November 2019 Rundown

Welcome to November! No longer just for the weekend reports, let’s use this thread to share what we tried every single day.


Yes @J_L! Like the rest of your Shunji meal! :wink: I know you didn’t just roll into Shunji to have 1 bite of Matsutake, right? :wink:

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Kazunori lunch 4 hand roll set tuna, yellowtail, sea bream, and blue crab. The nori makes these hand rolls toasty with a slight crunch but eventually melts in your mouth.

I don’t know if diddy riese is a bang bang since it’s dessert but got cookies afterwards.


Yes. Yes it certainly is.

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Mariscos El Yaqui, Santa Ana.

In the arena of coastal Pacific mariscos from México in Los Angeles, Sinaloa and Nayarit decidedly dominate the scene for full blown seafood favorites. Fried fish tacos give Baja proper if stereotypical showing and a certain wonderful truck give Jalisco a good name, but the state in between all these is usually known more for its contributions from inland.

When you talk about the Sonoran food landscape in Los Angeles, it usually revolves around soft flour tortillas, grilled meats, and the descendants of Hermosillo’s bacon-wrapped hot dogs. But with a coast on the Mar de Cortés just as long as that of Sinaloa, travels in the region will prove how important seafood is to sonorenses as well.

Amongst a large order with no bad apples, one of the standouts, and a way to sample a lot at once if you are alone, is the tostada huerfana ($10), named an “orphan” for no apparent reason other than irony. In fact it is an embarrassment of riches, the lovely ceviche de pescado is topped with camarones cocidos and aguachile.

They just opened a bricks and mortar on the opposite side of Santa Ana.


All that for $10?!? That looks so amazing!


Yeah the tostadas de ceviche we tried were $4.50 and $5, another stacked one called pico de callo which had octopus and shrimp was $10 as well.


Thank you for the review. I think El Yaqui is probably the best damn mariscos in OC. It is completely under the radar because it’s not in LA. They also make their own salsas I believe.

If you are still craving some Mariscos check out Mariscos Tocho in Watts on the weekends, the tostada with salsa negra is out of this world good.

I don’t think anyone has said this but you have been a wonderful contributor to this site! So thank you and keep it up.


Jus’ Poke in Redondo Beach. First time and oh so delicious! A small bowl was plenty filling. Original and local’s wasabi poke with brown rice, seaweed salad, and pickled cucumbers, added avocado :yum:


November 1 was a night of sake and decadence (New Oyaji Izakaya, SF)


Sunday brunch at Doubting Thomas. Veggie breakfast burrito was fine (I’m a crispy potato and hash brown fan, and the small roasted potatoes inside the burrito were cooked tender, not crisp). Salsa had no heat, and not much flavor either. Added an orange bottled hot sauce which I expected to be habanero, but it too was mild.

My friend enjoyed her shakshuka, but she wished the greens inside were pre-cut to a manageable size (she was sawing away trying to create bite-size friendly portions).

Excellent cappuccino and divine chocolate chunk cookie, which I ordered to go but managed to devour before my wheels left the curb.

Lovely light and airy dining room. Pleasant buzz among the guests, but not loud at all. Modernist feel with slightly uncomfortable chairs. Easy street parking on a Sunday mid-morning. Perfect spot to meet my friend for brunch.


Good stuff


Akkad Mediterranean & Iraqi Grill, Glendale.

With its subdued small sign on the front of a building perpendicular to East Colorado Street, it would be easy to never notice the tiny advertisement of an “Iraqi Grill” in Glendale, especially as it follows the mundane but ubiquitous “Mediterranean” adjective that restaurants from the Balkans to deep into the Middle East add to their description. This is of course an effort to attract a wider crowd with a word that may be less intimidating, but it hides the uniqueness of what is on offer.

Inside the restaurant, Akkad is much larger than it appears, taking the general format of a normal casual place. A counter with the cashier separates the dining area from the kitchen and prep zone, but you can immediately see and smell the food that is being cooked when the door is opened. Some TVs show the dishes on offer while others are flipped to the news, the wall opposite the kitchen is covered by a row of photographs from Iraq.

With its clean design and pleasant Arabic music playing, Akkad is a nice break from a hot Glendale day at any time, but it may shine brightest during breakfast. At 10am when the doors open, you can find otherwise rare items on a special breakfast menu section which is actually available all day long. Amongst these is makhlama ($8.99, above), a flat omelet of sorts that is cooked with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, parsley, and a very subtle spicing.

