Eating With Your Eyes – A feast for the senses at Robata Jinya in Hollywood.
We are in LA for strategy sessions and at the end of a long day exercising our brains we like a light meal, Japanese works well for us, so we can savor small dishes while we digest the thoughts of the day along with the meal.
This evening was a surprise – we found this spot on Yelp and took a chance. We had a spectacular Robata meal our last visit to NYC, so thought we might be in for a treat. Well, you can see from the images above that we managed to get very lucky indeed.
A Robata is a Japanese restaurant with a charbroiler in addition to standard Sushi, Ramen and other traditional foods. This allows you to sample more proteins that are not wise to serve raw or sashimi style (pork belly, chicken thighs, duck – seen above).
The real treat though was the Bagnacuda – this is traditionally a warm dip of herbed cheese with hundreds of variations (see some here). We didn’t expect this in a Japanese place – the square wooden box above is packed with ice, then two pieces of carrot, zucchini, cucumber, red and yellow beet, romaine lettuce, dandelion, white radish are served alongside three warm dipping sauces of anchovy, jalapeno cheese and garlicky oil – wow. We devoured the first and ordered a second it was so tasty.
The other treat were the lettuce wraps, we are big fans of these and make them a lot (I have been meaning to post my recipe for a raw cashew wrap one of these days). The treat here was one of our favorite fish – the Black Cod – local to Santa Barbara waters, I am sure these were sourced locally. Then on the back of these we tried the Rock Shrimp and were taken to someplace taste-wise that we are still talking about. The guys next to us had ordered a plate of just the shrimp (note to self, do this next time…)
The Chicken yaki was billed this way: “Chicken Thigh Oyster – a part of the lower thigh of the chicken grilled to perfection by the Chef. This is a delicacy because there are only two precious pieces per chicken” – whew – served with a trio of sauces, Cilantro, Spicy Aioli and a Chicken based hot sauce (didn’t like this too much).
And finally the Duck and Scallion skewer was melt in your mouth goodness.
We sat at the Robata Bar and the general hectic nature of a fast paced kitchen, with the Chefs shouting greetings to every patron coming and going added to the overall ambiance of Robata Jinya.
We will be back.
til we eat again