By Maria Marroquin
Kaiba Japanese Restaurant satisfies with specialty sushi rolls, fresh sashimi and ramen soup at an affordable price. The restaurant has two locations, one in Anaheim and the other only 1.1 miles away from East Los Angeles College.
This small restaurant opened almost two years ago in November, said Kaci Choi, one of the owners. Kaiba is located in the middle of small shops along Atlantic Boulevard.
At first glance, it looks like a regular store, but inside customers are greeted by the simple design of what looks like traditional Japanese sliding doors.
Kaiba has a familiar atmosphere, with booths along the wall that fit four people and tables in the middle to accommodate more customers. It also has a bar area and several big screens in case people want to catch a game during their lunch hour, before school or simply a gathering spot after work or class.
“I definitely like the vibes there. Everyone is having a good time, enjoying their food while watching the football or baseball games. They also have pretty good music,” said Ashley Molina, a student at ELAC. Molina also said the tonkotsu ramen and tempura rolls are her favorite.
The staff is welcoming and friendly at all times, they don’t take long to take your order and the food comes out within 5-10 minutes of ordering if not less.
“The busiest hours are usually lunchtime and dinner time from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” said Choi.
They have great lunch specials, and the food portions are big and at a good price.
Choi also said their specialty rolls and ramen soup are the most ordered items on the menu. Their ramen soup is one of the best things to eat there and the price ranges from $9 by itself, to $13 if ordered as a lunch special accompanied with california rolls, spicy tuna rolls or gyoza.
Kaiba also has a variety of specialty rolls that range from $7 to $12, and contain 6-8 pieces each. Their regular rolls also have 6-8 pieces and the prices range from $4 to $6 each roll.
For people that don’t like sushi, they have other types of food, such as teriyaki beef or chicken served on a hot sizzling plate with a side of vegetable tempura, miso soup and rice.
“This is my go-to plate since I don’t like sushi, and I enjoy the fresh, crispy taste of the tempura,” said Lourdes Mutuc, a customer of Kaiba. “They have good and fast service,” added Mutuc.
Kaiba is located on 816 S Atlantic Blvd in Monterey Park, and the hours of operation are Sunday – Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Customers can either park along Atlantic blvd or in the designated lot in the back of the restaurant through El Mercado Avenue.