Despite answering “Mild or spicy?” with the latter and even seeing it on the bill, makhlama remains a mild dish. Squeeze in as much of the lemon juice as you can, and maybe add a dash of the sumac or black pepper that is on every table. A bottle of Yucateco is there as well, for this is Los Angeles after all. The dish is served with a gigantic piece of just-baked khubz, and meant to be eaten together. This flatbread is quickly cooked, remaining soft and fluffy on the thicker outsides and very crispy in the thinner center.

For something sweet during breakfast, try the bombshell kahi ($1.50, above), a light as a feather puff pastry. This flaky delight comes looking large but is mostly filled with air and tears apart easily. Their homemade syrup is very thin and more parts water than usual, making the drizzle not overly sweet and just right.

Often in Iraq, kahi is topped not only with syrup but with a clotted cream made from water buffalo milk called geymar. Water buffalo are rare in Glendale, although geymar is sometimes found in Middle Eastern groceries.

For lunch and dinner, Akkad does not disappoint either, with daily rotating specials hung above the cash register and a menu that has much more depth than a standard place that calls itself “Mediterranean,” whatever that may mean. On future visits with a group, shared meals of quzi lamb, dolma, and magluba are very much looked forward to.


The Ranch (Anaheim)
This place always knocks it out of the park. Unassuming and odd on the bottom floor of Extron corporate headquarters, this nouveau American restaurant is quietly pushing out solid food.
We had a bottle of Schafer TD-09 with our meal and it was great. Lots of fruit with a hint of spice.
We opened with the beet and manchego salad and the lobster Cobb. Both were just great takes on simple salad…I loved how it was dressed just right.

I had the veal chop with root vegetable gratin and wilted greens. It was so good, but I couldn’t finish it. I do love a wonderfully cooked veal…nicely seared crust and a super gentle beefy flavor. I only ate half, but am perturbed that when they packed my dish to go, the leftover gratin and greens didn’t make it into my box…it was just the veal chop.

The salmon is always a good and safe bet. Our chowpups ordered the lamb lollipops, smoked chicken, lobster mac & cheese, and the twice baked potato. Everything was just really good.
I love the service here. It never feels rushed and we always get to chat about the wine list with the service team. They’ve got an interesting Australian winery on special this week…but my husband didn’t want to bite…he wanted to stay Napa.
The Milky Way and PB&J desserts remain on the menu…but how it is that none of you have mentioned that they have a solid buttered popcorn ice cream on file? Our server got us a scoop on the house and it was so good! It more reminded me of Corn Pops (which I loved growing up) cereal milk than buttered popcorn, but it was still very good.


Fukagawa (Gardena)
When your best friend says Japanese breakfast, you ask when. Of course we arrive at 11AM, and when they offer the lunch menu, you say yes…only because you aren’t sure if you want breakfast or lunch…but really you want both. The grilled fish lunch special takes care of all your needs…grilled salmon or mackerel (always get the mackerel), salad, pickles, miso soup, grated daikon, house made hot or cold soba or udon, and California roll with rice. Add dashimaki for $2 more and lunch becomes brunch!
It was a cooler day, so I opted to try the house made udon for the first time in a kansai broth. The udon texture is just lovely…supple but with a nice chew…not like the gloppy mass-produced nonsense available at most places. Add the green onions and you are good to go.
The rest was amazing except for the heavily riced California roll, but I am okay with that. I love the oily and super tasty mackerel with the rice soaking up the juices from the fish…and the dashimaki is always a good time.

Side adventure, rolled down yonder way to the big Tokyo central for supplies, onigiri, karaage, and krone. @Dommy is so right…that fried chicken is solid and an easy dinner.


This is my favorite poke place in LA. I have not found anything in LA proper close to as good or close to as authentic–feels like the LA proper places are all about the mix-ins and other stuff.


That sandwich looks so massive! How long was your wait, @moonboy403? A friend of mine waited 45 minutes for his.

Like @Haeldaur, I really like Jus’Poke, too. My friend works in the neighborhood and we do lunch there occasionally. Very solid.

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That’s how long I waited for mine too from lining up to picking up my order. This will now be my go-to chicken sandwich when I want something quick and tasty!


My oldest chowpup has been dying to try this chicken sandwich. I’m trying to assess when I indulge him…45 minutes is quite the commitment.