A Japanese feast in Venice: MTN, LA

I cannot believe I hadn’t tried MTN Venice earlier! I knew it was going to be great, not just because the outside looks good, but also because it is by the same group who do Gjelina (which we all know I love). The food is Japanese style with a Californian spin- now before you roll your eyes at that, the food is amazing!! Besides, who doesn’t love a Californian spin!

We had friends over from London, which was the perfect time to finally get to MTN ie be able to order lots of dishes! This is my recommendation- go with more than 2 people so that you can try more.

** The photos are terrible! I’d like to blame the dark lighting of the restaurant, or the race to snap before people started diving in, but I think it might just be me 🙂 I’m too embarrassed to put the rest in, you’ll have to trust me that they did in fact look like beautiful dishes. **

House-made Tofu: No one else was particularly interested in ordering this but I got it  anyway because I was. I quite like tofu when it is done well, and was interested in trying a house-made one. It was good, light and fluffy with a subtly flavour, kind of like a creamy scrambled egg. Not a standout dish, but still nice.

Grilled Japanese Eggplant: I love a beautiful baked aubergine, and add their walnut miso sauce to it and it is a little decadent piece of heaven.

Sauteed Sweet Corn: yum! Maybe my second favourite dish. With a shoyu butter they did japanese flavours to recreate a mexican street corn. So, so good.

Baked Mushrooms: a selection of asian style mushrooms they sucked up all the flavour of the yuzu butter, ponzu and sake.

Charred Japanese Sweet Potato: the boys loved these. So much they ordered a second dish. Don’t get me wrong they were nicely cooked super sweet little fluff bowls, but there were way better dishes on the menu!

Japanese Tai Sashimi: lovely. SHould have ordered more sashimi but there was so much to choose between.

Pork Chashu Temaki: pork burnt ends in a handroll! WTF, never seen such a thing! But yes delicious and a crowd favourite.

Pork Belly Gyoza: I would say, these are the best dumplings I have had in a while. We ended up doubling down on them as they had run out of the mushroom gyoza, but I have no regrets. Cooked perfectly and the pork was flavoured to perfection.This is one of the “must haves” of the menu.

Baja Kanpachi Temaki: this was good. Nice and light,  with fresh taste to it. Definfietly could havehad more of these. We had a distinct lack of seafood in our ordering!

Duck Breast Skewer: tasty, though I only tried a small piece. I really liked the japanese mustard with it, felt a little bit different.

Pork Cheek Skewer: I do not have the capacity to not order cheek when I see it on the menu, so soft and tender! They put a white miso with and it rocked.

Waygu Beef Tataki: truth- I do not remember this dish. In my defense,  I only tried a tiny bit because it was ordered in the final round, by which time I was stuffed. I do remember the boys loving it (and kindly sharing it with our table neighbours). I have the utmost confidence that it was good.

Word of warning: if you are sitting at a communal table with me and my friends, there is a good chance that we are going to end up sharing some food! A big shout out to my random table friends who gave me a taste of the cucumber salad: they were right, it was surprisingly phenomenal. I also got eyes on (but no taste) the ramen bowls, they looked amazing.

No surprises, the sake options are great and the staff were good with recommendation. They also had an amazing pinot gris. It was pinky in colour and went down very, very well.

Some people have said that they don’t find MTN to be a warm place, but we din’t find it so. Our server was lovely and gave great recommendations. Thenagain, maybe she just couldn’t resist our Aussie charm 🙂

After a great dinner and too much wine, you can stumble across the road to Roosterfish to finish up your night. It’s crowded, but fun so why not.

Looking back over what we ordered, I can see how I bill ended up being so much! With tax, service & a decent amount of booze it was about $140 per person. Not a cheap night out, but worth every penny. Going back for Jax’s next visit for sure.

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