By Max Perez
The food will grab your attention more than the intimate setting that is the first thing noticed from the second customers arrive at the Open Door Japanese Izakaya restaurant.
Upon entering the restaurant, traditional Japanese art is the first thing that catches the eye. A large wall painting covers one entire side. It depicts a traditional Japanese setting in a restaurant where men are sitting with women enjoying their food and sake.
All the tables in the restaurant seem to be placed only two feet away from each other, making personal space a bit unfamiliar. The service made up for it as each waitress readily awaits customer requests.
The menu offers a tip for customers on portion sizes for small dishes and that they should be enjoyed with beer or sake. Large portions are available. The selection of food includes mainly Japanese appetizers and main course meals.
Prices range from $3 to $14 for food and $3 to $25 for alcoholic beverages, which includes a list about the same length as the food.
One of their recommended dishes is the “Beef Tataki” at $13.50, which is thinly sliced rare beef tenderloin seared in ponzu sauce. The Beef Tataki was tender and easy to eat.
The ponzu sauce adds enough kick to the tenderloin to make it unique from other dishes. The price does seem a bit high for the size though.
Another familiar order was the “Truffle Tater Tots” at $4.75, which was great. It comes with ketchup and sour cream dip if you are looking for some extra flavor.
The Open door is a great location for first dates and post-work drinking and lounging, especially if you are into “Tapas.”
The food and service grades at an A. The seating and atmosphere however grades at a B. The pricing was a bit much for the portions and the hours were not consistent making the overall grade for this mellow Japanese restaurant a B.
The Japanese restaurant is easy to find from campus and is located at 122 S. Atlantic Blvd. on the corner of Atlantic and Garvey Ave. inMonterey Park.
Open Door Japanese Izakaya restaurant is open Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. It closes at 10:45 p.m. except on Wednesdays and Sundays when they close at 9:45 p.m.