didordied


Nanban-Kan Restaurant by moopiechops

I used to know a guy named Man-bun, but Nanban-Kan is a restaurant. He was also Chinese and this place is Japanese, so big difference for us Californians not-so-much for the mid-westerners.

We decided to grab a light dinner before going to see Ironman and the destination of choice was Nanban-Kan, a Japanese Hibachi / Yakitori restaurant in West Los Angeles. If you haven’t been here before you will inevitably be confounded by the parking situation. I’m fairly certain whoever altered this parking lot reads a lot of Bizzaro Superman comics. The complex they are in has been under construction for somewhere near a year now and maybe this can be an excuse for the lousy parking- but at best an excuse. As you drive into the parking lot, mind you this is after you have found it, and finding it is not simple, you find that all the cars are parked the opposite way of in which you are driving. The immediate thought is that you went in the wrong entrance, but you didn’t, this is the only entrance, and its just a bizarre alternative to the usual. I cursed, many times as i tried to turn my car around so as to conform to the others. With the vehicle taken care of it was time to eat.

This place has been around for 30 years, and is filled with regulars. Its location primes the Japanese pump and many a local feasts here daily. Some even bring their own food. Luckily enough we were there early and had some of the reserved signs moved off of a table so that we may partake. The rooms and tables are tiny, so if you are above average size or grotesquely obese, i suggest take out. Its better for you that way anyway, no one to stare at the mass quantities that you shove down your gullet, no one to wonder if its the wasabi or your morbid obesity that is making your eyes water

Speaking of gullets- the menu is filled with items that you rarely see at Bennigans. Oh – yes you got me, Benny’s isn’t Japanese cuisine, okay Benihana. Sorry off topic again- menu- thats right the menu has some rarities on it. Chicken gullet, chicken liver, chicken feet (this is from memory so it might be off a bit- but you get the picture) the one that caught my eye was Chicken Balls. My first thought was that is sooooooo not going to fill me up. Followed quickly by the thought- chicken balls, is that like the Japanese version of prairie oysters. (Oh- and as an unrealted side not- Don’t order DingleBerry Ice cream and Baskin Robbins- just dont do it). Sadly to say Chicken Balls are only a chicken meatball done on a japanese barbeque. tasty though- made me wonder how it would be to have the real thing- Step it up NanBan-Kan, step it up- lets see some real chicken ball son the menu next time. I bet prep time is a killer on those.

So as to not drag this review on beyond the point of oblivion, cause im getting bored writing it, and i’m sure with the average United States Americans (yes that’s a beauty pageant reference) attention span, i lost you at grotesquely obese. Here’s what you get:

Peanut dipping sauce and a salad to start- tasty enough. The sauce actually allows me to tolerate the taste of a raw carrot. My theory on raw carrots in restaurants- DON’T.

Then we ordered a variety of items. the tastiest of all of these was the corn. Simple fresh local ingredient done to perfection. Really- there was nothing on this corn but butter and salt. It was cooked to perfection (i’m betting they boil it first then throw it on the BBQ) the light charring on the kernels made the thing to die for.

Black cod, nicely done but nothing to wake up in the middle of the night for- nor the middle of the day. I love naps.

Pork Wrapped Asparagus. Now this one they stole straight from the Coliseum hot dog vendors. (Have you had the dogs wrapped in bacon- AKA Diarrhea Dogs- Yum- serious yum) NanBan-Kan style- replace hot dog with asparagus = gourmet diarrhea dog- okay okay- it was delicious, but still a stolen Los Angeles art form. Nicely done. (BTW you cannot get the Coliseum dogs anymore . There is a law prohibiting grilling of dogs on dog carts in Los Angeles.)

Most of the things we had at NanBan-Kan were average to above average with the corn being spectacular. However, one item stands out among the rest as being just freakin awful and that was the rice. Its as if they didn’t cover the rice as it was cooking and just kept adding water. Thank you for the rice reminiscent mush- this is exactly what i would expect from a restaurant who’s cuisine is based on a culture that has rice as its main staple. MMMmmmmm- maybe it was a fuck you from the chef for ordering rice, it didn’t seem to be a popular item.

Nanban-Kan an above average Japanese restaurant that serves stellar corn, above average in most dishes, has a nice atmosphere, is well decorated, and serves the worst rice in Los Angeles.

K- well- i did Nanban-Kan and I think you should too- at least for the corn. Do It

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