Thursday, September 10, 2009

Torihei- All About Oden

OMG. My head hurts. Pounding hangover from 3 large bottles of sake at Torihei last night. Was it worth it? Hells yeah!

My friend and I were starving and drove to this plaza in search of some good eats. We had a choice between Musha or Torihei. I chose Torihei since I've been to Musha in Santa Monica already.

We walked in and were seated within 5 minutes at a small corner table. The waitress brought us menus and we selected a variety of items.

My initial thought was "Wth is Oden?" We looked it up on Wikipedia and saw that it was a Japanese winter dish with various ingredients in a dashi broth. Hmm.. interesting. I like broth. Broth likes me.

I'm just going to list what we ate so it's easier to read.

Daikon Oden: Wow. Very impressed. Light flavors, good daikon texture and simple broth. Yum factor = 4/5

Fish Cake Oden: Light and fluffy, almost cloudlike in texture. Light broth and topped off with seaweed. Yum factor = 4.5/5

Noodle Oden: Uh.. not sure what the correct name is for this dish, but the waiter said it was similar to Udon. Too big and chewy for my taste. Served in an Udon flavored broth. Yum factor = 3/5

Xiao Long Bao: One of our favorites. 2 small dumplings in an awesomely flavored broth with scallions and radish. Omg.. orgasm in a bowl. I wish we had another order, it was so damn good. Yum factor = 5/5

Whole squid: I love squid! Perfectly grilled, seasoned and cut into small pieces. This sucker was big and we were glad the waiter told us we only needed to order one for the 2 of us. Yum factor = 4.5/5

Chicken meatballs: Meat on a stick! Nuff said. Yum factor = 5/5 (must order this)

Korean short ribs: Meh. Disappointing and way too chewy. We ordered 2 since we really loved Kalbi, but regretted that after the first bite. Flavor wasn't that good either. Yum factor = 2.5/5

Okra with pork: Mmmmm hmmmmm... so damn good. Love okra and combined with pork, this dish was a winner! I could have just ate okra by itself, that's how much I love it. Yum factor = 4/5

Is it just me or does everything taste better with alcohol? Ehh.. what the hell. I'm an alkie. I'll admit it.

I'd love to come back here and try the other oden and yakitori dishes. Great place!

1757 W Carson St
Ste A
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 781-9407


Anonymous said...

You gave the ribs 3/5?!? I'd say 2/5 and thats being generous.

Pandalicious said...


Daniel S. said...

Nice pics again. With iPhone? You've got some steady hands with that thing. The squid looks delicious; the color and presentation are far better than what I had at Raku (Vegas). Chicken meatballs look good--I love the ones at Nanbankan but I'd imagine Torihei's are better.
Can't blame you for the alcohol thing. This food pairs so well with sake and beer that it'd be a crime not to drink :)

Pandalicious said...

yes, iphone. only cuz i'm too lazy to carry a camera too. might have to upgrade to the 3GS, pix are so much better!

ohh.. the chicken balls at torihei are the best i've ever had. better than nanbanka and sasaya.

hm.. Raku.. may have to check that out this wknd. any recs?

Daniel S. said...

IMO, you might be a little disappointed with Raku after experiencing LA's offerings of Musha, Nanbankan, and now Torihei, but I leave that for you to decide :). That said, the Agadashi tofu is amazing, as was the pork belly and steak. The sake offerings were good, too. Yeah I got quite drunk there :-O. Definitely make a reservation if you go--it's a tiny place.

Pandalicious said...

mm agedashi tofu! love the tofu at sasaya.

is Raku $$$? we are already going to CUT, so don't want to be spending too much dough on food. leaves more $ for alcohol! :P

Kung Food Panda said...

Great place, though I'd suggest the half cooked egg with ikura and tomato oden next time! Those are my 2 favs at Torihei :)

Daniel S. said...

Raku can get pricey, especially if you go crazy with the specials. I think I spent $150 for two of us with tip and that was with lots of sake. It really depends on how much you order and how much alcohol shows up at your table. Another rec I'll mention is Sushi Samba in Palazzo. They've got a scenic bar, strong mixed drinks, and a solid variety of Japanese/Peruvian dishes. Good times there.

Pandalicious said...

Kung Fu- I'll try those next time! thx!

Daniel- yeah, been to sushi samba.. cool place. think we are gonna keep it low key this wknd. :)

SinoSoul said...

Sushi Samba is a chain from NYC and really lost its touch after the original partner left and the branches started to pop up everywhere.

Raku was less than $50 for the 2 of us, w/o sake and really rocked in terms of sophistication and flavor. James Beard nomination worthy, for sure.

Mixed reviews on Torihe's xiao long bao. Some people hated it?

Justin said...

i'm not sure what oden is, but now i'm curious enough to look around for it here

Pandalicious said...

Sino- those XLB were even better than din tai fung!

Justin- please do and share the info with me!