Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Nov. 29
Don't Judge a Restaurant by Its Cover
My father has been trying for years to get me to lunch with him at Yoshino's, a Japanese joint located in the basement of Mission Hills. Because my father is not exactly what I'd call a "foodie" (his go-to eateries are Panda Express and Daphne's Greek Cafe), I wasn't disappointed on the few occasions we arrived to find the place closed. From the outside, it looks like a run-down, out-dated hole-in-the-wall.
When David, after noticing it a few times while driving by, suggested we try it out, I was reluctant. After he mentioned it more than once in the same week, I gave in and we headed over. The interior is nothing like what I expected. It was well-designed, meticulously clean, and rather than a few young westerners behind the counter, an elderly Japanese man was serving up the sushi.
David and I settled into a booth by the door. From the outside, it looked closed-up and run down, but once seated, I was thankful for the shades that protected us from the unsightly view of the parking lot and the blazing sun.
Lunch was simple but delicious, and all of the ingredients were fresh and tasty. When my bento box with teriyaki chicken arrived, it became clear to me why my dad loved this place -- the chicken was white and lean, sans veggies, or as Dad would say, "with none of that shit on top."
David got a tempura bowl, and we were both pleased with the flavor and texture -- crispy and not soggy, scrumptious without being oily.
Now, with my tail between my legs, I'm going to ask my dad to join me for lunch at his favorite Japanese place, to which I will be happy to return.
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