Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sanuki no Sato - Japanese Noodle House - Gardena, CA

I have always been a big fan of Japanese Nabeyaki Udon. Ever since I was a wee little budding foodie, if I went to a Japanese restaurant and they had Nabeyaki Udon on the menu there was a high probability I was going to order it. I mean, how can you go wrong with thick udon noodles, some deep fried shrimp tempura, and select veggies in a savory broth? After hearing about Sanuki no Sato and that udon and noodles were their specialty, I just had to check it out...

The restaurant is well decorated in a very nice, minimalistic style. In the "lobby" hang polaroids of what looks to be the owner posing with various Japanese people. Since I vaguely recognize a face or two in the photos, I assume that they must be Japanese celebrities or something. Maybe? As my wife and I are escorted to our table, the first thing I notice is that almost all of the clientel is Japanese with the exception of one table over in the corner and my wife and I...a good sign.

After looking over the menu for a bit, I had almost decided on getting my old stand-by (Traditional Nabeyaki Udon) when something else caught my eye...Cheese and Mochi Nabeyaki Udon! Hmm...interesting. Mozzarella cheese and Mochi (rice cake) with chicken in a soup broth...I had to try it. I initially thought the mozzarella would be weird with the mochi, but the dish turned out to be just the opposite. The combination of melted cheese and hot mochi made for a nice, ooey, gooey and chewy meal. On top of that, the udon itself is really good. Most of the udon I have eaten at other places has tasted like it came out of a bag you can buy at the asian market. This udon on the other hand felt and tasted like it was made fresh at the restauant. Impressive. I'd say this dish is definitely a "must try" if you go to Sanuki no Sato.

My wife is a big Uni (sea urchin) fan. If it's available, she almost always orders something that has Uni in it. She decided on the Cold Hiyashi Uni-Tororo Soba. This dish is a bowl of cold soba noodles topped with Uni, grated Nagaimo Yam and green onions. While I, personally am not a big Uni eater, this dish was quite tasty. The flavor of the Uni really mixed well with the other ingredients to make for quite an appetizing dish. My wife loved it.

Unfortunately, after chowing down on my Cheese & Mochi Nabeyaki Udon and a few bites of my wife's Uni-Tororo, I just didn't have the space for dessert. So, I will have to save reviews of their desserts for a later date. And there definitely will be a later date! So, would I go back to Sanuki no Sato? DEFINITELY! In fact, I can't wait to go back so I can sample their Traditional Nabeyaki Udon. If it's half as good as the Cheese & Mochi, I should be in for quite a treat!

Sanuki no Sato
18206 S. Western Ave.
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 324-9185

P.S. My apologies for the somewhat crappy pics. They were taken with my phone. Unfortunately my current digital camera is really old and takes worse pics than my current phone. How sad. Anyway, I promise the photo quality will improve once I get around to getting a new digital camera...

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