Restaurant Reviews

Restaurants that have made a good impression on me.

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Sushi Nozomi: An unexpected surprise

As my regular readers are aware, I eat a lot of sushi; I am pretty picky about the sushi I eat and there are only two people (Song and Alex) that I go to when I want it. Unfortunately, neither of my friends is currently available so I was prepared to abstain for a while. Tanya, on the other hand was not. Tanya is an interesting case because she only recently started eating sushi and she was only familiar with Song’s fusion style of preparation. Since we knew Song was selling his business, Tanya had been talking about visiting a new sushi bar and has been looking around and asking friends for recommendations. A couple of weeks ago she picked up a Los Angeles magazine that had an article that discussed the top 15 locations for sushi in Los Angeles; one of them was Sushi Nozomi in Torrance. I took a look around their website and was slightly uncomfortable; it was apparent they are more traditional sushi than the fusion style I had introduced Tanya to so I really was not sure she was going to like it. In fact, I had so little confidence on this being a positive experience that I did not bother bringing my camera. Tanya mentioned that if nothing else we can have some sake and beer, so the worst case scenario was not all that bad.

I have frequently said that the best restaurants are in strip malls, so I wasn’t taken aback by its location. It you want a seat with a view, sit at the bar and you can see how fresh the fish is. Their hours were the typical lunch (11:30-2:00PM) then closed until dinner (5:30-10:00PM). We got there shortly after they opened for dinner and there were already people seated. They have a very long sushi bar with three chefs at the ready; they all welcomed us with “Irasshaimase” as we entered. It was our first time there so I was prepared to sit at the first seats but there was a “Reserved” sign for the first 10 spots so we just walked down to the end where we met Toshi, our chef for the evening. Continue reading

Some of our favorite places to eat

I was going through some photos I have taken over the last nine days and decided that since I had not put them online yet, I would take the opportunity to talk about three locations Tanya and I visit on a pretty regular basis; and always have a good time. These locations are Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach; Abigaile Restaurant in Hermosa Beach and Benihana Restaurant in Torrance.

The first batch of photos are from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, a brewpub in Long Beach that specializes in barbecue style foods. As you might imagine, because it is the furthest away, I don’t go there as frequently as I would like. Every time I go in there and read the boards listing the beers brewed on location and the boards listing the numerous high quality guest beers, I wish I could just go spend the day and not have to worry about getting home. They have an amazing tap list. Last week they were having a bottle release party for their Thrillseeker IPA Bottle Release & Spontaneous Hop Frolic and since I am a definite hop head, we decided to head down there for some lunch and lots of hops. I like their fried pickles a lot; if you go there, give them a try.

The next set of photos are from one of our favorite locations in the South Bay, Abigaile Restaurant and The Brewery at Abigaile. You have probably seen many of my posts that mention The Brewery at Abigaile because I am such a fan of the beers they brew; but the restaurant deserves similar accolades as there are always tasty and interesting items on their menu. They have an R&D Hour, which is their happy hour, which starts at 5:00 PM. They have a “Testing Area” menu that is made up of items the chefs came up with “on a whim.” The Gogi Chicken Tacos were great. Continue reading

Schooner at Sunset, Sunset Beach

These photos were taken Saturday at a new gastropub, Schooner at Sunset, which is located at 16821 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach, CA. For those not sure where Sunset Beach is, it is the very north end of Huntington Beach, just south of Seal Beach. Your car’s GPS is most likely going to call it Huntington Beach, so don’t worry, it is all the same place.

To be honest, I am not really in the habit of going down there unless I am taking a weekend motorcycle ride down the coast. The fact of the matter is, when I initially left the house this afternoon I was headed north; but since the destination I had in mind was not to be found on the Charger’s GPS, I remembered hearing that Schooner at Sunset had opened, and put their address in the GPS instead. The only reason I knew of Schooner at Sunset was that a friend of mine, Daniel Drennon, told me he was involved as their Director of Craft Beer. Having met Daniel during the last American Craft Beer Week when he was the “beer guy” at LA Weekly, I knew that the craft beer menu would be something I could get into. When I saw his list of available craft beers on tap for their grand opening I was very disappointed that I was going to have to miss it due to a schedule conflict with a couple event photography gigs I had. Continue reading

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