Shoulda Stuck with Soon Tofu. Ryo Zan Paku Review

9:15 on a weeknight…we just worked out. Hungry. Where to go to get a light dinner? We just weren’t in the mood for Soon Tofu. Drove over to Rolling Hills Plaza on Crenshaw.  THey always have new Asian places opening up in there. We were in luck! A new Izakaya called Ryo Zan Paku was open till 1 AM.  Nice place, but empty.  Great menu. Huge selection of all of our faves …lots of yakitori/teppanyaki, great rice and noodle dishes, lots and lots of veggie items.  We saw a small sushi bar.  So we got  a bit of Sake and decided to graze.  We ordered a nice assortment of yakitori items. I love the hearts and gizzards, he likes the cartilage and “rump.” They even had lambchops, a rare find.  They also had some nice winter dishes: Oden (veggies and fishcakes in broth) and Chasuke (salmon, rice, dashi) We asked what was good at the sushi bar. Alarms should have sounded when they said “we only have rolls.” We didn’t order the sushi, but also didn’t pick up on the foreboding assessment of the entire experience.  (The fish wasn’t fresh enough for pieces, and neither was anything else in place.)  Basically, everything we got was decent quality at some point, but I think it was all premade earlier that day and then reheated to order.   And poorly reheated at that.  Everything was not warm enough and in the case of the lambchops and chicken liver, dried out. A shame.  We actually complained, and they apologized and continued to bring out more lukewarm food.  Hard to effectively complain when you don’t speak the language.  $90 for this.  There are a bzillion better izakaya places in town.  In the end, shoulda stuck with the Soon Tofu.

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