Tenryoan is a pretty small Japanese restaurant on Westwood Blvd, south of Wilshire. It’s about ~20 minutes away from UCLA by walking. The exterior of Tenryoan is very confusing and misleading. When I first passed by the resto, I thought it was a deli that sold ready-made sushi. The interior is pretty bare-bones, but cozy. There’s a cute vintage Japanese arcade game by the door and a huge paper umbrella in the middle of the restaurant.
Appetizers were a few edamame beans, an orange slice and some mango pudding. Nothing mind-blowing, but the presentation was nice.
Sukiyaki ($12): The Japanese hot pot came with pretty generous portions, but the soup base was a tad too sweet for me. I tend to like subtle flavors when it comes to food. Included are a huge slice of beef, some tofu mushrooms of the shiitake and white needle sort, and Napa cabbage.
Chicken karaage ($9): Only two words needed to describe it: Salty batter (hypertension-inducing…). This was a huge disappointment, since all the Yelpers were raving about the karaage. If it weren’t for the rice, I would not have been able to eat it. It came with a small serving of salad and a dipping sauce.
The server was relatively attentive throughout the meal, except when he surprised us by taking away the appetizers even though he told him not to.
Another complaint: Tenryoan’s menu is a headache to read, as if it were put together by someone with very bad Microsoft Word editing skills. I REALLY hate poorly-designed menus. Handwritten prices were scattered all over the place and frankly confusing to read. Unimpressive for a place that boasts franchises in Honolulu and Tokyo.
Meh. Nothing mind-blowing in my opinion. Better Japanese food can be had in Sawtelle and Little Tokyo.
Address: 1248 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 | Yelp