Friday, April 29, 2011

Torrance: il Chianti

There's something about Japanese Italian pasta that just draws to me. Maybe because it is the simplicity of it, combining fresh and quality ingredients from both culture that not only works, but can be considered as one of the most successful meshing of different cuisine in my eyes.

In South Bay, there are many of these Japanese Italian eateries and one of the stand out is Il Chianti. The original is actually in Japan but they have expanded to the Torrance/Lomita area and have been a mainstay for a couple of years already. Popular during lunch with professionals and housewives, with patrons of all kinds during their dinner service.

Il Chianti
24503 Narbonne Ave
Lomita, CA 90717

oil dip & bread
To start off, bread with infused EVOO dip.

Two types of bread: white & wheat.

oil dip
EVOO with balsamic onion confit. Yesssss.

Very cool menu. Very "personal."

Of course, gotta order a Chianti Classico. Ruffino is actually a huge label from Italy and you can find Ruffino at most places. Decided to upgrade from the winemaker's usual traditional Chianti and went for the Aziano, which is their Chianti Classico made with more modern techniques.

clam in butter garlic sauce
One of my favorites at Il Chianti: Garlic clam in butter sauce. Which part of that doesn't sound good?? After you finish all the clam, take some bread and soak your bread in that buttery goodness :D

squid ink rice pilaf
Another one of my favorite: Squid ink rice pilaf. First time I tried this was when I came for lunch and they had lunch sets (like all Japanese restaurants), and this was part of it. Absolutely delicious. Think of a fried rice, except flavored with squid ink and heavy on the garlic!

cod roe pasta
Alaskan Roe Pasta. A perfect example of Japanese + Italian. No more than 5 ingredients but tastes like much more.

Bolognese. For some reason I just like bolognese made by Japanese so much better (like at Spoon House).. Noodles cooked perfectly al dente too.

veggie pasta
Mushroom pasta with Garlic sauce and you can taste a little of the white wine coming through. the sauce

These pictures actually don't do this place justice since there's a lot of good stuff on the menu. In the future, pizzas!