Hello Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr!

Hello Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr!

There’s a new place in Torrance for some tasty tempura!

Located in Old Torrance is Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr! It’s a brand new tempura spot owned and operated by Carlos A Pinto of Hannosuke fame.

Carlos’ love for tempura begin at an early age when he went to Japan from Peru. It was there that he learned to love tempura and when he went to the United States; his passion for tempura was enhanced when he started working at “Nihonbashi Ten-don Kaneko Hannosuke;” a famous Japanese restaurant that opened up in Torrance.

This year Hannosuke will sadly be closing it’s Torrance shop but Carlos didn’t want the love of tempura in the South Bay to stop and he decided to open up his own restaurant and hence the opening of Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr!

Tempura love can definitely be seen in the cuisine offered here. Their tempura is deep fried in original Koromo batter that is made by precise gram of water and flour. They also only use 100% plant oil and combine it with Japanese sesame oil to fry their tempura. Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr. also has a special secret sauce called Tare/Tsuyu sauce.

Yesterday was their grand opening and I was one of the first lucky 100 that tried their Special Tempura bowl. It had white fish, 2 shrimps, kakiage, seaweed, shishito pepper and half boiled egg!

The freshness and overall quality of the tempura was the best. It felt like I was in Tokyo once again.

There is no need to fly all the way to Tokyo however to find tasty tempura because it can be found right here in Torrance! Today, November 2, 2019, Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr will have it’s first full regular day from 11am-9pm.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on Tendon Tempura Carlos Jr.

Hello Oumi Sasaya!

Hello Oumi Sasaya!

Bonding with my Mama Kitty are the most special moments for this Hello Kitty Foodie. I love my mom and love spending time with here. With her, I’ve tried some of the best restaurants around town.

In the recent years, we’ve grown fond of Japanese food and thus for this Mother’s Day, it was fitting to try out one of the South Bay’s most popular Japanese restaurants, Oumi Sasaya. Located in Lomita, California, Oumi Sasaya, offers authentic Japanese noodles and broth with no additivites. This restaurant is a re-creation of the original “Sasaya” restaurant in the “Oumi” region of Japan.  The child of the original Oumi Sasaya immigrated to the US and decided to open this restaurant here in California in order to continue the legacy of their father.  I love that this restaurant was built as child’s tribute to their father.

My mom and I’s dining experience here started off with a complimentary tofu dish. It’s a soft a small soft tofu with a little bit of green onions sprinkled on top.

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My mom and I both chose to get combos for our main dishes. My mom got the shrimp tempura and egg bowl with mini hot udon.

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I chose to get the simmered chicken tempura and egg bowl with mini hot udon .

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Our dishes were very similar. Both of our rice bowls were filled with lots of soft, scrambled egg on top of white rice. My mom’s bowl had three pieces of shrimp tempura while mine had three pieces of large chicken tempura. I loved my chicken tempura. It was lightly battered and fried to golden perfection making it uber crispy at first bite. On the side was some yellow radish that great when mixed in with the egg and chicken in the rice bowl.  The accompanying mini hot udon was very nice.

This place is known for their udon and it’s not hard to see why. The broth is simple but has comforting to the palate. Their udon noodles are fresh, soft and delicate. They are perfectly chewy. Topping the udon was lovely tempura crisps.  Together the heartwarming broth and the savory egg bowls made a perfect pair.

Everything that my mom and I tried here was very delcious. I couldn’t help but notice how many other families were here as well enjoying the traditional Japanese udon dishes. It really is a lovely place to enjoy homemade fresh udon noodles and hearty bowls. My mom and I were full of smiles after our Mother’s Day meal here.

It truly was a lovely beautiful Mother’s Day with my mom. Every moment with her is the sweetest and I treasure all those times! I hope that all of you dear readers got to have an equally sweet Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day!

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Oumi Sasaya.

Hello Komatsu!

Hello Komatsu!

