Thursday, July 8, 2010

Whenever I am asked to join friends for dinner in LA I tend to hide out somewhere before the meeting because I don't want to brave the traffic. 5 or 405 North during rush hour is NOT a pretty site. I rather hole up in some place for a few hours than stress out while driving. So where would be an ideal spot for me to hide out on Wilshire close to K-town? The answer to the question was Yuko Kitchen, which was less than 1/2 a mile from where we were suppose to meet up for dinner. It's a quaint little sit down place with their own parking lot behind. Free parking in LA? They also offer free Wi-Fi to their customers. What more can you ask for?!
At first I was just looking for a dessert place to enjoy before a full dinner. I know it is out of order, but it's better than a full meal? O=9 On their menu it was mostly dishes so I began to worry that it will be a meal and not just a snack... then I saw the case full of goodies! The vibrant colors of the dessert made them very eye catching and tantalizing. I felt drawn to the case and started pondering which ones to try! They were all very reasonably priced.
What came first? The cookie or sandwich? This isn't an age old question, I just don't remember which one I wanted first. lol Let's start off with the Matcha Shortbread Cookie. They are less than $1 each, which is not bad. It was soft and light. There are slight hints of matcha throughout the buttery cookie. I took a few bites and saved most of the cookie for Ms. Lin since she was flying back in a few days. Next came the Matcha Sandwich. This was not going to last until she came back so I took one for the team and ate it myself. =D Sandwiched between two airy pieces cookie/cake was a light matcha cream. The desserts were already made so I ate them first before the other "snacks" came.
My greed took over again and I ended up ordering a bunch of items that I shouldn't have because I was about to eat KBBQ at night. Did that stop me? Not really. I saw that they had Spicy Salmon Rice Cake and somehow overlooked the spicy tuna one. It's diced Salmon, Avocado, and Jalapeño slices on top of Deep Fried Rice. Instead of being spicy, I found this to be light and creamy. I wished there was more of a kick or more jalapeño slices. Actually the bites with the jalapeño were fantastic. To spice things up a bit, I took the "chips" from my other "snack" over and mixed the sauces around. It actually made everything better! Who says playing with your food is a bad idea? O=p
I swear that these were in the "snacks" section so I wasn't really cheating on my meal. The Fish and Chips caught my eye. I have very fond memories of the fresh tempura I had at a sushi bar. Trying to relive this memory, I decided to try their White Fish Tempura and Crispy Wontons with Spicy Mayo & Ponzu to dip in. This was an interesting take of fish and chips. The tempura was not oily at all. Everything was actually very light, if you haven't noticed a theme. For me, it was a little too light. I started stealing the wasabi from my previous dish and dipping the tempura in it. Don't get me wrong, everything was fine but I just like a little more kick to my food.
Despite some of the twist and turns, I am glad that I decided to get a drink. Oddly enough I ordered everything else before remembering to try their drinks out. I debated on whether to get a Chai Chocolate Boba or the Mint Lemonade. Thank goodness she recommended the Mint Lemonade. I felt very adventurous that day and boy did it pay off. At first sip I was hooked! It's amazingly refreshing! Sure it might sound weird or look weird since it is SO green. The fresh Lemonade, freshly crushed Mint Leaves, and blended with ice really hits the spot! It was sweet and oh so addictive! Throughout dinner I was praising it to everyone. I only wished that I drank all of it and not let it sit in my car because it is much better in icy form than when the crushed leaves start to separate from the liquid. Even after a day or two in the fridge, it still tasted great. If I am ever in that neck of the woods, I am definitely stopping by just for this!
All in all it was a nice experience. I was overjoyed with every sip of my mint lemonade. It made everything better. =) I can see why a lot of locals would stop by here. The people are friendly and polite. They even do delivery on any purchase over $10 within a mile radius.

Yuko Kitchen
5484 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-4020


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