Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori (Gardena, CA)

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The first thing you will notice about Shin-Sen-Gumi is how freaking loud it is. A cacophony of loud Japanese, drunken patrons, and the slight crackle of the grill provide an atmosphere that’s uniquely it’s own. It’s almost so loud you can barely hear yourself talk. Shin-Sen-Gumi has various locations and each serve different types of Japanese food (ramen, yakitori, shabu-shabu). This particular location featured yakitori, The wait time on a Saturday at 9:00pm was around 30-40 minutes.  Parking lot is large but can filled when it’s busy.  Definitely avoid weekends or prime dining hours, as they don’t flip tables fast here.

You order your food on a piece of paper similar to a sushi bar. It comes out on tiny skewers containing 3-5 pieces of grilled protein. The flavors were excellent throughout, the grilled Kobe style beef and pork belly were the real winners. Although it was $wpid-20150828_220808_hdr.jpg10 for two tiny kobe skewers, it was well worth the delicious juiciness. Bill usually ends up around $60-$70 for two people without drinks.  It can get pretty expensive for anyone with a monster appetite.

18517 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 715-1588

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Sakae Sushi (Gardena, CA)

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Cash only, street parking, no drinks, no dine in.  With that said, this is some of the best take out sushi you could possibly get. I look for reasons or make up excuses to go to Gardena just so I can order some of their glorious inari.  I usually get a few California rolls (made with seasoned shrimp instead of imitation crab), saba, ebi, and inari. Their attention to detail and quality is very impressive. Since it’s take out, the expectations are low but that will thought will be quickly erased after the first bite.  Easily the best California rolls and inari you could get anywhere. The rice is seasoned and cooled to perfection. It’s so good I don’t even bother with soy sauce.

Although it’s cliche as hell to say, Sakae is the definition of a hidden gem. The ordering area is about the size of a bathroom and there’s no dining area, but that doesn’t stop the brilliance behind the counter.

1601 W Redondo Beach Blvd
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 532-4550

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Asian Garden Night Market (Westminster, CA)

s5uzo7Craving South East Asian street food?  Look no farther than the Asian Garden Night market.
Night markets seem to be on the trend now a days and for good reason. (626, OC, Ktown night markets) Maybe it’s due to the increase of late at night munchies (thanks marijuana decriminalization) or the fact Asian countries have been doing this for centuries, regardless, it’s awesome to know I can get some balut at 10:00pm on a Sunday.

One thing to note, almost all of these “Night markets” have a shit load of generic food trucks.
Sorry, but in my opinion these have no place in an Asian night market.  Legit food vendors here, no bullshit Grilled Cheese trucks in sight. I prefer my food vendors to look like my elderly asian grandmother rather than some bearded hipster telling me about bulgogi.   Also, unlike the other night markets, I can try everything for under $25 and be out in an hour.  Small lines, no entrance or parking fee.
Please don’t fuck this up by crowding it up with all of your hipster friends.  If you can’t hang with Duck fetus’ and chicken guts, move along!

I had all kinds of shit to turn my ass into a volcano of devastation.
Crawfish, balut, avocado shake, bbq pork sticks, chicken hearts and liver were on the menu.  Don’t come too late, as they usually stop “cooking” food around 10-10:30.  Nothing worse than eating up reheated seafood 0_o
The Crawfish and balut were on point and delicious.  Would come back for those alone.  Open from Friday, Saturday & Sunday 7PM – 11PM.  June 19 – September 6, 2015.

9200 Bolsa Ave
Westminster, CA 92683

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