Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Open Door

Although Monterey Park isn't the stereotypical city one would go for outstanding izakaya fare, I think I may have tread upon "a find". The city always had Shinsengumi being the head honcho in Japanese cuisine. But when word gets out about this newcomer, it may suffer a slight blow. I was a bit surprised at the size of Door. It's about the size of a standard living room, plus or minus. The first thing on the menu that caught my attention was the sake flight. $8 for a flight?! Steal!

I don't recall all the sake, but I do remember one was Kurosawa, Junmai, which was my favorite.

Per Diane's reqest, I ordered the Truffle Butter Edamame. I wasn't expecting much but after one pop, I was hooked. Who would've thought that truffle butter and edamame would meld so well.

If there's one thing I always order at an izakaya, it's shishito peppers. You really can't mess this up unless the chef's having an off day.

I was less than impressed with the albacore sashimi dish. The crunch tried really hard to help it stand it out, but it still was just a mediocre albacore afterall.

Creamy Crab Croquette, try as I might to hype it up because of my love for croquettes, I fail. Where was the crab? Where was the cream? I've had many a croquettes and this just didn't shine.

Now the Beef Tataki did prove to be a surprise. With a thickness of double the usual, as you can see in the photo, it actually came out tender. I didn't get any stuck in my teeth as some tataki's can. Surprise, surprise

Spicy Tuna over Rice Crispy, standard.

I've heard some mix reviews about the pork belly/ persimmon dish. But it actually turned out to be quite good. The belly could have been a bit more charred, but it certainly went well with the sliced persimmon. Leave it to the fruit to wed the lard, always.

Overall, this would be a good izakaya for people who don't want to trek past the San Gabriel Valley border. But for true izakaya seekers, I'de definitely still recommend Musha, Izayoi, etc.

122 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754-2727

Friday, October 23, 2009


So this will be my first official blog post. Apparently, playing around with msn space isn't enough to satiate my desire to annouce my food endeavors. Of course, it's going to take some time to get situated. Setting up this account alone took me 30 minutes.

It's been a millenium since my last entry, ever since laziness snuck in. But I actually remembered to lug my camera this time!

Caché deserves a post.
It features a Spanish/Vietnamese/Japanese/Italian menu with a French technique.

We started off with a mason jar of Foi Gras Parfait, pure creamy decadence. I could have finished the jar off all to myself if cholesterol wasn't an issue.
Next up were the oysters with pink pepper mignonette, so fresh and perfect.

The last dish was Portobello Mushroom with spinach and goat cheese. The pungent goat cheese and portobello balanced each other quite nicely, standard fare, nothing to write home about.
Overall, I'de say stick with the appetizers. They seem to outshine the main courses. Rating: 6/10