The Shin-Sen-Gumi Ramen in downtown has gotten so popular, there’s always a long wait. Not wanting to wait, I decided to cross the street to Robata Kaba next to Johnny Rockets. The first thing I noticed was that all the tables had an iPad for ordering (see below). Being the tech-head, I was intrigued right away.
You can place your order via the iPad (see below) and even see pictures of what you’re ordering. Here, see me ordering some Salmon sushi.
After you place your order, you get a summary page showing when you placed your order (see below). As you can see, it’s in military time and since it doesn’t tell you the ETA for your order, it just reminds you how long it’s been since you ordered.
So after a short wait, my order for Salmon ($3), Tuna ($4) and Natto ($3) was delivered by my server. As you can see, the salmon pieces were strange looking and too tough to chew. In fact, even the tuna pieces were too large and tough. It’s hard to complain about large pieces but I cannot recommend the sushi here.
Next, I saw they had “Healthy Somen Noodle” ($6.80) on their specials for the day menu (see below). Since it’s rare to see somen (cold thin noodles) at any Japanese restaurant menu, I decided to order it. Normally, somen comes with a dipping sauce but they serve this like cold ramen (Hiyashi chuka) and the sauce is poured onto the somen. Although it was different from what I’m used to, the somen was cooked properly and tasted good. However, I’m not too sure about the items that were the topping on this dish. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with them, but it didn’t seem to mesh together well.
One thing I want to make sure to mention was how friendly everyone was here. From my waiter to the sushi chef, it was quality customer service. In fact, the sushi chef gave me the Ume-Suisho ($5) to try out. It’s crunchy and I probably would not order it, it was definitely interesting.
All in all, I think this would be a great place to come with friends for a drink and some appetizers. The service was excellent and the sushi chef was very friendly, but I cannot recommend the sushi here.
Japanese Robata Kaba
141 S Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012