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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4stars1

New Orleans Cajun & Creole Cuisine (Hermosa Beach, CA)

wpid-wp-1438411921740.jpgEvery time I go to Hermosa Beach, I stroll past the beautifully lit New Orleans Cajun and tell myself, “When you sober up, you should go here and eat some gumbo.” It took years for this to happen. Fortunately, tonight was the night I took on the challenge and decided to demolish the ultimate seafood gumbo. This bad bowl contains king crab, shrimp, sausage, chicken, and a scoop of white rice with green onions.

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Ultimate seafood gumbo ($31)

The broth has the flavor of all the seafood and some of that classic Louisiana gumbo stock. Absolutely delicious with the rice and a few splashes of their hot sauce. It came loaded with tons of shrimp, sausage, and chicken. However, there was only 4 small cut pieces of king crab. It’s also a bit salty and doesn’t have enough white rice for my Asian-ass. With that said, it’s not the best gumbo around town. New Orleans has the best gumbo on Earth, but there’s a Louisiana Fried Chicken joint in Compton equipped with bulletproof glass like a bank and has the best gumbo outside of The Big Easy (serious). On one hand you’ve gotta dodge crackheads and panhandlers, on the other you’ve got shitty beach parking and douche bags. Pick your poison.

140 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310) 372-8970

4stars1

LBC Seafood (Long Beach, CA)

30utzl5Tired of overpaying for seafood that’s supposed to be fresh?  LBC seafood is for the pseudo chef that wants to recreate the “Boiling Crab” experience at home.  I picked up this monster 15lbs spider crab for $30.
They have shellfish here you can’t find in many other spots.  Everything from live crab (rock, dungeoness, spider), crayfish, lobsters (spiny and Atlantic), clams, mussels, fish, shrimp, and other unique treats. They even steam/fry your food on request.  The quality is a notch above the competition, it’s clean, fairly priced, and doesn’t smell like fishass.  Location is somewhat shady, but they have their own parking lot in the back.o

I’ve picked up live dungeoness crabs, rock/stone crabs, large raw head-on shrimp, and mussels.  Everything was clean, fresh, and delicious.  Customer service is on point too, they’ll answer any questions you may have and point you where you need to go.

1436 Cherry Ave
Long Beach, CA 90813
(562) 439-0500

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EMC Seafood & Raw bar (Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA)

11755680_10206511441118616_2155209651326565950_nOh, Koreatown how I love your late night foodie spots.  EMC is located in the middle of Ktown inside a mini mall, which means easy parking. Awesome sauce!  Inside, it’s loud, crowded, and usually has a wait.  No reservations accepted.

Now on to the food: It’s alright.  For $95, you get the colossal EMC tower.  Our server told us it would be more than enough for 2 people.  After clearing the tower, I’d say it’s more for 1.5 people.  It came with 6 oysters (chefs choice), 6 mussels, 6 clams, 5 shrimp, 2 lobsters, and some uni.   Sounds like a lot of food, but I’d say 70% of it is shell.

The lobsters were steamed, cut in half, then served chilled on ice.  For me, this method takes out a lot of flavor.  The lobster meat was cold and flavorless.  Had to butter that shit up to even swallow the bug meat.  The rest of the tower was pretty good but I have a hard time justifying $100 and still bei5nkhteng hungry.

Overall, the happy hour (4pm – 7pm  or 10pm – close) they have is legit.  $1 oysters, cheap beer, and some other fried crap to fill the belly.  However, the EMC tower was a tad disappointing and the wait time wasn’t worth it.  Cool atmosphere and location though.

3500 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 351-9988

3-star

Kettlebar Steam Cooking (Anaheim, CA)

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Kettlebar pan roast

After failing to make it to the famous Oyster Bar in Vegas, I decided to trek to Anaheim to try and satisfy my pan roast craving.
Kettlebar is located inside a food plaza/court called Anaheim Packing District.  It’s easily one of the most beautifully designed food courts I’ve ever seen.  Parking was a pain in the ass, but valet was only $3 so that made me happy.
The pan roast itself was so freaking good.  The creamy tomato broth combined with the white rice and loads of seafood make this a must have dish.

The Kettlebar pan roast had lobster, shrimp, snow crab, and chicken.  All of which were cooked perfectly.  I did notice majority of the lobster was claw meat and a lack of crab, but no big deal.  For $23 I figured it would enough for one person.  It turned out to be enough for two people, given you get an extra bowl of rice.  Service was excellent and everything was filled up without noticing.

If you missed out on the Oyster Bar in Vegas, this is the next best thing.

440 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 408-7378

4stars1