Friday, April 20, 2007

Koshiji in Little Tokyo

Having tried Sakura House and having loved it, I thought it would be great to check out a similar restaurant closer to home and upon a recommendation from a friend, I ventured with friends to Koshiji in Little Tokyo.

Our meal started off with a complimentary fresh veggies and a delicious miso-based sauce. I have to tell you that the miso sauce was addicting, so much so that I asked for more for when my skewers arrived. For the rest of my meal, I had 8 different skewers, two different sides and also a dessert.

Strangely enough, although Koshiji as a Yakitori, serves various parts of skewered chicken parts, other than the
chicken meatballs, I ordered other options. The first four skewers that came out for my tasting pleasure included the Pork Belly with Shiso Leaf, Green Beans wrapped with Pork, Duck Breast with Miso Sauce and the Eggplant with Ginger Miso Sauce.

Of those first four, I have to tell you that the pork belly skewer blew me away. Juicy, smoky and just absolutely delicious! I also loved the crunch of the green beans and of course, the meaty flavor of the pork it was wrapped in. The eggplant wasn't too memorable, but I remembered that I liked it while the duck was not a hit with me. It was over cooked and a little chewy for my taste.

Shortly following the skewers came my baked sweet potatoes. I really liked the presentation - standing up tall, almost like tree trunks. Dripping with butter, the potatoes added a nice sweet break between the more savory skewers. Then came the grilled garlic and oh my God, that garlic was just wonderful - sweet and melted in your mouth. I just so love having tastebuds!

Following the potatoes and garlic came the rest of my skewer orders, although technically the Lamb Chop with Lemon Pepper wasn't actually on a skewer. The Lamb Chop was pretty disappointing. Not tender enough and not peppery enough and not to be ordered by me again on a return visit.

Then came the Okra wrapped with pork, Chicken Meatballs and Quail Eggs. The Okra was tasty and you can't go wrong with flavor with the pork wrapped around it. Now the Chicken Meatballs were interesting. They had a spongy texture when eaten while hot, but then got firmer when cooled down. That spongy texture wasn't too my liking, but once the meat cooled down, I liked it much better, especially dipped in that miso sauce I mentioned earlier. The Quail Eggs were pretty good as well.

To end my meal, I had the Coffee Jello and let me tell you, that was an interesting eating experience. The Coffee Jello reminded me of a de-constructed cup of coffee without the cup. You get the coffee in the jello while the frozen grapes are your sweetener and the whipped cream is your cream, milk or half & half. So for you coffee lovers out there, this is something to check out.

Overall, except for a couple of items, the food was excellent. Even with the somewhat slow service, Koshiji is definitely now a Little Tokyo favorite.

To see pics, go to:

123 Onizuka St, #203
Los Angeles, CA 90189
(213) 626-4989

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