Geko-Tei Japanese kitchen in Cerritos, CA
The frog is so cute! Reminds me of something from a Studio-Ghibli film. I love Hayao Miyazaki's films. Actually, now that I think about it, I swear there's a frog lying in the rain in one of the movies... But I digress, on to the food!
Katsu Don ($8.50) "Breaded deep fried Berkshire pork cutlet, onion and egg over rice" Topped with some nori and green onion. Comes with a side salad, miso soup, and garlic-y cooked...tuna?
This was definitely yummy. It's a big portion for only $8.50. If you've never had it, it looks kinda... brown and blah haha. That was what I thought when I had this but it's super good! Deep fried pork cutlets with egg and sauteed onions. It's good, home-y food. Geko-Tei's katsu don was good but I like Mitsuwa's better haha. Geko-tei seemed like it was missing something. Pretty sure Mitsuwa puts MSG on theirs ahaha but that little white powder makes a hell of a difference. Yes, still talking about MSG
Oh, and the side salad it comes with is freaking delicious! Looks unassuming but that yuzu dressing Oh My GoSh. If you've never had yuzu, it's a japanese fruit. Kind of like a lime/lemon but not as sour and has strong citrus notes. The dressing was so good, I bought some of it to take home.
Mini roast pork don ($5)
I felt like eating some meat so I ordered this. I debated between the small or regular size but I knew the regular size would be too much for me. Good thing I got the mini don because this was the perfect amount. The bowl is like a small rice bowl but they give you 5-6 slices of pork, so it's not too mini.
Underneath the pork is some nori-topped rice.
I'm a true Southeastern Asian so I added some chili pepper for a kick.This was good in a fattening way. The pork was super fatty and tender mmm. The sauce was a sweet, soy-based sauce, kinda like teriyaki but not as sweet. I do wish the sauce were sweeter or something to cut through all the fat of the pork. I would definitely order it again, but I'd feel guilty about all that lard I'd be consuming.
Agedashi tofu ($4.50)
My first time trying agedashi tofu. Deep fried tofu with tempura sauce. Topped with green onion, bonito flakes, and radish.
This wasn't as good as I was expecting. The tofu was too soft, it might have been better if it was deep fried longer. And the sauce was nothing special.
Uni and raw shrimp carpaccio ($7.00)
The best part of the meal was definitely this! I swear this dish was made for me. Uni aka sea urchin (if you don't know, uni is sea urchin gonads ;)) and raw shrimp are my favorite sushi and to make them into a carpaccio is heaven! When the server set this down on the table, I thought it smelled kind of strong and funny. Fresh sushi should not have a strong smell, so I wondered if the distinct smell was really coming from this. But when I took a bite, yep--it was stankyy. JK, the sauce had truffle oil in it! Really interesting, I never had truffle with raw fish before. The uni and shrimp were great together as is; the creaminess of the uni and the plump texture of the the shrimp made for a great bite but that truffle sauce rounded it out by adding a nice earthy note. SO GOOD! If only the dish came with double or triple portions. We can always dream...
Mmm, that sauce. Actually i'm not sure what the sauce really was. It had a definitive green color but all I tasted was truffle oil. I'm going to guess the green is from spinach. Oh well, I don't need to know what was in the sauce. You don't question perfection.
Would I come to Geko-Tei again? Eff yes! I'll order that uni and shrimp carpaccio every time (although, it was a special so not sure how long they'll have it). The only thing that was eh was the server. She was kinda slow but she was the only server and also seemed new. However, when I asked her what kind of tea they had, she replied with, "um brown tea." Hahaha what in the world is brown tea? I had some anyway and it was probably rice tea, but I'm still amused at her explanation. Regardless, Geko-Tei has great food at great prices and big portions. I'll be baaack!