When I first heard about Hannosuke’s opening in the Mar Vista Mitsuwa’s food court, I was cautiously optimistic. Cautious because nothing is ever good in that food court besides Santouka, but optimistic because there was some hype behind the opening. Ultimately, I wanted to see how good a legit tendon (tempura bowl) can be. None of this assorted fried broccoli and carrot with one soggy piece of shrimp shit please. Hannosuke was promising frying to order, with better ingredients. Sounds promising enough.
Well, I got cold feet at the altar. I saw two people in line for Hannosuke, and Santouka repeatedly calling my name. Well, they were just calling out numbers rapid-fire, but all those numbers sounded like “Chris Hei” in a Japanese accent. So yeah, I bitched out and ate ramen. But while eating ramen and staring at the Hannosuke stall, I felt bad for conforming to the obvious and safe choice. Who am I, William Lee (probably 5 people will get this joke)? So I sucked it up mid-meal, and ordered a tendon to-go.
There are 2 options: the original tendon, which has a white fish filet, 2 pieces of shrimp, nori, kakikage (with shiba ebi and bay scallops), shishito peppers, sweet potato, and a soft boiled egg; and the Edomae tendon, which replaces the white fish with anago at a $4 increase. What I see: plenty of seafood and none of the vegetable fillers that everyone is accustomed to. So far, so good. I ordered the original one and hoped that it would stay crispy for all of 10 minutes. It did not…
So yeah, big mistake. 10 minutes was enough to render all the hard work of frying each item to order useless, as each piece was unfortunately soggy. But the batter, fried in what I believe was sesame oil, had a delicious aroma that filled my cubicle. I broke the soft boiled egg and mixed the runny yoke with the rice that had plenty of the sweet sauce (think eel sauce). Alternating bites of that mixture and the different pieces of tempura was still pretty damn satisfying. Of course, it was really heavy, a bowl of rice with fried stuff (in sesame oil, no less), after eating a small bowl of ramen. But next time, I will give the tendon my undivided attention.
Chris Hei grade: B
3760 S Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066