Monday, July 12, 2010

Joy Mart Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA

So during Anime Expo, I was hungry and I decided to join Kchan and Kyosuke in their dinner adventures around Little Tokyo. They wanted to go eat somewhere new that they haven't been to before and I'm down to try these places as well because it's another opportunity to do some taste testing. Joy Mart was an interesting restaurant because they featured a "Tapas" Menu. For people that don't know, Tapas style cuisine is basically small-dish variety cuisine.

Chicken Gyoza

Chicken Meat Dumplings pan fried with Scallions, Ponzu and Sesame Seeds

Judgment: The sauce wasn't exactly what I picture Ponzu sauce normally (it's supposed to be like soy sauce but with a citrus accent to it). It was slightly spicy and I guess it does lend a little bit of flavor to the dumplings. The scallions were fresh chopped and the sesame seeds are what you would expect them to be. Just there to provide a little bit of accent in flavor. The dumplings themselves were pretty boring. It doesn't have much flavor aside from just being a dumpling skin and some ground meat. 6 / 10

Jidori Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken with Hoisin Sauce

Judgment: I've noticed that some of the dishes here were influenced by chinese dishes when this one came out. The flavor is similar to eating Peking duck but it's done with chicken and the sauce is slightly off. The chicken is prepared and cooked properly, nothing undercooked, de-boned correctly with some of the fatty portions of the chicken still intact. 7 / 10


Sauced Chicken Thigh with Okra

Salted Chicken Thigh with Okra

Judgment: The theme I discovered of this restaurant at this point is that everything seems to be under-seasoned. I was disappointed that the salt flavor chicken skewer almost tasted like boiled chicken with no seasoning at all. The Okra was roasted and you can taste the smokey flavor that comes with grilling vegetables but that did not save the chicken at all. The sauced version was a bit more enjoyable because there was actually some taste and flavor to the food finally. However, the sweet flavor was a bit over-bearing so I didn't enjoy it TOO much.

Sauced Version 7 / 10
Salt Version 3 / 10

Conclusion: The restaurant needs a bit more direction. It looks like it was going in so many directions because they have some Thai style dishes, some Chinese, some Japanese, etc. If they had focused on maybe just 1 or 2 styles of food, the quality should be much better but instead, I felt that their menu was spread a bit thin despite having a large variety of dishes. For my 3 tapas dishes I named them "Chicken 3 Ways". Officially they don't have a pre-set tapas menu but you can order each one individually as if you're ordering appetizers.

The restaurant gets a C-Rank

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