Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Taihei Japanese Restaurant

A lot of sushi restaurants are doing omakase dining these days, which is sushi based on the chef's choice. Sometimes it's not straight sushi either, as the chef could choose to serve some hot or cold appetizers as well. But omakase is the best thing to get because you get to experience cuts that the chef doesn't always serve or stores away specifically for these types of menus.

Most omakase can run over $100 per person, but Taihei Japanese Restaurant in Monterey Park is very good and very affordable. If you've never had omakase before, definitely try this restaurant out! You can get the menu at either the tables or the sushi bar, which is different from most other places that only serve omakase at the bar. Plus, it will only run you about $50 per person before tax and tip!

salmon, yellowtail belly, toro

hama hama oysters

ikura, uni, sweet shrimp

Spanish mackerel

tai snapper, striped bass, halibut

squid with shiso, octopus with salt and lemon

saltwater eel, freshwater eel

There was a final dish that was diner's choice of whatever was on the menu - clam soup, miso soup, tempuras, etc. They told me that it was included in the omakase but I have a sneaking suspicion that they just charge you for the price of the item - so you could choose something cheaper or pricier and you will just be charged accordingly. There's no way they gave my parents tempura and me an extra two pieces of toro (shown at the top picture) for the same price!

Taihei Japanese Restaurant
2195 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Kentro Greek Kitchen

If you ever find yourself in Downtown Fullerton (or DTF as some locals call it), do yourself a delicious favor and go to Kentro Greek Kitchen. The atmosphere in the area can be relatively bro-y and full of college kids at night ... so bypass the bars and settle yourself at Kentro instead. The atmosphere is relaxing and informal: you order at the cashier, pay and take your number to any table you wish and seat yourself. Food will be brought to you and if you order drinks, they will come refill them.

I came for lunch with a friend and we each ordered our own dishes, but ended up sampling off each other's plates. The picture up top are the patates lemonates - roasted lemon potatoes. They are delish.

psari tiganito - panfried fish, kalamboki (roasted corn, kefalotiri butter)

paithakia - lamb chops, tatziki, briami (baked seasonal vegetables, feta)

The portions are generous for the price and everything is fresh and well seasoned. I could not stop eating the corn that came with the fish, much to my friend's dismay. We were running on a tighter schedule than usual, but I'd definitely want to round up the meal with some baklava or Greek beignets and a nice latte. Beer and wine is also served, so this could be a nice casual date night restaurant as well - for those times where you want to be low key but also make an amazing impression.

Kentro Greek Kitchen
100 S Harbor Blvd, Suite A, Fullerton, CA 92832