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 Mo-Mo Paradise Takeout!

Hello Mo-Mo Paradise Takeout!

Today is Easter; a day of prayer, renewal and hope. As we continue to pray for an end to this pandemic; we also continue to move forward as a community. One way to help bring hope to the many restaurants impacted in our communities is via ordering takeout or delivery.

In my next series of blog posts; I wanted to share some of my favorite restaurants that are offering great takeout deals.

One of the top restaurants on my go-to for takeout is Mo-Mo Paradise in Torrance. I first discover Mo-Mo Paradise back in 2017. The restaurant specializing in Japanese hot pot became a favorite of mine. I was not alone in loving this restaurant as there was always a crowd and a wait every single day.

With the pandemic; Mo-Mo Paradise like many other restaurants had to find innovative ways to offer food to their many customers. For the first time ever they launched a new delivery and take-out option.

First to debut on their new delivery and take-out menu were their bowls. For $9.95 customers have the choice of the Beef Shabu Curry Bowl, Beef Sukiyaki Bowl, Pork Tonkotsu Bowl, and Kimchi Pork Bowl. .

Their Beef Shabu Curry bowl is one of my favorites because it consists of their very popular savory curry that is normally part of their AYCE side buffet. For the to-go option they pile on rich curry over layers of thin sliced braised beef, caramelized onions and carrots. It is definitely fulfilling and very tasty!

I also like their Beef Sukiyaki bowl. It is a different take of their Beef Sukiyaki hot pot. Instead of a broth they have a rice bowl topped with thinly sliced beef, gobo, onions, carrots, king oyster mushrooms, napa cabbage, kale, mushroom, tofu ginger, green onions and a egg.

If one is craving for something more similar to their traditional Shabu Shabu menu; Mo-Mo Paradise has that too! They recently added to their delivery and takeout menu; Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki sets.

This Easter Sunday I ordered a shabu shabu set and it made for the perfect Easter feast. Right at the comfort of our home; we were able to cook and enjoy the yummy Japanese hot pot.

Each set is $45 and comes with choice of broth (tonkotsu, kimchi, sukiyaki or shabu shabu), choice of two meats (beef chuck eye roll, short plate or kurubota pork shoulder) choice of two sides (rice, udon or ramen), vegetables, sauces and condiments. One can also add a la carte such as pork meatballs.

Right now Mo-Mo Paradise even has a great deal of giving 10% off your order.

Needless to say all of our lives have turned upside down during this crisis. One of the things that remain constant however is love of family and support of community. Through different takeouts such as what Mo-Mo Paradise has to offer; I am still able to enjoy some of my favorites at home with family and at the same time be able support local eateries.

#SupportLocalBusiness #SaveRestaurants

For more smiles, please see my Yelp Review on Mo-Mo Paradise Torrance.

Hello Sari-Sari Store LA!

Hello Sari-Sari Store LA!

Sari-sari stores are very common in the Philippines. They are small convenience stores that can be found in many neighborhoods. Along the top of the sari-sari stores are displays of various products such as candy, soda and beauty products.

Walking into downtown Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market, I spot Sari-Sari Store. Just like in the Philippines there are several displays of common household products and consumables. Unlike the sari-sari stores in the Philippines, however, these products are not for sale. Instead what is for sale is a variety of rice bowls and that is because Sari-Sari Store at Grand Central Market is not a small market but instead a wonderful restaurant.

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Sari-Sari Store is a Filipino rice bowl stall conceptualized by Chef Margarita Manzke with business partner and husband Walter Manzke. If Chef Margarita Manzke and Walter Manzke sound familiar that is because they are the brains behind two other wonderful Los Angeles based restaurants, Republique and Petty Cash. They also are the owners of Philippines based bakery, Wildflour.

The idea behind Sari-Sari Store mainly came from Chef Margarita Manzke who was born and raised in the Philippines. She was exposed to the restaurant life early as her parents owned White Rock Resort, a hotel and restaurant just outside Manila.  Chef Marge wanted to bring to this Sari-Sari Store restaurant something “small, colorful, and casual” just like the real sari-sari stores. Every thing from the restaurant’s look to the menu is inspired by Chef Marge’s Filipino heritage.

The word “sari-sari” in the Filipino language, Tagalog essentially means “variety” and a variety is indeed found in the menu here. There is a variety of different Silog bowls; with silog meaning “singang” (garlic rice) + “itlog” (egg). The rice bowls offered included Filipino comfort food such as Arroz Caldo (rice porridge) and Filipino favorites like Lechon Kawali (crispy pork belly). They occasionally have specials as well such as Bistek Tagalog; the classic beef steak dish.

The day I went, I was fortunate to find one of my favorite Filipino dishes as one of the specials of the day. This was the Beef Tapa.

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Sari-Sari Store’s Beef Tapa bowl had marinated short ribs, garlic rice and pickled Fresno chiles. Served with the garlicky fried rice and sunny side up eggs, this beef tapa truly made my day. It was tender and full of flavor.  The tapa was marinated, to perfection, with just the right combination of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and pepper.

The other rice bowl that hit our table that day was one of the more traditional dishes folks associate with the Philippines; adobo.

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Sari-Sari Store’s take on adobo is a Adobo Fried Rice bowl. It has Mary’s organic chicken, garlic rice, pickled chiles and fried egg. The chicken at Republique is one of the most popular dishes and it was nice to see it incorporated here Filipino style.

Now speaking of Republique; at that restaurant Chef Marge’s speciality is the pastries. It is therefore not surprising  that Sari-Sari Store’s menu has some amazing desserts. She has not one but two regular sweets on the menu via the halo-halo and buko pie. I could not pass up on trying the buko pie as it is one of Los Angeles’ times top rated desserts.

It is no wonder Jonathan Gold of Los Angeles Times loves this dessert. It is truly one of the best pies I’ve had.  The buko pie consists of coconut, coconut and more coconut. Fittingly so as “Buko” means “young coconut” in Tagalog. All of this meaty coconut is mixed into wonderfully soft custard that is on top of Chef Marge’s famous pie crust. (It’s the same pie crust that is typically only found at Republique!). I’m still drooling as I think about this dessert. My only regret is I only bought one slice! Hehe.
Sari-Sari Store at Grand Central Market is not a convenience store. It is instead a lovely Filipino stall where you can have some hearty and delicious Filipino rice bowls and the best buko pie in town!
For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Sari-Sari Store