If there’s one restaurant I’ve been urged to write about lately, it’s Masacasa. This gem of a Japanese cafe in Eagle Rock is hidden in a little strip mall, but its low profile hasn’t kept it from fast becoming a neighborhood favorite. That’s because the menu at Masacasa is simple and well-edited, the prices are affordable and the flavors are spot on.
There are plenty of little bites to be had at Masacasa. They offer a selection of onigiri (filled rice balls), sushi rolls and sozai (side dishes). We opted to begin with kabocha, sizable chunks simmered pumpkin served cold and dotted with sesame seeds. The Japanese lunch staple made for a sweet, savory and refreshing start. Although, I did regret not adding plum onigiri to the mix.
Along with traditional curries, the menu takes an L.A. turn with Japanese style burritos. Not to be confused with sushi burritos made famous by Jogasaki, these are quite simple, wrapped in flour tortillas and stuffed with rice—brown by request and for $1 more—cabbage slaw, house dressing, salsa and your choice of chicken teriyaki, two types of fried chicken, or delicately fried panko-battered jumbo shrimp. The portion is small but satisfying. I say share one, so you can try more dishes.
Case in point: the Soba Noodle Salad. The mix of buckwheat noodles and seasonal organic vegetables makes this light salad a real treat and a good share. I don’t recommend adding chicken, which was a little rubbery on our visit and a definite low point of the experience. Instead, take it as comes and savor the tangy house dressing, dried seaweed strips and juicy tomatoes.
Hope to see you there!
1757 Colorado Blvd.
Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.