Makomae falls short of the bar


Hidden in a corner on Diamond Bar Boulevard, Japanese restaurant Makomae didn’t seem remarkable at first glance. After getting a taste of their food, I’m inclined to say that my assumption was correct.

Entering, I was greeted with a rustic yet polished atmosphere that had a warm ambiance. A bar was off to the side for customers to view chefs cooking meals. Both outdoor and indoor dining options were not available, so I brought my meal home.

I ordered the sushi and sashimi lunch special ($14.25), the tempura udon ($10.50) and green tea mochi ice cream ($2.50). My order only took a quick 10 minutes to arrive.

The meal came with three tekka maki rolls– small pieces of sushi with tuna in the middle –which were flavorful and didn’t have an overbearing fish taste. It also came with six nigiri rolls, each containing various types of fish such as albacore and salmon. The nigiri sushi had a nice ratio of well-cooked rice under the fish. Overall, the fish was somewhat bland, but this was fixed with a packet of soy sauce that they had provided.

The udon and tempura were decent but not too distinctive in flavor. The noodles had the right amount of thickness and  a sweet yet savory flavor to them. However, the lack of any toppings, such as fish cake, was disappointing, even with the addition of the tempura. The only other add-on was a single shiitake mushroom at the bottom of the bowl. The tempura was less than ideal, with it being mostly soggy deep-fried vegetables and one measly shrimp. The combo simply did not mesh well together, as the textures were too similar.

The single, yet large scoop of mochi ice cream was a nice way to end my meal. It was matcha flavored, so it wasn’t too sweet, but it wasn’t too bitter either. Though the consistency of the mochi was a little on the sticky side, it still made for a pleasant dessert.

In the end, Makomae was average at best, and I don’t plan to return there anytime soon. Its food wasn’t too good, and wasn’t worth the price. There are plenty other restaurants in the Diamond Bar area that offer a more vast array of well-prepared food, so save your time and grab a bite someplace else.