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Torihei is an Izukaya (居酒屋) restaurant located in Torrance, CA.  It had gained its fame the past few years for the quality of its food (not necessary the service tho) as well as their oden dishes.  I’ve been wanting to take wifey to try Torihei since I last came with Toorima back in April, 2010.  However, you usually need to make reservations a couple of days ahead in order to secure a table and/or counter seat.  We got lucky this time and they could squeeze us in for a pair of counter seats with late afternoon rsv’p.

This place is packed as usual and our rsvp time was 730; we got here 30mins early.  LA traffic is hard to predict when it rains.


dare to try the “?” or “smiley face” wine?

full house

And the bad service story begins here:

19:35… lets start eating… Fried Cartilage; and Chicken Skin w/Ponzu -very chewy chk skin with  Ponzu sauce made it very refreshing

Fried Cartilage
Chicken Skin w/Ponzu

19:45… Salmon Sashimi; and Xiao Long Bao

Salmon Sashimi
Xiao Long Bao (小籠包)

19:50… Beef Tongue Stew; and Chicken Soup – we both like the chk soup,  it tastes pretty good.

Boil Beef Tongue Stew
Chicken Soup

19:55… Kobe Beef Carpaccio… very chewy like beef jerky, but the sauce was good.

Kobe Beef Carpaccio

20:00… Chicken Gizzard; and Chicken Liver (melt in your mouth, but not as good as Shin Sen Gumi’s)

Chicken Gizzard
Chicken Liver

20:20… then after 20 mins of waiting… they brought out the Fried Burdock Root – AVOID as it taste very weird.

Fried Burdock Root

20:25… Here comes the Chicken Heart

Chicken Hearts

At this point, I started to suspect they totally forgot our remaining orders because the next item didn’t arrive in another 15 minutes later

20:40… Chicken Wings; and Beef Tongue.  Both items are good.

Chicken Wings
Beef Tongue

20:50… another 10 mins wait, Beef Short Ribs; and Shiitake Mushroom

Beef Short Ribs
Shiitake Mushroom

21:00… dessert time, we got the Black Sesame Ice Cream, not as good as those in Japan tho.

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Overall, the food was good and above standard.  It was just their services had a little hiccup tonight, maybe everyone was still in holiday mood.  I would definitely come back and try again before I strike it off my list.

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