Monday, June 6, 2016

LA Food Truck Reviews #1.5: Okamoto Kitchen Revisited

You know, I'd never thought I would be writing another review with @Okamoto Kitchen but after speaking with the owner and trying their "new" Gyu-Don, I knew I needed to revisit it.  For those not in the know, Okamoto Kitchen is a Japanese comfort food truck that ends up on Eagle Rock Boulevard on Monday Nights from 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM.  They do an amazing chicken sandwich: "The Nom Bomb", and their curry plate is amazing.  You can check out my review of both products here.

Anyhow, I had previously ordered their Gyu-Don (for those who don't know, Gyu-Don is thinly sliced ribeye beef and onions, that are slow cooked in a sweet soy sauce and wine mixture, and then topped on rice with sesame and benishoga), just as they were experimenting with it. It had just became a menu item a couple days prior, and I knew I wanted to try it out.  The owner had told me about it on my first visit, and so when I went the second time, I knew I had to try it out.  Unfortunately, it wasn't great.  Basically, the beef quality wasn't great, it was very lean and very tough.  The flavors were there, but the texture of the beef just made it difficult to enjoy.

Today, I had the pleasure of trying their third or fourth iteration of the Gyu-Don.  After speaking with them, and expressing my concerns about their first Gyu-Don, the owner promptly explained that he had agreed.  The owner told me that they decided to switch meat vendors a couple times after feeling unsatisfied with their product.  He graciously then presented a small box of the Gyu-Don to try out and let him know how it went.

*This is not a sponsored review, nor is it contracted, merely expressing my feelings as a result of trying the "new" Gyu-Don.*
The lighting is bad because I took it in the car as
I wanted to get a bite while it was at it's prime temperature.

To put it simply, it was amazing.  You could easily tell that there was a difference in the meat quality.  The meat was more fatty, which allowed it to be much more tender and more flavorful.  You can tell that the beef and the onions have stewed for a long time in their sauce combination because each bite embodies a bit of sweet and salty.  It was just so perfect, the airy and fluffy rice, the sweet and tender beef, the beni shoga (pickled ginger), all combined to make an amazing dish.  I only had a small taste of it, but I can already tell that it is an amazing meal.  For 11$, it is a steal.  To me, this dish shows me that the owner cares about his products.  By taking in feedback and making adjustments, it shows that there is care and dedication placed in his products.  While I'm sure most if not all craftsman have this sense of pride and care to their work, this dish tells me that the Okamoto Kitchen is a place where the food will always be good, and if it isn't, it will be in the future.

Once again, thanks for an amazing night.  I didn't think I would review Okamoto again, but I felt that the "new" Gyu-Don, warranted it's own piece.