Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hot Pot on Sawtelle: Morinoya

With the current chilly weather that LA is enduring, it's quite fitting that this review is for hot pot. 

Hot pot is usually associated with Chinese restaurants, but Morinoya serves up individual hot pots that hit the spot. 

You wouldn't know this restaurant exists since it's pretty much hidden on the second level of the Olympic Collection plaza, but if you're up for trying a new place, get yourself there asap.

They used to be open for lunch, but unfortunately have now made themselves strictly a dinner establishment. (boo)

On every occasion that I've been here, I always order the hot pot, either kimchi or the soy milk. Both are delicious, yet very different in taste.

Opt for the kimchi hot pot if you want more flavor and a bit of spice. There are small pieces of pork as well, so this would be good for meat lovers. 

kimchi hot pot
The soy milk hot pot is one-of-a-kind and I highly recommend it for fish lovers or those who prefer a milder flavor. It's more of a savory soy milk, so don't be scared off by the soy. It comes with bits of fish, mushrooms, and napa cabbage. 

soy milk hot pot
veggie tempura

Both hot pots come with a small salad, rice, and an appetizer of your choice. 
salmon + yellowtail sushi

I've tried the sushi here, but it's just okay. If you're here, take advantage of the hot pots and forgo the sushi.
Service ranges from good to just okay. I guess it depends on how busy they are, but the only complaint is having to wait for long periods of time if you are more than a group of 2.

They provide free parking validation for 1.5 hours, so feel free to park underground.

11301 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 473-3960

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Valley Ramen Joint: Tamashii Ramen House

tonkotsu shoya ramen

I was so excited to see a new ramen joint in the valley, but alas, it wasn't that good. 

Let's start with the positives of this place.

#1: Free parking the back lot. It's tiny though, so you might have to end up parking on Ventura Blvd which isn't that easy.

#2: Service was friendly

#3: Cute decor

Now, on to the negatives.

#1: Ramen wasn't very flavorful. I ordered the tonkotsu shoyu ramen which came with bamboo shoots, green onions, 1/2 of a hard boiled egg, crispy onions, and "succulent" pork. 

The pork was not succulent at all. It was quite chewy and hard to eat. The noodles are huge and curly. I'm more a fan of the thin, straight noodles. I felt the noodles were comparable to the ones in Top Ramen

#2: They charge you $.50 for garlic. Really? It's just a side of garlic! Throw it in for free, like most other ramen places do.

#3: The huge wooden spoon provided does not make it easy for you to drink your soup or put your noodles in. We had to ask for a regular soup spoon. 

#4: Portions are on the smaller side for ramen.

All in all, the place wasn't horrible, but I won't be coming back. There's way better ramen places in the area.

Tamashii Ramen House
14531 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 990-1268