On a recent trip to Los Angeles, I ate at Kotosh, a marvelously little hole-in-the-wall serving memorable Japanese-Peruvian fare in Lomita.
My friend Annette knew one of the owners and off we went (with Linzi along). I guess Peruvian Japanese fare is not that unusual. Annette explained that the owners were Japanese but lived most of their lives in Peru.
In Pollo Inca, a small Peruvian chain in L.A., there are many Chinese entrees on the menu so Peruvian Japanese should not be such a shock.
It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been to Kotosh and the food memories are still floating around in my head. Feed the brain is a good place to start and the rest follows.
The first thing delivered to the table aside from the Peruvian beers was Peruvian style sashimi. What a delight! Picture a generous portion of the freshest slices of tuna sashimi served with a special lime-soy sauce and sprinkled lightly with Peruvian spices.
Then came the Peruvian style shrimp chowder. Linzi was just describing a dinner that she had at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica where she was raving about the lobster-asparagus bisque. After cleaning our bowls of the Peruvian style shrimp chowder, she soon forgot about the high faluttin’ elegance of Shutters and was raving about the here and now. The bisque was a full-bodied soulful blend of earthy flavors both from the fish and spices in a wholesomely smooth chowder consistency. I swear I could’ve bathed in it.
Next appeared the crunchy roll — tempura coated rice, shrimp tempura, avocado, spicy mayo, and eel topping. The combination of flavors and textures was wild and wonderful. We wondered if eight pieces were enough?
At the same the fried fish in garlic sauce appeared along with a mound of white rice. This was redolent of Chinese fare but yet still different. Oh, that garlic sauce.
At some point a small green salad, which was really large enough to share, was put before us with truly just picked tasting of lettuces drizzled with creamy ginger dressing.
All this food plus three beers was a mere $65 (tax included).
There was dessert but we were too full.
Kotosh Restaurant was recently named best sushi in the South Bay (Calif.) by the Daily Breeze and it also caters sushi for weddings at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna.
If you go, come back and let me know how you loved it. If I were rich, I would fly to L.A. just to eat at Kotosh.