There wasn't much time. Two full days at the Magic Kingdom doesn't leave many opportunities for additional outside eating. But on a trip we took this summer, MFM and I did what we could. After two days of turkey legs, churros, and bright green mint juleps, we mixed it up with some new favorites, old standbys - all delicious.
First stop - Musha. This Torrance restaurant is an izakaya, so the more people you bring, the more small plates you can order. Yelpers say the cuisine is fusion - but it seemed pretty authentic Japanese to me. Green light: tarako kimchee udon (buttery, seafood-y, slippery, spicy), buta kakuno (pork belly cooked to a soft, buttery perfection), eringi mushrooms on a shichirin grill. Yellow light: spicy tuna dip with rice crackers, cheese risotto served in a hollowed out wedge of parmesan (not bad, just not wow-worthy). Spotlight: for birthdays they turn off all the lights, and the cook sets a wok on fire. The first time you see this is amazing (after the 4th or 5th time, not so much).
Not a reflection or anything on Musha (I was stuffed and very satisified after dinner here) but for me, driving down the street (Carson Blvd) and not stopping at the parked ramen truck was simply impossible, especially with such a cute and inviting name as Happy Cup Ramen. Green light: the miso ramen with cha shu was fresh cooked, hot and delicious. Spotlight: the experience of eating ramen standing up in front of a car dealership while traffic goes by isn't, in actuality, a bad one. It's actually kind of fun.
I'm just as enamored with the current salt trend (salted caramels, salted chocolates) as the next person, and had to try sea salt lattes at the "Starbucks of Taiwan" 85C (as in degrees) in Irvine. (Just an aside, but is anybody else curious as to whether all this extra sodium is somehow bad for you?) Named for the perfect temperature for which to consume coffee, this bakery chain has over 230 locations worldwide. Green light: the sea salt latte, which I had iced (refreshing and delicious); also a fan of the taro buns. Yellow light: first visit is a little daunting, and irritating as there are no posted instructions for newbies. Everyone just seemed to know you're supposed to pick up a tray and tongs and help yourself to the baked items then wait in a separate line to pay or order drinks.
The last stop was King's Hawaiian in Torrance. I love this place for so many reasons. The sweet and addicting Hawaiian rolls. The light and refreshing guava cake. Spam. (Green lights all around, plus another one for the katsu curry). Red light: not sure if it was just an off day, but the usually tasty bowl of saimin suffered from tasteless, watery broth and lackluster noodles. (I say off day). Spotlight: Did I mention their perfectly executed Spam musubi is served with a teriyaki dipping sauce? Fancy!
SAMIWICH'S OVERALL TASTE RATING