When I spotted the sign that Komatsu would be opening up in Torrance, I instantly bookmarked it on my list of places to try. I had the pleasant surprise of spotting last Saturday night that this place was open and made plans to try it soon.

Today, along with a friend, I got to try the newly open restaurant.

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Up front, the servers at Komatsu served some complimentary tea. The tea was barley tea and had a heartwarming, toasty taste that was perfect for the cold, rainy day.

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For our main meals, my friend and I both got lunch sets that included rice, miso soup and pickles. The miso soup makes for a great starter because it was flavorful and light.

For my main entree, I got the pork cutlet with starchy egg sauce. This seemed to be one of the most popular items on the menu as I noticed many tables ordering the same thing.

Crispy strips of pork cutlet were drizzled with starchy egg sauce and put on top of white rice. The breaded coating over the pork gave a perfectly, nice crunch but the main pork itself was undercooked. For someone who normally does not eat pork dishes, I found myself wishing they had made this a chicken dish instead. Nevertheless, although I was not too fond of the main meat, it was fairly good tasting dish. The starchy egg sauce was what made this bowl unique. The thick egg sauce gave lots of extra flavor and made for a good rice topping.

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My friend got the assorted tempura combo. It was a very lovely looking tempura dish that came with sweet potato, eggplant, fried fish and shrimp. I got to try some of the veggie tempura and found it to be very fresh. It was crispy and tasty.

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I found Komatsu to be a very nice Japanese restaurant with friendly service and fulfilling food. They serve very classic Japanese cuisine. The lunch menu is limited and the dinner menu has more to offer. Perhaps for a future blog post, Hello Kitty Foodie will be back for dinner. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Komatsu.

Hello Benihana dinner boats!

Hello Benihana dinner boats!

Benihana has always been one of my favorite spots to eat at. It’s a lot of fun to eat at the teppanyaki side of the restaurant and watch the chefs do their food exhibition. In the recent years, however, I have come to also appreciate eating at the sushi bar side of the restaurant. At the sushi bar side, there are items that one can try that are not offered on the teppanyaki side. These lounge specials are equal in taste and deliciousness. My favorite lounge specials are the Benihana dinner boats! Different dinner boats are offered throughout the year. Just recently I got to try two types of dinner boats, the tempura dinner boat the Katsu dinner boat.

All dinner boats include Benihana onion soup, Benihana salad, California roll, edamame, seamed rice and fresh fruit.

The tempura dinner boat came with tempura chicken in a skewer, tempura colossal shrimp, vegetables and fresh fruit.

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The tempura dinner boat was my favorite! It was quite a sight to see when they first presented it. In particular what stood out were the two large chicken skewers and the giant pile of vegetable tempura that included large onion rings. Everything in this tempura boat had a nice crisp to it! I liked the overall variety of this boat because it had chicken, shrimp and vegetables. It’s perfect for anyone who likes tempura! It is tempura tasting at it’s finest!
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The Katsu dinner boat came with panko breaded chicken cutlet, fried lobster and salmon filet topped with avocado tartar sauce.

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The katsu dinner boat is good for seafood lovers because of the lobster and the salmon fillet. They do have chicken in this dinner boat though for the non-seafood eaters. Everything in the katsu dinner boat was fried until golden and crispy. This dinner boat also included dipping sauces for the respective katsu entrees. There was a sweet teriyaki flavored sauce for the chicken and a avocado tarter sauce for the lobster and salmon filet.

The dinner boats at Benihana are around $17 and a great deal! It is plenty of delicious food and gives a nice variety of Japanese food delights.

If you can’t make it out for dinner, they also do lunch boats for a little over $10. You can choose from chicken, beef or salmon!

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As I mentioned when I started this post, Benihana is one of my favorite dining places. Aside from the dinner boats, I’ve tried a variety of different dishes here through the years.

For more smiles, please see my yelp reviews through the years on Benihana.

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Hello Ichimi-An!

Hello Ichimi-An!

