Hello Shin Sen Gumi 2 Go Spring Udon Fair!

Hello Shin Sen Gumi 2 Go Spring Udon Fair!

Ever since I discovered the various Shin-Sen Gumi restaurants, I have become quite a fan. My delight with the chain can be seen in my previous blog posts about Shin-sen-gumi Shabu ShabuHakata Ramen Shinsengumi and Shin-Sen Gumi Yakitori!

One of the things that I enjoy most about this restaurant is the various special offerings they have throughout the year. This April, I was pleasantly surprised with their Shin Sen Gumi Udon Fair at the Shin-Sen-Gumi 2GO restaurant at Tokyo Central! The fair featured sixteen kinds of new udon. Each week four different kinds of udon were featured.  Some of the creative offerings I saw were udon with cheesy fondue, udon with creamy crunch bacon, mushroom and avocado and udon with curry sauce and crispy pork!

On the day I came they had a creamy tomato and seafood udon.

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This creamy udon had clams in a very rich tomato broth. It had pasta like feel more than a soup. This was definitely one very unique dish.

One of the udons I got to try was the chunky beef udon.

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The chunky beef udon was a very comforting soup dish. It had good warm broth, had lots of ginger and green onions along with small pieces of chunky beef. This was something different from the creamy udon.

I really enjoyed how the udons offered at the Spring Udon Fair offered something for every taste bud. If you were craving something creamy and different, they had it. Crispy meat or hearty chicken? No problem! Savory broth or cheesy fondue? They will make it!

Udon for every type and every craving! The Spring Udon Fair at Shin-Sen Gumi 2 Go, simply made me smile.

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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 Gaja Japanese Restaurant!

Hello Gaja Japanese Restaurant!

I have a fascination with Japan and it’s a travel destination that I hope to one day visit. I won’t deny it that the biggest factor is Hello Kitty, my favorite Japanese kitty of all time. 😉 It’s my dream to one day take that Hello Kitty plane to Japan, go to Sanrio Puroland, buy Japan Hello Kitty exclusives and eat delicious Japanese cuisine. Ahh yes, Japanese cuisine, another reason why I would love to go to Japan one day. For now however I am lucky to bask in Hello Kitty happiness here in California and eat a different places that specialize in Japanese cuisine.

Just recently I tried out a great Japanese restaurant named Gaja Japanese Restaurant in Lomita, California. Gaja Japanese Restaurant specializes in various Japanese dishes of okonomiyaki, monjyayaki, pasta, udon and risotto.

On my trip here I got to try a variety of some of their various specialities. My meal first started off with fresh and healthy salad consisting of spinach and nice sweet dressing.

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After the salad, I got to try their Chinese style pork and egg udon.
This was a huge bowl filled with soft and long udon noodles, tender strips of Chinese style pork and scrambled egg. It’s a dish that reminds me of home cooking. It has a nice broth that just gives some comfort and warmth.

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On this day, I also got to try their Japanese style shimeji carbonara pasta. I’ve always been a fan of carbonara pasta and when I read they had shimeji, I was quite intrigued and excited. Shimeji is a group of mushrooms found in East Asia. I love mushrooms and found this a great addition to carbonara. Their carbonara is rich cream based dish with little strips of bacon. Their carbonara is more like a soup dish versus a pasta dish.
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Last but not least I had to try their okonomiyaki. This is what Gaja Japanese Restaurant is famous for. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake. The name comes is a combo of two Japanese words, okonomi and yaki. Okonomi means “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki means “grilled” or “cooked.” Here at Gaja you have the option of making and cooking your own okonomiyaki or having them cook it for you. Since it was my first time here ever, I had them cook it for me. I decided on the pork okonomiyaki.

When my okonomiyaki came out, I was simply in awe with the huge pancake that was presented to me. It was a giant okomiyaki made out of eggs, shredded cabbage and pork. Drizzled on top was the okonomiyaki sauce, mayo and seaweed. I chose to skip the bento flakes since I am not a fish flake person.

Taste wise, it was amazing. I loved the crispy outer edges of the okomiyaki and was such a fan of the freshness of the whole pancake!

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It was my first time trying this type of Japanese cuisine and I was very impressed. This restaurant introduced me to another flavor of Japan and only further inspired me to one day visit the land of the rising sun.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Gaja Japanese Restaurant.

Hello Shin-sen-gumi shabu shabu!

Hello Shin-sen-gumi shabu shabu!

Shabu shabu via Shin-sen-gumi! I tried this place for the first time this weekend! On weekend they have an all you can eat special! For $15, you get all you can eat angus beef.

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In the beginning, you start off with a small clean plate and bowl of boiling water! Soon enough that small plate will be filled with the delicious shabu shabu that you cook in that hot water.

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You are also provided the dipping sauces up front. They give you ponzu sauce and sesame paste. The sesame paste was my favorite.

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The lunch special comes with rice, mixed veggies and udon noodle. These all nicely compliment the thin pieces of angus beef.

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You can cook the veggies in the boiling water anytime but I chose to cook the meat first followed by the cabbages and carrots. I wanted to cook first the ones I thought would take longer. I added the mushrooms and udon noodle last. It actually did not take too long and I was soon on my way to eating yummy shabu shabu.

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I have only been to shabu shabu a couple times and this place was a great place to try shabu shabu once again! The all you can eat special is great and they have other great deals here as well.

For more smiles, please see my recent yelp review on Shin-sen-gumi.

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.