Mar 2009

Mitsuwa Marketplace – Los Angeles (Torrance)

Back in November, gas•tron•o•my reader Anh tipped me off to Mitsuwa Markeplace after I whined about the frozen deconstructed sushi I endured at Mako Bowl in Pasadena. “Go to Mitsuwa Marketplace, Cathy!” encouraged Anh. “They’ve probably got the most decent grocery store sushi I’ve ever seen.”

When the running gods cursed me recently with a shoddy pair of running shoes that needed returning in Torrance,  the food gods smiled down and reminded me of Mitsuwa nearby. Hip, hip, hooray.

Mitsuwa Marktplace is part grocery store and part food court—The Astronomer and I explored both on our afternoon visit. After scanning the available eating options, we began our feast at Mifune.

The life-like plastic food displays along each of the vendors’ kiosks were very helpful in determining where and what to eat. For a measly $6.50 we received a bowl of pork katsu curry and a hot bowl of wakame udon.

Both the pork katsu curry and wakame udon were solid. In all honesty, at $6.50 a pop, it’d be silly to complain. The pork katsu had a nice, crisp exterior, while the smooth curry was spicy and mildly sweet. I’m always surprised by how creamy Japanese curry is each time I eat it.

The wakame udon tasted really healthy—clear broth with lots of seaweed floating about. The udon noodles had a pleasantly firm bite.

After our meal at Mifune, we were feeling pretty stuffed. To make room for more Japanese goodness, The Astronomer and I explored the grocery store section of the marketplace. I picked up some rice crackers (the ones wrapped in nori were bomb), while The Astronomer went for some Pocky.

Next, we grabbed some sushi at Daikichi, Mitsuwa’s only sushi vendor. As promised by Anh, the selection appeared to be fresh and vibrant.

After a bit of hemming and hawing, I finally settled on a spicy tuna roll ($4.99) and some inari ($4.50). The spicy tuna roll was the spiciest spicy tuna roll The Astronomer and I have ever consumed. Our eyes were seriously watering with each tasty bite. The plump little inaris were filled with sweet and vinegary rice. There’s something so simple and satisfying about inari that I can’t resist.

Mitsuwa Marketplace has great energy and excellent eats; this is the way food courts should be. Sha sha.

Mitsuwa Markeplace
21515 Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone: 310-782-0335

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11 thoughts on “Mitsuwa Marketplace – Los Angeles (Torrance)

  1. ben kweller! i felt compelled to leave a comment at the song reference. your site is awesome!

  2. Jing – I’m so glad you got the reference! The Astronomer was doubtful that anyone would “get” it. My readers obviously rule 😉

  3. One of the things I miss most about California is Mitsuwa, even though I only went there occasionally. Is that weird?

  4. Nina – 🙂

    Sharon – Not one bit weird. Mitsuwa is something kinda special.

    TonyC – Saving it for the next trip! I wanted to explore the sushi on this visit.

  5. yay! Glad to see that you enjoyed your trip to Mitsuwa. I second TonyC’s recommendation for Santouka. Good stuff, but just beware that their broth generally is on the salty side and the msg kick is undeniable =p

  6. Love inari! Last week we were in Seattle and Iain tried sushi for the first time. Since he’s not yet 1, he had miso soup, tofu, inari and pickled ginger. The inari was the star, for sure. He kept pulling pieces across his tongue, tasting, looking at it, tasting, pulling with his (2) teeth, etc.

  7. Anh – Thank you again for the awesome eating advice. I will hit up Santouka next time!

    Fiona – Iain most definitely has a refined palate. You must be so very proud 🙂

    foodhoe – Woot to that. Dealing with LA traffic is totally worth it when it comes to Mitsuwa.

  8. Very disappointed to report the Mochi place in back no longer sells individual pieces any more. A man working the counter said they stopped selling … “about six months ago”!

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