Tamaen - Lomita (South Bay)

South Bay has some heavy hitters when it comes to Japanese cuisine.

Enter: Tamaen

Tamaen is in the same strip mall as Ruiji, nestled in the corner of the blue tiled roof plaza in Lomita. As you enter you are immediately greeted by a refrigeration case of gorgeous slabs of beef. We got lucky and snagged the last seat for an early dinner, I highly suggest reservations as the placed filled up and by the time we left there was a wait. There is an iPad like tablet to add your name to the waitlist if need be.

The menu is definitely beef centric as and they have a certification as a true Miyazaki Japanese wagyu purveyor. After putting in the order, the food started to arrive soon after.

We ordered some pickled veggies, they were lightly seasoned and a great palate cleanser for the meat courses.

The waiter lights up the combo gas and charcoal grill.

Alcohol delivered, a small bottle of Tenryo Hidahomare. This had a nice taste, slightly dry to cut through the richness that was to ensue. I really enjoyed this one quite a bit.

Sea Urchin Beef Sushi - ummm, yeah this was pretty damn good, the precision sliced beef was served at room temperature, rolled with oba (shiso), filled with some fine sea urchin roe, and topped with pickled wasabi, shoyu to dip. Just look at the color of that roe. The temperature made the whole one bite literally melt away and the flavors of each ingredient just made sense.

A5 Miyazaki Wagyu Ribeye - sliced thin and seared over the scorching hot charcoal, this was a cannot go wrong choice. Great product, great cooking set up, and technically sound in terms of preparation. The heat was perfect to get a nice sear and also heat up that spider webbed fat so it just melts.

USDA Prime Outside Skirt - marinated thin pieces of outside skirt, this was really good. The marinade was not so strong that the quality and flavor of the beef was still the most apparent flavor. Excellent!

American Wagyu Cube Cut Tongue :heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes: - presented with the option of marinaded or salts, chose salted. Dear lord this was good, by far the best meat of the meal. Super soft tongue with great beef flavor. They claim “high quality” tongue and it lived up to the description. Must order. Perhaps one or two per person.

Also ordered some grilled veggies which came with sweet potato, kobocha, shitake mushroom, onion, carrot, corn and shishito peppers.

Toto Washlet

Dessert after at Kansha, Torrance is amazing. Return visit forthcoming.

Bonus: Sidecar was being advertised on the Rolling Hills Plaza electronic billboard so it appears to be a done deal. Double bang bang dessert in the making.


The beef scene is really getting good in L.A.

Great report @A5KOBE. We went to Tamaen once years ago and enjoyed it. But back then they weren’t selling Grade A5 Wagyu from Japan. :wink: Sounds like they’ve gotten better, which is great. Can’t wait to return.

Also, don’t miss the Iberico secreto cut. Had it back circa early 2017. Great with draft beer.

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Nice! What did you try when you visited?

Well, I know what I will be ordering next time. Thanks for the rec!

Thanks for the review! Added to the list!

They have bentos!