Hello Kotsu Ramen Redondo Beach!

Hello Kotsu Ramen Redondo Beach!

There is a new ramen spot in the South Bay and it is quickly making it’s way to the top of my favorite ramen places! Kotsu Ramen opened up it’s 10th location recently in Redondo Beach, California.

The concept of Kotsu Ramen is “Ramen for Fast Foodies.” They say “Eat. Slurp. Ramen. Repeat!” Being someone who is always on the go I love this concept. They’ve got food that may be fast but is delicious. There is a variety of options that is perfect for any ramen lover out there. At Katsu Ramen; one can your broth and protein. For the ramen broth; one can get the Kotsu (pork broth), Tori (chicken broth) or the Tonyu (plant based). As for proteins; one can get Pork Chashu, Chicken Meatballs or Tofu Steak. Aside from ramen; they have rice bowls and sides like Brussels sprouts, edamame, Takoyaki, chicken karaage and gyoza.

For my first visit here; I had to get one of my all time favorite Japanese side dishes; chicken karaage. Even for the chicken karaage; one has options. One can get it with original flavor, flame or curry. Being it was my first time I had to go traditional and decided to get the original.

I found their karaage to be tasty and unique. They give a bowl of small bite size, crispy pieces. It was bite sized bites but packed with flavor. It was definitely a nice starter for a great meal ahead.

For the ramen; I chose to do something a bit different. I got the Tonyu ramen with pork belly. Yes, I decided to get vegan broth with pork! No judging here as it was definitely a great mix.

I got the Tonyu with a kick and so it definitely had a spicy flare to it that added lots of flavor. The vegan broth was excellent. It was Iusciously creamy and I could barely even tell it was a vegan broth. One of the nice things about getting the Tonyu is it comes with corn, braised greens and Brussels sprouts. (Note they don’t have these veggies in the Kotsu or Tori but instead they have 1/2 an egg.) I am a big fan of brussels sprouts and corn and so this was definitely a nice touch! Overall enjoyed the crunch and texture this added to the ramen and the veggies paired really well with the protein.

Overall I am so happy to see Kotsu Ramen here in the South Bay! There are other locations are mostly in California but they also have a location in Portland, Oregon and they soon will be opening up Camas, Washington. There is a ramen for everyone here and it’s definitely the perfect ramen for fast foodies. Eat. Slurp. Ramen. Repeat.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Kotsu Ramen Redondo Beach.

Hello Kozo Sushi Japanese Sushi Kitchen!

Hello Kozo Sushi Japanese Sushi Kitchen!

Just this path month an amazing new Japanese restaurant opened up at the Rolling Hills Plaza in Torrance, California. Kozo Sushi Japanese Sushi Kitchen had their grand opening on April 1, 2022. Kozo Sushi originated in Japan in 1964 as takeout sushi place and now 58 years later the popular sushi takeout spot is now in the South Bay!

Similar to their original location; Kozo Sushi Japanese Sushi Kitchen specializes in sushi. One can mix and match to create your own sushi set or you can pick your favorite from their abundant selection. At the Torrance location they have 5 different signature sushi, 6 soy rolls and 24 different signature rolls. They even have one signature roll that was made specifically for the Torrance location. The Torrance Roll can only be found in Torrance and has shrimp tempura, cucumber, salmon, spicy mayo, sweet and hot sauce tempura, salmon spicy mayo and sweet and hot sauce.

My favorite here is the Tempura California Roll. It comes with Kanikama, Avocado, Cucumber and Sesame Sauce. It has the perfect crispy texture and I simply love that crunch at first bite!

Though sushi is their speciality; there are a lot more delightful dishes that can be found at Kozo Sushi Japanese Sushi Kitchen. They’ve got appetizers (edamame, takoyaki, sashimi, gyoza dumplings, tofu nuggets, teriyaki chicken, tempura, egg rolls, karaage), bowls (Teriyaki Chicken Bowl, Beef Sukiyaki Bowl, Mix of Chicken and Beef Bowl), noodles (Shrimp Tempura Udon, Chicken Udon, Beef Sukiyaki Udon), Curry Rice (Katsu Curry, Chicken Karaage Curry) and salads (Green Salad, Seaweed Salad, Teriyaki Chicken Salad, Soft Shell Crab Salad). It is definitely an amazing menu full of yummy Japanese dishes.

Being a karaage and curry lover; I just had to check out their Chicken Karaage Curry. I was definitely pleased with this curry. The curry sauce has just the right spice. It’s not too spicy but definitely has enough of a fiery kick to delight one’s tastebuds. The curry sauce is also thick and perfect over the rice.

