A place that serves NINJA TACOS and NINJA FRIES. Do you really need any other reason to try this place?
This place is hidden in a small strip of stores next to a gas station on Bellflower and Del Amo Blvd. There are too many stores for the amount of parking allotted to the whole. If you’re going to eat here with some friends, be sure to carpool, because there really isn’t any other option. Upon entering the store you will notice a huge, but cute mascot on the right wall skewering some meats like kabobs and holding a spatula in the other hand. Heading toward the counter, you’ll notice that their menu is actually rather typical for any teriyaki bowl fast food service. HOWEVER, you’ll also notice that the corner between the mascot and the main menu is a smaller menu with fun items like GYOZA (wait… wut?), NINJA TACOS, NINJA FRIES, and DEATH TACOS!!!
The gyoza and the sauce left me with the feeling that something was missing. The flavor was lacking some sort of kick to it, and the dipping sauce tasted rather watered down. I think what would make a great gyoza sauce for this place would be katsu sauce, but unfortunately I don’t think this place carries that. So you’ll have to bring your own when you decide to visit this place… or not get the gyoza at all.
The next thing I tried was the ninja tacos. These are just a Japanese take on Korean tacos, the only difference is that instead of using KBBQ meat, they use chicken soaked in teriyaki sauce. Yes… all it was was a teriyaki-style Korean taco. Having tried the Korean counterpart, which set the bar pretty high for what fusion tacos should taste like, I was a little disappointed in the overall taste. Although it wasn’t bad by any means, it just didn’t live up to the name NINJA TACO, but for $1 each, they’re definitely a better value than $2 Korean tacos. I was somewhat tempted to try the Death Taco, because with a name like DEATH TACO, it’s just asking to be challenged. While I was contemplating the challenge, I noticed two teenagers a couple of seats over decided to take on the mighty tacos. After both of them finished their tacos, they lost all expression on their face for about a good 60 seconds. After the first 60 seconds, they both bolted straight to the bathroom (and probably shared a bowl of regurgitated “death”). Of whatever desire I have of trying the infamous Death Taco, that ship has sailed.
Moving on to the fries, which was remarkably similar to a fusion of carne asada fries and a teriyaki bowl. What you get on a bed of fries is grilled chicken topped with teriyaki sauce, some sort of liquid cheese, onions, cilantro, and some sort of mildly spicy sauce. Using carne asada fries as a reference point, I was very content with this item. It was filling, and I never got tired of the taste, which has a little bit of everything. Sweet, salty, savory, and spicy. It’s probably the only thing worth recommending on their menu actually. The explosion of flavor can’t really be described in words; it’s just something you will have to try on your own!
Overall, it’s a nice place to bring friends to for a quick dinner. There really isn’t anything mind-blowing about their ninja food. Restaurant and parking space is limited, so expect to vulture around a little bit. This is just one of those places you would go to once and just tell everyone that you know what a ninja taco taste like.
Genkiyaki is located at:
5526 Del Amo Blvd
Lakewood, CA 90713
Monday – Saturday: 11 AM – 8 PM