Korean Sushi @ A-Won

A-Won (Ktown)Last week, I was craving sushi, but not just normal sushi. I wanted something different. Enter A-Won, a Korean owned Japanese restaurant in Ktown.  It also helped that I was working from home that day and it was only a few minutes’ drive away.

Upon entering, I noticed that the restaurant was bigger than I expected. There were semi-private booths, tables, and of course, a sushi bar.  Being that I was alone, I chose to sit at the sushi bar where several chefs were busy tending to the start of the lunchtime rush.

One thing you’ll notice at A-Won is that there are lots of big bowls of food going around.  These bowls were super-sized chirashi and sashimi salad.  After reading somewhere that the sashimi salad was one of A-Won’s specialties, I ordered one for myself.

A-Won (Ktown)

The waitress promptly brought out three dishes of panchan, a bowl of miso soup and a bowl of rice. The panchan consisted of an eggplant dish, a radish one, and the ubiquitous kimchi. The kimchi wasn’t anything to write home about and neither was the radish, but I really enjoyed the eggplant.  It tasted like toasted sesame oil and packed a garlicky punch.

When my sashimi salad came out, I was impressed with the size.  It looked large when other people ordered it, but placed in front of me, it was gigantic!  The bowl was filled with strips of lettuce, sprouts, seaweed, bonito, and a healthy serving of cubed tuna, salmon, and some white fish.  The waitress also brought a bottle of red, sweet gochujang with the salad, so I squirted a bunch over my bowl, mostly on the lettuce and vegetables.

A-Won (Ktown)

Although there was certainly a great quantity of fish, the quality wasn’t spectacular.  The tuna tasted alright, but the white fish was so cold that some pieces were actually icy.  The salmon was good, but there were less pieces of that than the other fish. Next time, I may just order the chirashi for a better variety of fish. Or maybe the fish egg bowl.

A-Won (Ktown)

My first foray into Korean sushi wasn’t as exciting as I had expected, but I’m not going to let that deter me. Maybe I just ordered the wrong thing. A-Won isn’t too expensive and it’s close enough to home that I can see myself venturing there again to try something different from their menu. There were enough diners in there to convince me that something there is worth returning for.

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A-Won Japanese Restaurant
913 1/2 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA‎
(213) 389-6764‎
(park in the lot or on the street)
A-Won in Los Angeles

Fishlips Sushi Truck

Last year, it was tapas. This year, gourmet food trucks is what’s what. Fishlips Sushi is the latest contender on the food truck bandwagontruck.

Fishlips Sushi Truck

On Tuesday, I saw that the truck was going to be stopped nearby my office, so I enlisted a co-worker to come with me and hunt the truck down. We arrived ten minutes after when the truck should have arrived, but it wasn’t in sight.  After looping around the block a few times, I was ready to give up before checking Twitter on my phone. Lo and behold, they tweeted that they were late, but on their way.  As it turned out, the truck was a few cars in back of mine waiting to make a left turn like me.

After giving the truck a few minutes to park and setup, I walked up to the ordering counter and ordered a Spicy Set ($8) off the Lunch Set menu which comes with a spicy tuna roll and a few pieces of temari sushi.  Unlike nigiri sushi, which is more rectangular, temari sushi is shaped into bite-sized spheres.

Fishlips Sushi Truck

For those who are wondering why go to all the trouble of chasing down a sushi truck when one can just buy boxed sushi at the market, I’m happy to say that Fishlips makes all their orders fresh.  As the sign on their truck says, there’s a real sushi man inside! It took about ten minutes for my order to be ready.

The quality of the sushi was better than I expected. Because each piece is freshly made, they fell apart perfectly in my mouth and had none of that cold stale rice texture that a lot of market-bought sushi sets have.  There was too much rice in the spicy tuna rolls and I would have preferred less rice at the cost of overall size, but it certainly makes for a filling lunch for $8.  The spicy tuna filling was coarsely chopped, which I like, and had a good amount of heat, also great. (I hate when I order something spicy and it barely registers as warm on my tongue.)

The temari were the perfect size for eating in one mouthful and the fish was decent.  My favorite pieces were the eel and salmon.  The sauce on the eel  and tenderness of the piece were what really made it. I also had a bite of my co-worker’s crunchy roll and was surprised that the tempura inside was still crunchy!  It’s a good choice for people who can’t take the heat of a spicy tuna roll.

The sushi quality is a few steps above Mitsuwa’s sushi bentos and even some sit-down sushi restaurants I’ve been to, but don’t get me wrong, it’s still a very casual meal.  It’s not on par with the higher-tiered sushi restaurants. As long as people keep that in mind, they can’t be disappointed — especially considering almost everything is less than $10.

Fishlips Sushi is good enough that I’m rounding up more co-workers to join me next week when they get close again. I just wish they had an actual Culver City stop.  While I mainly wanted to try out the truck for sheer novelty, I’m happy to see that the food is actually decent.  It also helps that there’s no crazy 1 hour line for it like some other food truck.

Oh yeah, another plus: they take Visa and Mastercard as well as cash.

Fishlips Sushi
Fishlips Sushi Twitter

TV Dinner

Dinner: sushi take-outI felt lazy tonight after a long day at work (why are Mondays always so hard?) so I picked up some take-out from Taro’s Teri & Sushi. I spent the rest of the night with a bowl of chirashi (the fish was actually good!), some episodes of 90210, and a couple hours of Persona 4.

I had never watched 90210 before. I didn’t catch it when it was airing on television years ago because I was too young to be interested in the show and I don’t think my parents would have let me watch the hot and steamy scenes anyway. I thought there would be more risque scenes than there are. I guess that’s just what they show in the commercials back then.