Monday, February 9, 2009

Simplicity! (Koshiji, Los Angeles)

Koshiji is one of those restaurants that truly has a special place in my stomach. Simplistic and delicate flavors are at the forefront of this yakitori/kushiyaki style restaurant. I've been dining here for well over 10 years now and I always leave wanting more. In the beginning, I didn't appreciate the subtle flavors, but as I've gotten older I've learned to appreciate simple and delicious food. If your looking for bold flavors this is not the place for you. Koshiji truly lets the main ingredients shine.

Chicken Karaage
For those who have read my blog before, you'll know that Chicken Karaage is one of my all time favorite dishes ever. I used to eat Karaage almost everyday while I was living in Japan. Koshiji's Karaage is pretty damn good when it is on....the problem is that this is one of the dishes here that for some reason is really inconsistent. When its good... its really good, but when its bad its just okay.

Elingi Foil
This pocket of goodness is filled with Elingi Mushrooms, Moyashi (bean sprouts), and a slice of lemon cooked on the grill with a dollop of butter and some shoyu. I'm not the biggest fan of mushrooms but I really like this dish. The elingi foil is slightly tart from the fresh lemon and is accompanied nicely by the shoyu flavoring. This is one mushroom dish I love!

Talk about simplicity at it's finest. Sasami (chicken tenderloin) wrapped with shiso leaf and grilled to perfection. The sasami is juicy and perfectly seasoned as the taste of the chicken is perfectly accented by the herbaceousness of the shiso leaf.

Yet another simple and delicious dish. The teba (chicken wing) is simply seasoned and grilled to perfection on the grill. Koshiji simply lets the chicken shine. The teba are absolutely delicious!

Now this is one of our absolute favorites. The Nasu-Maki (Japanese eggplant wrapped with pork belly) are so juicy and tasty they're GREAT! Wow...when I wrote that, I envisioned Tony the Tiger from the Frosted Flakes commercials :) Seriously though, if you like nasubi (Japanese eggplant) and pork belly (who doesn't) this dish is for you. If I only could order one dish, it would be this one.

"This corn is spectacular" is how one of my friends described the corn at Koshiji. It was kind of funny but a spot-on description of how this corn tastes. The corn is always really sweet and juicy. The flavor of the wood coals blends perfectly with the shoyu basted corn. The sweetness of the corn and the saltiness of the shoyu is a perfect balance. The corn at Koshiji has to be one of the best corn I have ever tasted!

You know me, anything with rice I love. The zosui (rice porridge with chicken) is a dish that really hits the spot. Although it is typically pretty good at Koshiji, sometimes it can be a bit over powering. The zosui is served in a hot pot with rice, chicken, carrots and mushrooms. You can add extra ponzu (citrus soy sauce) if you like, I prefer not to. This dish is really good during the winter months.

This is another dish that I always used to order in Japan whenever I had the opportunity. The problem with ordering yaki-onigiri (grilled rice balls) here in America is that they never take the proper time and care to go about cooking the yaki-onigiri. Too many places rush to make it and do not grill or season it enough. Some places also try to get all "Hollywood" and make it all fancy, but Koshiji, true to form keeps it plain and simple. We always order the yaki-onigiri in the beginning because it takes a long time to cook. They take the time to cook it right. The outside is crunchy and perfectly seasoned with shoyu and the inside is hot and fluffy. Perfection!

123 S. Onizuka Street #203
Los Angeles, CA. 90012

No comments: