Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nanbankan: Meat on a Stick

You really can't go wrong with grilled meats on sticks.  One of my family's favorite restaurants is Nanbankan, in West LA.  It's been around for over 30 years in a constantly under renovation office building next to the 405 freeway, and we've been regulars for at least the last 25+ years.  Nanbankan specializes in yakitori, or chicken on skewers grilled over charcoal, although they grill plenty of other meats and vegetables as well.
Okra wrapped in bacon
Chicken wings, one of my favorites
Chicken tail and gingko nuts
Lamb chops
Crispy chicken skin
Grilled corn and garlic
Chicken meatballs, another favorite
Roasted garlic
We also ordered the grilled squid, grilled pork belly and grilled rice balls; everything was perfectly seasoned, perfectly grilled and delicious.  Other favorites which they were out of yesterday include chicken neck, chicken knee bone, and ayu, a type of Japanese grilled fish.  Nanbankan is great for groups, relatively reasonably priced (it was about $30 - $40 per person for food, no drinks but corkage for two bottles of wine).  The owner and host, Tony-san, who hasn't aged a bit in the last 25 years, is always there with a smile and always takes great care of us and all the other customers.  It's pretty much the closest thing we have to a neighborhood haunt.

11330 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90025
(310) 478-1591

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