. Why I love yakitori so much. 


Quite possibly one of the best cauliflower dishes I've had. I can't express enough how good this was. Oh, I know, Oh My God.

It's easy to mess up brussel sprouts. But, not here. Deliciously crispy. Extremely addicting and difficult to share. The same with the cauliflower. That's 2 veggie dishes I just raved about. Says a lot.

The shrimp tacos were ON POINT. Giant and Extremely plump (please, no that's what she said jokes. Even though I just pointed that out...) No skimping here. And what's AMAZING was how well that tortilla held up. As a food blogger, you can imagine the extra minutes I take to capture a photo. But, with that said, it was one tortilla (standard street tacos has 2) that held up the beast. So fresh. Each bite was just decadence.






Napa Valley Grille - Westwood


Napa Valley Grille - Westwood

I've been to Napa Valley Grille before and find how crazy time flies since it's been a year the last time I talked about it. Last year during my first visit, it was for their grand reopening after an amazing 2 million dollar renovation. Now I am back to try a few additions to their menu. 

Here are the new items on the menu:

Dinner Menu

  • Grilled Ancho-Crusted Albacore Tuna
  • Seasonal Harvest Salad
  • Caesar Salad
  • Crescenza Cheese & Serrano Ham Tartine
  • Oven-Roasted Jidori Chicken Breast
  • Bucatini Pomodoro
  • Grilled Prime New York Strip
  • Grilled Wagyu Tomahawk Chop 


  • Creamy Polenta
  • Sautéed Brussel Sprouts
  • Charred Marble Potatoes
  • Sautéed Wild California Mushrooms
  • Cavatappi Mac and Cheese


  • Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • Warm Sticky Toffee Date Cake
  • Strawberry Vanilla Mascarpone Cake

Charcuterie - Prosciutto, duck salumi, soppressata, housemade brandied chicken liver pâté, seasonal jam, and charred rustic bread

My favorite bite was a slab of chicken liver pâté on top on the rustic bread with a smear of their jam.

Grilled Ancho-Crusted Albacore Tuna -peppercress, pink peppercorn, lavosh, dill sauc

Prime NY Strip - 14 oz, charred onion-thyme jam, green peppercorn-cognac jus. Cooked Medium Rare.

Charred Marble Potatoes - white truffle, crème fraîche, chive

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts - crispy pancetta, sherry

Strawberry-Vanilla Mascarpone Cake - strawberry jam filling, mascarpone cream