Ruiji Sichuan Restaurant 瑞吉川菜 in Lomita, CA

Ruiji Sichuan Restaurant 瑞吉川菜 in Lomita, CA

Hard to believe that there’s been a true Sichuan restaurant in the South Bay area of Los Angeles (communities south of LAX) for almost 2 years now before I finally discovered them.  The prices here are slightly higher than the Sichuan restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, but the quality of their food pretty much rival the excellent ones in San Gabriel Valley.

The menu is huge and offers a wonderful variety of Sichuan dishes and more.  The dishes offer a good enough of a kick but not to the point where the spiciness would overpower the layers of flavors that exude from every dish from the very first bite.  And while most of the dishes were delicious, there were a couple of under-performing dishes, such as the Corn laced with Salted Egg Yolk and the Wontons in Spicy Chili Oil.  The corn was too sweet and had too much of the salted duck egg yolks dusted over them.  It ate more like a dessert than savory goodness.  The wontons tasted one dimensional, especially from the sauce the wontons were served with.

Other than that, it was a great dinner.  With so many offerings on their menu, we would have to make a couple of return visits in the future.


Oaxacan Brunch at Conrad’s Restaurant in San Pedro

Oaxacan Brunch at Conrad’s Restaurant in San Pedro

Chef/Owner Conrad Aguilar recently opened up this quaint neighborhood “farm to table” eatery serving dishes from his native Oaxaca to traditional Mexican and American fare.  In addition, the chef hopes to slowly incorporate more dishes from different parts of Central and South Americas.  Sourcing ingredients from local farms, Chef Aguilar prides himself in serving up delicious food from these ingredients.

A group of us shared some of the dishes he highly recommended, which included his take on Oaxacan dishes such as his Empanadas Oaxaca, which is made with a “corn dough” (as he called it) and stuffed with zucchini and topped with avocado salsa.  These empanadas are then deep fried, yielding a crispy exterior and a lighter interior than what you get from empanadas made from flour that are either baked or deep fried.  Nice touch.  A style of empanada I’ve never experienced before.  The avocado salsa is flavorful and pairs well with the empanadas and the greens that come on the side.

Dark Mole Oaxaca has that nice, rich and smoky flavor from the roasted guajillo peppers used in the mole sauce and the sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

The Carnitas Plate was quite tasty, and I enjoy the crispiness of the exterior of the chunks of carnitas.

The chef makes a nice version of lomo saltado.  Order some rice to stir in some of that tasty sauce.

Of course, a meal is not complete without dessert, and we noshed on a flan and the arroz con leche, which is really good.  We couldn’t stop digging into it.

Really enjoyed the food here, and the staff is very attentive.

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the photo.