Soon after I returned from my Southeast Asian trip, I started my new job. My new offices are in Downtown LA, so it was a perfect opportunity to check out the lunch dining scene in the area. My friend and I decide to check out Japanese curry house, Fat Spoon, located in Little Tokyo. I am not very familiar with the area, but already knew I wanted to come back to check out Kagaya, Spice Table, Daikokuya, Orochan and Shin-Sen-Gumi.
Fat Spoon is owned by Michael Cardenas of nearby Lazy Ox Canteen and Toranoko, and is known for their curries and pastas. The prices are reasonable at about $10 an entree. There were so many items on the menu that sounded appealing such as pork cutlet curry, pasta with salted cod roe, but I knew I had to order the uni pasta from the Specials menu.
Uni croquette was also available on the Specials menu.
The croquette had a nice panko breading that wasn't greasy. The mashed potato and uni filling was creamy and rich. I love the strong taste of uni, so I thought that the uni flavor here wasn't strong enough. I wonder if they diluted the flavor a bit to cater to more palates, or perhaps there was more potato than uni. Still a tasty dish but I longed for more of that distinct uni taste.
Uni pasta with mushrooms made up in the uni flavor department. I really enjoyed the al dente pasta that was coated with creamy sauce and mixed with earthy mushrooms and chunks of rich orange sea urchin. It was glorious! I wanted to slurp up every last drop of sauce. I loved the amount of sea urchin in the dish. Even their selection of mushrooms was spot on.
Fat Spoon is a great addition to the area. The restaurant is quaint and homey. I liked the simple menu and how comforting the dishes felt. Sure I wanted more uni flavor in the croquette, but that's a personal preference. I enjoyed my pasta and there are many other items that I'd like to try.
Hits: uni, pasta, prices
Misses: like most restaurants in the area, there is no parking
329 E 1st St.,
Los Angeles, CA 90012