I enjoyed a Friday night dinner with my good college friend and fellow Yelper Mary Ann V at Ichimi-An

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I did not know until I was there that Ichimi-An is actually a sister restaurant of the previous restaurants I’ve blogged about before: Inaba and Ichimi Ann Bamboo. Comparing between the three, Ichimi-An falls in between. Ichimi Ann Bamboo is the place with more simple dishes (eat by yourself type of place). I-naba is the restaurant with the fancier meals (go here for a date or special occasion type of place). Ichimi-An is the one with simple but yet more than your average hole in the wall eats (hang out with good friends type of place). It is therefore the perfect place for hanging out with one of my college besties :).

My friend got the assorted tempura combo. It’s a nice combo that comes with salad, miso soup, white rice, sashimi and radish. For $14.95, it is a great deal of fresh and delicious food.

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I got the Vegetable Ten Kake (w/Vegetable Tempura). It comes with vegetable fried rice and hot soba. This set is $11.95 and is a perfect for vegetarians.

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The vegetable tempura was great! There were a variety of different veggies from green beans to sweet potato. I could tell it was freshly made! You have your choice of matching it with the fried rice or you place it on top of the soba but either way it was hot, crispy and very tasty.

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The vegetable fried rice was flavorful! I was happy to see fried rice versus white rice. The fried rice paired nicely with my vegetable tempura. The small bowl size is just right for this set because you will already have a fair share of carbs via the buckwheat noodles in your soba.

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The soba was in a large bowl. The bowl was filled with flavorful warm broth and fresh buckwheat noodles. It is the perfect meal for dinner because it’s not too heavy but yet still hearty and fulfilling.

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Our meals were complimented with some barley tea. We enjoyed the hot tea a lot. It was so soothing to be drinking this tea. It was nice to be enjoying the meal with this tea and just chit chatting about life and friendship.

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Ichimi-An like their sister restaurants was a great food experience for me! I’m glad I got to spend a nice Friday dinner here with my good college friend.

For more smiles, please see my recent yelp review on Ichimi-An.

Hello I-naba!

Hello I-naba!

Dining at I-naba was a wonderful experience for me. I was very impressed with the overall atmosphere of the restaurant and the quality of the food that they offer. They make their own noodles daily!

At I-naba I tried the udon with tempura crunch. You have the choice of choosing soba or udon and either hot or cold. Since it was a cold Friday night, I chose to get the hot. My tempura crunch came with the a large bowl of freshly cooked udon and a side of crispy tempura crunch toppings to sprinkle on the soup. The warm broth with the fresh noodles made for such a heartwarming meal. Putting the crunch toppings added even more happiness to this meal.

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Aside from the udon, I also tried my friend’s tempura which consisted of shrimp, jalapenos, zucchini and beans. Like their noodles, I-naba makes their tempura fresh. The quality of the tempura was superb.

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Fresh food and lovely dining room made for a wonderful evening at I-naba.

For more smiles, please see my recent yelp review on I-naba.

Hello Ichimi Ann Bamboo!

Hello Ichimi Ann Bamboo!

Ichimi Ann Bamboo is a sweet little restaurant in Old Torrance offering cold and hot soba and udon! I recently came here and loved that the majority of their offerings are vegetarian.

For my main entrรฉe, I tried, the croquette soba. The soba is made with buckwheat noodles. The croquette is potato and is presented at the side. The croquette soba is great! The soba noodles are fresh and the broth was flavorful and warm! Likewise, the croquette was nice too. It was very crispy on the outside and the potato inside was creamy and soft.

For a side appetizer, I got tempura. It was basically one large crispy onion patty.

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This place is great for a quick meal of freshly made noodles and yummy soup! The complimentary drinks of brown rice and barley tea are a nice touch as well!

For more about my experience at Ichimi Ann Bamboo, please read my yelp review here:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/ichimi-ann-bamboo-garden-torrance#hrid:44V_kP1xmy1LATwyuN5wGg