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