I had been to a lot of American Steakhouses, but this is the first time I visited a Japanese Steakhouse. I had the 5-course Omakase (Chef choice) dinner at $50.00. It was money well spent because everything was delicious. The first course was a plate of five dainty appetizers, a small piece of grilled filet mignon, melon with prosciutto, miso-marinated cream cheese, seasonal ohitashi (vegetable dish in the middle, crisp cucumbers), caprese heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella. I think this was French cuisine interpreted by Japanese, which was very well done. It's different from the typical French cuisine, but it tasted just as good but lighter. I love the Japanese's touch of making the food taste light, fresh and tasty.
The second course was soup of the day, which was a cream broccoli cold soup. It was light, creamy and very refreshing. I don't know how the two properties of "light" and "creamy" can co-exist at the same time, but this was how I felt about the soup. It was so good!
The third course was a cold soba tapas (fresh made soba noodles topped with the chef's choice of accompaniment). This was another tasty and refreshing dish. The noodles were well seasoned with super delicious Japanese dipping sauce. The fish pieces on top were so fresh and so tasty. The tiny crunchy fried roes sprinkles were just addictive.
There were a few options for the forth course, I chose the grilled miso-marinated cod, served with mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley. Most vegetable medley in American steakhouses tend to taste really bland and boring. But these vegetable medley made by the Japanese chef had a lot of flavor. I cleaned out my plate and all my veggies.
There were also options for the 5th course. I chose the creme brulee which is of course very rich, creamy and delicious. I licked my pate clean again, I used the strawberry piece to help me soak up the strawberry sauce on the plate. This was one fantastic dinner that was totally delicious from the start to the finish. I felt really satisfied, yet without any bloating or sickly feeling I normally had with the American steakhouse. I love the way the food was portioned, and the restaurant's use of fresh and high quality ingredients. I'd rather pay for quality than quantity.
Restaurant: I-naba Steakhouse
Address: Country Hills Shopping Center, 2933 Rolling Hills Rd, Torrance, CA 90505
Tel: (310) 891-2333