Recently, Jonathan Gold reviewed Hannosuke and Ramen Iroha, two popular imports from Japan located in the food courts of Mitsuwa (the one in Mar Vista) and Marukai (the one in Gardena), respectively. Since the review was published in the LA Times a couple of weeks ago, I have visited both of these places (or re-visited in the case of Hannosuke). While I liked my tendon from the first visit, I didn’t have the foresight to eat it there on the spot, instead taking it to-go back to work. That 10-minute drive was all it took to render the tempura soggy, although I still enjoyed it quite a bit.
This time, not only did I eat the tendon there, I upgraded to the edomae version, which replaces the whitefish with anago (+$3 I believe). Was it worth the $3? I’m not sure, but I received a generous filet of the sea eel, and man was it delicious. So was everything else – everything was crispy, and the sesame oil didn’t have time to set and render all the tempura heavy and soggy, instead only delivering on the fragrance and nuttiness that you’d want. Also, I felt that there was actually less sauce in the rice this time, just enough to give the bowl a nice sweet flavor. By the way, eating it there nets you a small bowl of miso soup and some ginger, as if there wasn’t enough incentive to stay.
Chris Hei grade: B+
3760 S Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066