A few weeks ago I went to Hinotez for dinner. While there, I spotted a sign for their breakfast menu, which seemed interesting with very reasonable prices.

So we made our way back for breakfast. I don’t have much expertise when it comes to traditional Japanese style breakfast. My knowledge is limited to vague memories of a trip to Japan when I was about 5. For a more accurate take, check out A Radiused Corner’s posts here and here.

You start with a base set ($3; rice, tea, pickled cabbage, tofu, miso soup, seaweed snack) and then you can add additional small dishes to your heart’s desire, that range from $1-3.


FH chose the poached 3 minute egg and curry for his sides.


I had some of his curry and really liked it. There was a lot of ground meat mixed inside though from the appearance it looked very thin and liquidy.

For my sides, I chose natto and tororo (grated yam).

Natto is a fermented soybean dish. It has a pungent smell and a very sticky texture that is a turn off for a lot of people not familiar with it. I’ve been trying to train myself to enjoy it by ordering it whenever I see it on the menu. But after this latest attempt, I think I’ve about given up.

I don’t mind the smell. I find the texture hard to deal with. Some of those sticky natto strings sometimes stretch out and get stuck in all kinds of stuff when I’m eating it. But mainly I’m not a fan of the fermented taste.

FH's camera phone trying to capture the natto strings

 

Tororo is grated nagaimo yam, also known as Dioscorea opposita. When it’s grated it has a slimy, sticky texture.

Again, the texture can be a huge turn off. FH hates this stuff. He describes it like eating someone’s saliva or spit. I try not to have these images when I’m eating it because I adore it, slimy texture and all.


Before leaving, we also picked up one of the to go bento boxes they are offering. They are three different kinds of everyday.

I had originally wanted to try the healthy bento, but the sides offered that day weren’t very appealing. I ended up going with the pork cutlet sandwiches. Not much in terms of sides other than a salad, but the sandwiches remind me a lot of the ones in Taiwan.

The fried pork cutlets were very thick, just like how my mom makes them. There was a light layer touch or either wasabi spread on the sandwich. I could have done without the wasabi flavor.

Overall we enjoyed our food. The two sides and basic set were a little on the light side for a meal, but I don’t like to have heavy breakfast meals. At about $20 for the both of us, this was a great deal. I also enjoyed the bento boxes and would definitely come back to pick up more bentos and to enjoy the breakfast meals. Currently breakfast is served everyday from 7am-11:30am.

Hinotez
7947 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 565-4244
Hinotez on Urbanspoon

   

12 Responses to “Hinotez (Japanese breakfast visit)”

  1. Kay — March 13, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I love that this place offers Japanese breakfasts! Funny, I love natto but HATE tororo, haha.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 13th, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

      I’m happy it does too! I hope it continues. Lol, that’s so funny we are complete opposite about natto and tororo.

  2. Iris — March 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Haha, I actually recommended Hinotez’s breakfast to a friend after reading your earlier post about this place and she ended up going there before I had a chance. :p She said she really liked it and after reading this post, I’m definitely going to have to visit after spring break. The items included in the base set kind of reminds me of what is offered at hotels in Japan for breakfast. :)

    Great post! Also it’s brave of you to continue training yourself to eat natto. XD

    • Kirbie replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 9:24 am

      Yes you should definitely check it out! I like that they have a lot of different small dishes from ones people might stay away from to ones more in people’s comfort zones like fried tempura or curry.

  3. Rodzilla — March 14, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I stopped by the other day for ramen. I was tempted to add a side of natto – but my dining companions didn’t seem as keen. I’ll still need to try that.

    I’m not crazy about tororo – I don’t hate it, I just find it passable. That curry has me interested though.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 9:35 am

      The curry was good! And totally worth it for the price. I thought the ramen was just so-so.

  4. Faye — March 14, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I commend your attempts to appreciate Natto! B/c I have yet to muster up the courage to eat Natto myself. And OMG…tororo just looks and sounds terrible too (FH’s graphic description of it pretty much convinced me to probably never try this dish!).

    I’ll have to visit Hinotez for breakfast. I saw Dennis’ post on this place too and it looks like it’s worth a try.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 9:42 am

      Lol, I wasn’t sure if I should put in that description. Fh’s description is kind of accurate for the texture, but you just need to put it out of your mind. haha. I think I had it when I was little so I like eating it.

  5. caninecologne — March 14, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    i love the look of their menu! so cute, the retro looking children and that font!!!!

    it’s also nice how you can customize your breakfast by adding on to the basic set. very affordable.

    but the burning question for me is, ‘what are those little action figures?”

    must go in person so i can see for myself! :)

    • Kirbie replied: — March 15th, 2012 @ 10:30 am

      Maybe Dennis can help you with the action figured. I took a pic of them especially but I still have no idea what they are. I like the menu too. The pic of the child reminds me of these vitamin supplements I took as a kid.

  6. Dennis — March 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Kirbie, I love that there is another breakfast option for me in town. Rice and miso soup refills are free (only for breakfast). Not sure how long that will last but it’s an amazing deal considering.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 17th, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

      I’m not much of a rice or miso soup person. But I’m very excited about this place for breakfast. I need to come back and try the whole menu!

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