There is definitely plenty to choose from at Kozo Sushi Japanese Sushi Kitchen and so one of my favorite things to do is to get a 3 item customized combo. It’s the perfect way to try a variety of things. The 3 item combo comes with your choice of main items including a roll if you’d like. It also comes with white or brown rice and miso soup.

I love being able to mix and match my favorite items. My favorites include karaage chicken, tempura and the California rolls. The Karaage chicken always comes out hot and fresh from their kitchen and is so crispy. Similar to that is the tempura. I love the crunchy texture of the tempura.

58 years after their first location in Japan; Kozo Sushi Japanese Kitchen continues to introduce delicious Japanese food to many. I am definitely happy that they have their newest location in Torrance. I have tried a variety of their food and can say each time I visit I leave happy and full.

For more smiles; please check out my Yelp Review on Kozo Sushi Japanese Kitchen .

Hello Japanese Food Expo 2020!

Hello Japanese Food Expo 2020!

This January 25, 2020; a very special event happened Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, California. Right at the heart of Hollywood; the Japanese Food Expo 2020 took place. Visitors got to experience authentic Japanese food, drinks, performances and cultural experiences.

This event was presented by the Japanese Food Culture Association and there were over 30 boothes showcasing premium tastes from Japan, Tokyo Street Food, Japanese sake and beer and Japan tourism.

The Japanese Food Expo this year had the very popular Sake and Beer Alley.

Showcasing 20+ premium sake brands; one could taste various sake of all kinds of flavors from pineapple to lychee to honey citrus. There was also popular beers from Sapporo, Suntory and Asahi.

The Sake Alley was amazing but not to be outdone was savory foods. The expo had so many savory delights.  There was sushi, chicken karaage, curry, okonomiyaki, noodles and more.

One of our first stops was Cup Curry.

There was rice on the bottom, curry in the middle and cheese on top. It was the cutest curry cup ever and one tasty one too!

Another fun stop was the Karaage Stick booth.

Chicken karaage is definitely one of my favorite Tokyo street foods. Here at the 2020 Japanese Food Expo; the karaage stick had a unique touch. It consisted of two pieces of Japanese fried chicken karaage and one marshmallow all drizzled in sushi sauce. It was different and delicious!

Sushi of course could not be missing at a Japanese Expo.

There was plenty of sushi to go around courtesy of the Suzumo International Corporation. Fresh seafood made for yummy eats.

There was also Chirashi from JFC International Inc.

Chirashi sushi is “scattered” sushi. Here at the Japanese Food Expo the scattered mix was in a bowl of rice with vegetables and lots of fish

Another delightful booth featured okonomiyaki; the traditional Japanese food pancake.

Made from Osaka style Okonomiyaki flavor; this was indeed something food expo visitors were sure to like! (Trivia: the word Okonomiyaki is derived from the two words:  okonomi, meaning “how you like” and yaki meaning “cooked.”

Aside from the savory; there were plenty of sweet treats all round as well.

There was Japanese Style Popcorn that you could make savory or sweet to your liking.

Toppings for customizing your popcorn included curry honey sauce, miso honey, yukari butter and furikake butter.

Dessert delights awaited at the Matcha Soft Serve station.

The Matcha Soft Serve was topped with rice crackers “arare!” Arare is bite-sized Japanese crackers made flavored with soy sauce.

Another favorite Japanese dessert is mochi. At the Japanese expo they were serving some scrumptious strawberry mochi.

The mochi had a giant strawberry in the middle and was topped with read bean paste.

Pear- Yokan by Niigatta was one delightful treat all the way from Japan

Le Lectier Pears are grown on the banks of the Shinano river in Japan. Once they are harvested, Yokan by Niigata adds a sweet bean mixture making for a soft texture and a lovely taste.

One very popular booth was Traditional Japanese Candy Art performed by artist Candy 5.

Candy 5 was making each delicate and unique sculpture by hand and molding them. She was making customized candy art of people’s pets as well as cute character favorites. Hello Kitty love!

Speaking of cute characters; one highlight of the was the event was being a contestant of the onigiri character bento completion.

It was 15 minutes to design your own onigiri characters. My hands were shaking the whole time hehe! I didn’t win but I sure did have a lot of fun. I chose to make Hello Kitty with her boyfriend Dear Daniel.

The Japanese Food Expo was one great event! It was amazing to see and taste so many exquisite Japanese food creations and drinks. Oishi! I can’t wait for next year ;).