This entry is about Sanuki no Sato in Gardena, CA. A group of us (the "McWangs," Ms. O, Six Pack) and I were having dinner there recently for "The Ukrainian"'s birthday. This restaurant has apparently done very well over the years, and because I'm a bad blogger, I didn't get a picture of the front or the celeb photos in the waiting area. x_x
Anyway, we dished out an extra $15 (total) to get a tatami room... you know, one of those rooms where you sit on the floor with a low table, a-la Japanese. However...
Above: ...I sat down to realize that there was a gaping HOLE at the bottom so you can actually put your legs down, as if you're sitting in a normal chair!!
Above: A bad pic of me. If you look to the very left (again, due to bad blogging), you can see a gift that "The Ukrainian" got -- a foam roller! Not only did Ms. O get him a good gift, but I know a certain *someone*/me needs it... just in the nick of time (I'll explain later)!
Above: I ordered this "nabeyaki" udon. There were a few pieces of chicken and a large shrimp tempura to be avoided, but all in all, decent. I had approximately a large half of this big portion. Above the bowl is my lovely potato croquette. It was impossible to pick up with chopsticks without breaking it into a million pieces... I did not dig it at all, but the gang took care of it for me...
Above: "The Ukrainian"'s dinner set. I nibbled on that salad, but my udon kept me entertained.
Above: "The Ukrainian" also got this really HUGE spicy tuna rice ball. See my fist for comparison. If you look carefully in the background, you can see Six Pack's biceps in the background. For a 40-something Asian guy, he's gargantuan!
Unfortunately, Ms. O ordered some $10 Korean short ribs (yes, even at this Japanese restaurant -- go figure!), but the waitress didn't get her order for some reason and did not even confirm with us that all the food came, so we had to reorder, dragging the meal on. When they did come, which was another huge chunk of time in itself, they were apparently too fatty. We felt they should not have charged for them, but they did. And this was after being pretty much neglected, having to fight for the waitress' attention all night. (Keep in mind we paid extra for a private room.)
So we took the $10 from the would-be tip. The bill was large enough, due to the priciness of the place, so there was still considerable tip left. After turning in the initial check, the waitress came back with the audacity to ask, "Does this include tip?" Talk about awkward confrontation, but seriously, we rarely see such bad service!
So with $$$ considerations, mediocre food, and questionable service, this place, which apparently is well-reviewed by many, is not one that I would like to repeat.