Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shin: Does it stand up to Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori? (Torrance)

Bar View @ Shin

After living in Torrance for a few years, Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori had become my frequent yakitori establishment of choice until I noticed Shin about a year back and loved my visit. If I love a place, I'm the type that would go back over and over again (Of course, if I did that with Urasawa, I'd be a very poor broker). This time, I decided to take my eating companion for the night *Hi Tammy!! =)* who has never tried Yakitori before. Where else could be better than Shin, my new found favorite Yakitori place in the South Bay, right?

(From Left: Pork Belly Wrapped Asparagus, Chicken Heart)
(Top: Beef Tongue, Bottom: Pork Belly wrapped Enoki Mushrooms)
(Left: Chicken, Right: Liver)

I'll start by saying, the beef tongue was delicious. It was meaty, tender, and cooked just perfectly. The liver, my favorite organ meat was also done very well, as it remained flavorful and moist like I had remembered. One skewer I did not enjoy was the pork belly wrapped enoki mushrooms. While I like both ingredients, the combination at Shin was good compared to the version at SSG, and sadly, they didn't have my favorite of pork belly with shiso that evening......

Grilled Shrimp
Grilled Shitake Mushroom w/bonito
(Left: Chicken w/spicy cod roe, Right: Chicken w/wasabi)
Grilled Shishamo
Onto next set of orders, which I have to say I wasn't very impressed with. The best of the lot was the grilled shitake mushroom, as I enjoyed the "woodsy" taste of the grilled mushrooms, and the bonito flakes complimented the dish quite well. The two chicken skewers I thought was a fail. The meat was dry, and in the case of the wasabi, it didn't have a strong kick I was looking for. The shrimp as you can tell was pretty average, I don't recommend it.

Towards the end of the yakitori portion of our dinner, I remembered that they had this crack-like avocado dipping sauce, but sadly, it was nowhere to be found. The avocado sauce was one of the three dipping sauces Shin used to offer, but strangely, it wasn't found on any of the dining tables around us.

Chicken Karage
Tako Yaki

After being mildly disappointed with the yakitori portion of our dinner (I think my dining companion enjoyed it for the most part), we decided to get some fried goodies. Hey, what doesn't taste good fried right?? :) We ended up getting the Chicken Karage and Tako Yaki. The chicken karage was done well (not as good as Izakaya Bincho's version) and the Tako Yaki was just a step below the tako yaki found at Asa Ramen. While the last 2 food orders wasn't disappointing, it just didn't stand out.

While I still think Shin is a solid Yakitori restaurant in the South Bay, Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori is just the better option between the two. However, if you do not want to deal with the crowd and the noise (Shin is quiet, a bit too quiet), then Shin might be the place to visit. However, when I have visitors from out of town, I know the best place to take them for beer and meat, and unfortunately, it is not Shin. While I'll go back, it won't be for awhile....

*Note* These shots were still taken by my p&s, so the clarity can be a bit iffy. Sorry.

Final Grade
  • Taste: 3 out of 5
  • Decor: 4 out of 5
  • Service: 4 out of 5
22807 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505

Shin in Los Angeles


Kat said...

The food looks good but I am still a loyal fan of Shin Sen Gumi... the one in Garden Grove of course. I like the loudness more.. it is an "experience" lol

Phil said...

Next time I go to LA I will know where to go! No more harassing you first keke

choisauce said...

ooh i still need to try SSG(yakitori)!!! liver is MYYYY favorite organ meat :) I really didnt know other people enjoyed liver like I did :P so sad that the pork belly and enoki mushroom combo didn't work. those two ingredients are just so delicious. i wanna try the chicken with spicy cod roe too. DAMN my stomach just growled LOUDLY after seeing/reading this post. it's okay though, I got leave like RIGHT NOW to meet u, jackie and dave for dinner! hahaha see u soon!!

Pepsi Monster said...

oh man, I still think the place is better than Monterey Park's SSGY. Even though MPK's SSGY has Shabu Shabu, I would rather go to Torrance for Yakitori.

Eileen said...

Black Cherry Garden in Azusa!
You gotta go try it sometimes!

ila said...

i just visited shin the other day too. it's quite a change from honda-ya or ssg, which is nice... but it's nothing special. i'll probably go again if i'm in the area.

Kung Food Panda said...

Kat: You should come with us to our South Bay Crawl. We'll hit up a few izakaya places.

Phil: Go to SSG if you're in LA, at least if you're in the Torrance area.

Choi: We also eat well huh? Let's do SSG sometime. It's loud, yet, it's always a good time for us!

Mike: Like I said to Kat, you will need to come with us for the South Bay crawl....

Eileen: Thanks for the rec! I need more places to eat around here in the SGV =)

ila: I agree. I like Shin, but I don't love it. It's a nice quiet yakitori place unlike the other places, but it's not the best food around.

igigsti said...

i miss yakitori-ing with you hommes!