July 19, 2007

Anjin [Costa Mesa]

I ventured here one hungry night and was turned away by the two-hour wait on a weekend night. I managed to get seated within 5 minutes on a weekday night at a decent dinner hour. But it has been reported that no matter what time or day, the line will be exhausting. You're best to bring a deck of cards or a DS.

Anjin is a do-it-yourself Japanese BBQ which also offers dishes that don't require the use of the table grill. On this particular night, I managed to sample a variety of dishes despite the small party. I'd say that the portions are small and the bill will rack up fast.We started with beef tongue which was just as tough as expected. What was not expected was that it wasn't as chewy as other beef tongues I've had and I actually enjoyed this one.

Thankfully, the bacon wrapped asparagus came with another vegetable -- corn! I don't like charred food and so the bacon was hard to cook on the grill for me. I didn't want any blackness and I found it hard to get it to a nice crispy texture without doing so. Therefore, I had slightly undercooked bacon. The asparagus was nothing special. I'd rather order this dish already prepared than have to cook it myself.

The squid (bottom left) was chewy like the beef tongue but not nearly as good. I found it rather boring even with some lemon juice.

The prime outside skirt (above right) was one of the best dishes of the night. The meat was incredibly tender and utterly delicious.

I decided to be adventurous and ordered the marinated raw beef with egg yolk. After mixing it like a bowl of bimbimbap, I got a gooey mixture of beef, greens and apples. I believe this is an acquired taste. It resembled sashimi but the fact that it was beef and not fish kept pounding through my mind and ultimately it was too different for me. I'll have the admit that the taste isn't all that bad though.

To finish the night, I got an almond milk pudding. It was beautifully sliced into a lattice and the pudding was nice and firm, almost gelatin-like in texture. And the taste was very subtle.

3033 Bristol Street
Suite N
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 979-6700

No comments: