My friends used to drive in from the Valley to come eat here, but for some reason I was a virgin to neighborhood favorite Sawtelle Kitchen. The menu is an eclectic mix of Asian curry, katsu dishes, Italian pasta, salads, and appetizers that incorporate ingredients as diverse as lotus roots, kabocha, mussels, and lamb shanks (not all in one dish)!
I had to try one of the hot appetizer/side dishes, so I chose the Japanese mushrooms with wild vegetables sauteed in a soy butter sauce for $7.95. It was a decadently rich rendition of vegetables whose silky sauce begged for bread to soak up the sauce (and I used my dinner roll to do just that).
I had a very nice bowl of Miso with lots of tofu and a huge piece of wakame (seaweed) with my dinner.
I ordered the Chilean Sea Bass with the ginger sauce and a salad instead of rice for $22.45 (it’s $19.95 with rice instead of salad). Sadly my fish was slightly overcooked and the ginger sauce was a bit too salty, but the salad was very good. I would definitely order another dish next time.
The Pasta Carbonara with ham, onion, cream and black pepper for $11.95 was absolutely perfect (as my Italian dinner partner said, he would have made this dish exactly the same way at home). This dish was the epitome of sublime decadence; not too rich to eat but luxurious enough to make you want to eat the entire bowl.
Perhaps the best thing about the place was that we went during happy hour which is from 3pm-10pm Monday-Thursday, 3-7pm Fridays, and 11:30-6pm on Sundays which means all our food and drinks were HALF PRICE (so take 50% off the prices I posted)! They serve French and Tahitian beers, espresso, and French lemonade, but if you want wine (they only serve two), bring your own and pay only a $5 corkage fee for each 750ml bottle.
Who would have thought that a neighborhood place in Little Osaka would have pasta an Italian would love? Not me, but that just means I will be going back for salad and a pasta soon.