The Skinny: So I learned about the Fat Spoon from another food blog called Weezermonkey. The blogger had an Uni (Seah Urchin) Croquette, loved it, and that’s what I wanted for lunch today. Unfortunately for me, when I went there with some coworkers, they did not have any in supply to fry up for me. So instead, the waiter recommended their Uni Pasta special, so I went with that.
The Fat Spoon is a new restaurant in Little Tokyo that serves Japanese style Curry, Croquette, and Pastas just like the Curry House chain. It’s right next door to the popular Daikokuya Ramen house and I’m pretty sure that Fat Spoon is owned by Aburiya Toranoko, which itself is somehow connected to the people at Lazy Ox. I could be wrong though.
The High: One of my coworkers ordered some Mini Corn Dogs as an appetizer. They were actually pretty good because the Hot Dog they used had a good meaty bite to them, while the Ketchup it came with had a bold Steak Sauce kick.
The Bad: When Uni is good, it’s really good, but when it’s bad, it’s really really bad. From what people tell me and what I’ve experienced, fresh Uni tastes sweet and like the ocean. Well, my Uni Pasta did taste like the ocean, but without the sweet and saltiness of the sea. There were slivers of Uni still in intact throughout the dish, but they were quite bitter and a bit off-putting. The Pasta sauce was creamy but bland, I literally had to drown my bowl with grated Parmesan just to add some salty depth. The only redeeming things about the Pasta dish was the mixed Mushrooms that serve as a meaty texture component, and the Spaghetti Noodles, which were cooked just right.
Would you come back again? In retrospect, I should have got the Curry since that’s what they are known for. So next time, I’ll order that….but I won’t be in any rush.
More Info: Yelp | Address: 329 E 1st St | Los Angeles, CA 90012 | They serve Beer and Shochu | The Uni Pasta cost me $14, but on average, every other dish costs around $10.
p.s. pics taken with my android smartphone….sooooo….yeahhh
The Skinny: Went to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles to play around with my digital cameras and came across a Nisei festival and a Takoyaki stand named Takoyaki Tanota. In general I love Octopus, which is also why I love Takoyaki and this find was a treat!
The Good: The painfully hot pancake balls with chunks of Octopus was just that. They burnt the insides of my mouth, but the portion size of the Octopus nuggets were good and made it worth while. 5 dollars bought me 8 pieces and they were all delicious. I got the regular Takoyaki sauce but they also have Ponzu and Jalapeno versions.
The Bad: It’s not the most filling meal in the world, but then again, it is just a snack really.
Would you come back again? Sure, if I’m lucky enough to come across it again.
More Info: Little Tokyo: www.takoyakitanota.com
The Skinny: Orochon, the Ramen place that television host Adam Richman of “Man v. Food” visited and placed on the Travel Channel so viewers can see him drip away like the Wicked Witch of the West. The restaurant is known for a challenge that gives patrons 30 minutes to eat a spicy cesspool of molten hot broth full of Egg Noodles and more Jalapeno slices than a bowl of cheerios. The payoff, if someone finishes it, is a free t-shirt and a Polaroid picture of them placed next to Adam on their Bulletin Board of Fame. While I did try to take on the challenge and failed in front of Nom Nom Bobbie a year ago, I only went there today to eat lunch with Echo and Jazzy. Since every food blogger and their 2nd cousin on Yelp has already reviewed Orochon, I might as well too.
Orochon offers 3 styles of broth to choose from, Miso (which is a thicker kind), Soy, and Salt base. You get to choose levels of spiciness, 7 being free of it, 1 being face melting hot, and “Special 2” being the reason why you died on the toilet. Each order of Ramen automatically comes with slices of Pork, Green Bell Peppers, and Green Onions. You can also add extras like a Boiled Egg, Bean Sprouts, Char Siu Pork, Butter, Garlic, and more. While Ramen is their thing, you can get side dishes like sauteed Bamboo Shoots and Gyoza and then pair it with cold Japanese beer on tap.
The High: I do enjoy Orochon’s version of Ramen since I am a fan of clear based broths. I like how they use Green Bell Peppers to influence the scent and taste of the overall broth. It is simply tasty stuff and their noodles are decent. Jazzy ordered the Miso base version with a Boiled Egg, Bean Sprouts, and Hyper level 2 spiciness. I could tell he liked it because even after we paid the bill, he kept on sipping on the leftover soup. Echo got the Salt based Ramen at level 4 and even though his face was melting off from the heat, he was still enjoying the tastiness of it all. I got the Soy based broth with Char Siu Pork and Bamboo Shoots at the same heat level as Echo’s. Like I mentioned before, the stuff is just tasty and the fragrance from the Green Peppers really adds something different to their Ramen in comparison to other styles that prefer that thick broth. Also, that extra Char Siu Pork I ordered melted between my chopsticks…..not sure if that’s a good thing, but it tasted great!
With our orders of Ramen, Jazzy also got some Gyoza and while I didn’t have one, I do remember a few times that I did and they were delicious.
The Low: Orochon isn’t the best Ramen in the world, but that’s as low as it goes. People will either love it, hate it, or think it’s whatever.
Would you come back again? Yes and I have.
More Info: 123 S Onizuka St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 | If you pay by card, be sure to order more than 20 bucks. All 3 Ramen without any extras are under 7 bucks.