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Kagaya Restaurant, Little Tokyo Downtown Los Angeles...

February 22 2009 at 12:36 AM
ED209  (Login EDW209)
AP Discussion Group

 
Anyone else enjoy shabu shabu?

It's been cold and rainy the past month here in Los Angeles. So my girlfriend and I drove to the Little Tokyo area near downtown Los Angeles for shabu shabu. Kagaya restaurant is inside the Honda Plaza and is a fairly small place. I'm glad I made reservations, otherwise it would have been a 2 hour wait.
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The best seats are at the counter where you can see Chef Masato "Masa" Kagaya expertly prepare the dishes for the restaurant. Most other places focuses just on the shabu shabu, but Kagaya is unique in that it's part of the set menu instead of being the primary meal. Dinner includes two appetizers, a soup course, then the shabu shabu, udon or rice porridge (zosui) and dessert.

The other difference is the price, as it's approx 3x or more than other places. This is because Kagaya serves USDA prime beef, or Japanese wagyu imported from Miyazaki, Japan. They also offer a mixed prime beef and seafood combo. Since this was the first time visiting we decided on the USDA prime beef.


Our first appetizer was fresh sashimi kampachi (yellowtail):
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The kampachi was served with thinly sliced onions, chives, and caviar with a ponzu sauce. It was delicious. Here's a closeup pic:
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Next was our soup:
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The soup was made with a tender piece of monkfish and sliced scallions:
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Our second appetizer was a steamed Chilean seabass. The sauce was interesting, it had a slightly sweet and sour taste but was very good:
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It was great watching Chef Masa taking orders and preparing each dish right in front of us:
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And then we were served the shabu shabu course. We had two dipping sauces, the one on the left was a peanut sauce, and on the right was ponzu:
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Our USDA prime beef, thinly sliced and perfectly marbled:
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Also included with the shabu shabu was a plate of fresh veggies like napa cabbage, chrysanthemum leaves, shitake mushrooms, green onions, tofu and vermicelli noodles:
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Once we finished the shabu shabu, the chef gave us a small dish of home made pickles. We were given a choice of the udon or rice, so we asked to try both. My pot was heated up and the udon noodles were added:
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In my girlfriends pot was the rice to make the porridge. The chef added sliced red ginger, parsley and eggs. I thought both were good, but if I had to select one I would pick the udon:
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Here's a closeup of the rice porridge (zosui):
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And a closeup of the udon:
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There were several options for dessert and we chose the apple tart and famous banana pie. the apple tart was delicious:
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But the banana pie with vanilla ice cream was awesome. The flavors and textures of dessert was incredibly scrumptious:
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Overall, I really liked our dinner at Kagaya. It's expensive compared to other places, but the quality is much higher and they offer a complete meal. I would definitely go back and try the wagyu beef.

Regards,
ED-209


    
This message has been edited by DRMW on Mar 18, 2009 12:44 AM


 
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