Manpuku was my go-to J-BBQ spot aka Yakiniku aka Meats on the Grill spot when I lived in West Los Angeles for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want to drive to Orange County to eat at Anjins and 2) Beverly Hill’s Yazawa wasn’t around yet.[adinserter name=”Block 2″]
Manpuku has a decent Japanese grill experience with good cuts of meat. It’s pretty easy to get reservations half an hour before you want to gorge yourself in protein. However, the main issue with the restaurant was parking. Whenever I get there, the parking lot is always a zoo and you’re going to have to park in the neighborhood. I know. The irony of walking a few blocks to work up an appetite when you could just valet it.
Once seated, the wait staff is pretty attentive and helpful. The one draw back was the ventilation in the place. It gets fairly warm and hotter than Satan’s butt crack in Lululemon. The good part is you come out smelling like you just slaughtered a cow then smoked it over a wood fire.
Now, the food. The menu has a lot of the typical items on a Yakiniku menu. The prices are pretty reasonable and the portion is typical Japanese size. My favorite items are as follows:
- Salted Beef Tongue – The beef tongue is one of those acquired cuts of beef. The salt added an extra layer of taste to the soft texture of the meat. My blood pressure is normal at this point.
- Salted Premium Prime Beef Short Rib – Short rib is arguably one of the better cuts of a cow. The soft texture and the natural juicy flavors of the cut is only help with the added salt. My blood pressure is rising at this point.
- Salted Premium Prime Beef Rib Eye – Rib eye is my favorite cut. The naturally fatty part of the cow is where all the flavors of the beef lies. The perfect amount of salt made the flavors of the rib eye come out like the jokes when Sean Spicer got hired at the White House.
However, Manpuku’s choice Kobe style beef fell short of my expectations. The Kobe beef wasn’t as tender and soft as compared to other places like Anjin. At Anjin, you take two bites of the Kobe style beef and it’s gone. It just melts in your mouth. I thought everything on the menu was decent to good especially the salted cuts of meat. My sodium level was raging out of control like a 21 year old in Las Vegas for the first time.
Overall, Manpuku provides decent cuts. It’s a step down from Yazawa and a step above Gyu-Kaku. Everything on the menu was fairly decent to good. The major complaint would be open the doors or get the vents fix. I couldn’t breathe in the place like an asthmatic person trying to keep up with Usain Bolt.[adinserter name=”Block 1″]
- Service - 7/107/10
- Presentation - 6/106/10
- Flavors - 7.5/107.5/10
- Decor - 6/106/10
- Ambiance - 6/106/10
Manpuku was my go-to J-BBQ spot aka Yakiniku aka Meats on the Grill spot when I lived in West Los Angeles. Everything on the menu was decent to good especially the salted cuts of meat. The major complaint would be open the doors or get the vents fix.