New flavor added to taste of traditional

“Omakase Sushi”... “Omakase Sushi” is $28.99 including salad, pot steamed egg custard and dessert. Mr. Tani with 40-years of exp... Mr. Tani with 40-years of experience as a chef in the center with the current owner, Ms. Kobayashi (left) and the sushi chef, Ms. Obara “Irifune” is lo... “Irifune” is located in a mall in old downtown Torrance close to Honda Motors headquarters “Irifune Specia... “Irifune Special zen”, a set menu that includes Aradaki (simmered red snapper) and Sashimi
New flavor added to taste of traditional cuisine

Nowadays, you can taste all kinds of Japanese food including sushi, tempura, and ramen in the U.S. It seems like the Japanese food boom has peaked, and almost every type of Japanese food you can think of can be acquired now. On the other hand, however, the number of restaurants where genuinely authentic Japanese cooking - the kind of dishes that you can get at long established Japanese restaurants in Japan – is served, is still very limited.

I did not know about “Kappo Irifune,” which opened in a mall in Torrance, of the Los Angeles suburb in March of 2015 until early autumn of the same year. A few of my gourmet friends sent me the photo of the dishes they had at Irifune through LINE. I hate to say, but as far as I remember, none of the predecessors at that location had successfully kept their business for very long. I got very curious to know how good they really are since those friends of mine are trustworthy in judging the taste of food. I decided to try, and one day, visited Irifune. I ordered fried shrimp lunch combination dish. It was so good, and made me feel like trying other dishes. First of all, the miso soup prepared with solid dashi taste was impressive. The shrimp was light and crunchy, the rice was shiny, and the salad dressing tasted like an original. I felt like I had discovered rare genuine Japanese cooking that you can always rely on.

The current owner of Irifune, Ms. Tomoko Kobayashi told me at a later date that the restaurant was originally opened in last March by Mr. Teruhisa Tani who ran a Japanese food restaurant for 25 years in Kumamoto, Japan, and overall has 40-years of experience in cooking. He immigrated to the U.S. and opened this “Kappo Irifune” in Torrance because his daughter lives here. He faithfully replicated the authentic taste here in the States that he had developed in his 40-year career.

Unfortunately, he had to decide to go back to Japan due to health reasons, and was looking for someone who could succeed his business. Ms. Kobayashi who was a regular customer of Irifune then raised her hand. Ms. Kobayashi who had experience working in various service industries in Japan, came to the U.S., got trained and worked as a sushi chef in a sushi restaurant on Ventura Blvd where many people in the entertainment industry were the customers. After that, she worked as a coordinator in the film industry, and also a consultant for Japanese enterprises who wanted to start a business in the States. After that, she went back to the food and beverage industry as a consultant. When she was a regular customer at Irifune last year, she was working as a manager of a Japanese restaurant in Gardena. She really wanted to keep the taste of Irifune which had become her latest favorite. She learned the secret recipe from Mr. Tani, and kept everything else as well; the restaurant name, menu, and pricing in order to make a new start. Currently, Mr. Tani who will be leaving for Japan soon and a lady chef with over 10-years of experience, Ms. Miho Obara are taking care of the kitchen, and Ms. Kobayashi is taking care of the customers on the floor. Ms. Kobayashi who is also a restaurant consultant, is gathering data and researching on her own to find out what type of dishes are liked by what type of customers, and what type of customers tend to come back often, etc.

She said, “The most popular dish for lunch time is “Irifune Special Zen” with simmered red snapper. We cannot get many snappers with heads, therefore, we can serve only a limited number of 10 to 15. This menu sells out very quickly every day. Its sweet taste seems to be well liked, especially by Chinese customers.”

The “Irifune Special Zen” that includes Sashimi, Aradaki, a small bowl of a seasonal dish, rice, miso soup, salad, and dessert is priced at $12.80. Popular dishes for dinner time are “Sashimi Gozen” and Chirashi Gozen which are both priced at $18.80, which is very reasonable for both the quality and the quantity. Another item called “Omakase Sushi” that includes 12 pieces of sushi, salad, pot steamed egg custard and dessert is only $28.99 which could have been priced easily below cost.

While keeping the traditional Japanese cooking taste from the previous owner, Mr. Tani, Ms. Kobayashi also hold new ideas. She says, “First, I am planning to add yakitori and oden to the menu around next spring. By doing so, customers can enjoy Izakaya style dining as well. In addition, I am going to add Japanese desserts to gain more female customers.”

I believe that “Irifune”, growing with new ideas based on the solid foundation of Japanese cooking, will be surely known more and more in the community as a secret great place to eat in Torrance.










Kappo Irifune
1231 Cabrillo Ave. Ste 107 Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 782-7330
Mon.-Sun./ 11:30am-2:30pm 5:30pm-10:00pm 7 days open

#alljapannews #japaneserestaurant #losangeles #sushi


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