HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Anyone been to Yabu?

Has anyone been to Yabu on La Cienega, near Melrose? How's the sushi? I typically go to Hirozen for sushi (which is great and affordable), but am looking to try other reasonably-priced sushi places in the area.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. My SO and I used to eat there when we lived within walking distance. The prices and quality are ok. It's nice to sit on the patio in the back. They actually have great soba and udon selections (not your typical after-thought). The duck with soba is yummy. My SO also used to get a *something* don, which is a rice bowl with egg, meat and seaweed (really tasty).

    1 Reply
    1. re: kotter

      Soboro Don I think. Chicken is the "meat." Used to be amazing, haven't had it at Yabu in years.

      I love their Zaru Soba.

    2. East Japanese Restaurant in Little Tokyo is great. Monday's are "Salmon Mondays" - Half priced (or discounted price) off salmon sushi/sashimi. My better half and I used to go (now it's just every once in awhile) every monday and spend about $20 (total) each time. That's enough to be satisfied. The sushi guys (or whatever you call 'em) are really friendly/nice. It gets fairly busy, but the wait is not that bad. Averages about 10-15 minutes; 20 at most for us. It starts at 5pm (I think) and last order is 10pm or til they run out of salmon. We usually go around 8-9ish. They started a "Tuna Thursdays", same deal as the salmon mondays, but we have yet to try that. And if you don't get full off the sushi, you can walk next door to Daikokuya and get their awesome Daikoku Ramen. Very good on a cold night! Approximately $7 a bowl and ask for the "rich flavor". The pork is tender and the broth is very flavorful! We always get food coma after eating the ramen.

      I want some now.

      1. I don't really think of sushi when I think of Yabu. They focus more on other items (noodles, appetizers, cooked items) than on sushi per se, although they have sashimi on the menu. I think it's referred to as "Izakaya" style.

        Yabu has been around for a long time. We used to go there all the time 8-10 years ago when I lived on the westside, but since I moved farther east I haven't been, so can't comment on the food quality today. Back then I thought the food was very good, although the attitude of the service at the one on La Cienega could sometimes be off-putting.

        1. Thanks for all the comments! I'm definitely going to go there for the noodles and stick with Hirozen for sushi. I'll definitely check out East Japanese Restaurant too :-)

          1. I live near the Pico Blvd. location of Yabu. ...for about 15 years.

            We like their noodles, both soba and udon choices. The burdock and lotus root appetizer too. Also the Chirshi box is great and very reasonable, love the pickled veggies that coem with it. Nice salads and different sunomono.

            This is the only location I've been to and the staff has always been friendly. I can get busy and there is a wait sometimes.

            Yabu Restaurant
            Address: 11820 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
            Phone: (310) 473-9757

            8 Replies
            1. re: PattiB

              I live not too far from the Pico location of Yabu and I go about once every 6-8 weeks. That is not because it isn't good; mostly because it is a 15 minute walk from my house, instead of the 3 minute walk to Sawtelle.

              When I go, I only get sushi/sashimi as sort of a side dish or appetizer. I have had an excellent blue crab hand roll and some decent, but not earth shakingly excellent, tuna sashimi.

              Mostly, we order some noodles (I like the soba and my GF likes the udon), something like nasu miso or gobo, and maybe a cooked dish (black cod with miso, etc.).

              Yabu on Pico isn't really set up to be a sushi bar; it is just one thing amongst many that they do and it is probably a better idea to have a mix of dishes there. That said, I have never been to their other location, so I cannot comment on it.

              And, yes, the Pico spot does get pretty crowded at peak times.

              1. re: PattiB

                Love burdock - hard to find. How do they prepare the burdock and lotus root appetizer? Shredded in fine slices and stir-fried, or something else?

                1. re: omotosando

                  omotosando -- just an aside and quite off-topic: Kiriko Sushi on Sawtelle has THE BEST burdock. I think it is deep fried, but not at all greasy, and they stack it beautifully like Lincoln Logs...so good! I believe they also have a lotus root dish, but I have never tried it.

                  In second place for me is Nanbankan, on Santa Monica. They wrap it in pork (bacon) and grill it.

                  1. re: liu

                    Thanks, liu. Funny, I've been eating at Kiriko and Nanbankan for years and didn't really know that either had burdock. I guess I have to read menus more closely - easy to just keep ordering what you always order.

                    1. re: omotosando

                      I am SO guilty of not reading menus. I think this is why I love "omakase" so much! But since I am usually with someone who DOES read them very carefully, we do get to enjoy some of the wonderful Asian veggies that I would otherwise miss. And next time at Kiriko, I will try the lotus root slices.

                  2. re: omotosando

                    At Yabu, the gobo is shredded and stir-fried with ??? (mirin is one of the ingredients, I'm pretty sure). As mentioned below, Kiriko does a mean fried gobo appetizer - the gobo is cut into thick matchstick shapes and fried. Yum.

                    1. re: igj

                      We just purchased two beautiful gobo roots at the Korean Galleria Market. One of the Korean shoppers next to us suggested that we peel it, shred it, soak it in water (with a little baking soda to keep the color) and then stir fry it with soy and mirin and perhaps some XO??? Did you enjoy it this way at Yabu?

                      1. re: liu

                        That sounds about right for ingredients and style. I do like Yabu's version a lot. Maybe not as satisfying as Kiriko's fried rendition on a cold night...

                2. Yabu's worth checking out, I've been over a dozen times and was always pleased. The LaCienega location has good atmosphere inside and out, I've only been to Pico once. At LaCienega I suggest a reservation unless you are a single or deuce and willing to sit at the sushi bar.

                  They have a spicy beef salad and a miso eggplant which are both great starters, and I think they have a few miso soups, I like it with mushrooms. After that we typically did sushi menu and I've never been disappointed. The desserts are good and I think the wine choices were nice but I don't have specific suggestions.

                  I think it's very reasonably priced for the combination of food, atmosphere and service -- and well located. I hope you dig it.

                  1. I eat lunch at Yabu frequently, since their lunch specials are such good deals. Lately I've been obsessed with their sashimi and tempura combination lunch. for around $12, you get very nicely prepared shrimp and vegetable tempura and around ten pieces of sashimi (served, incidentally, with real grated wasabi), as well as a tiny plate of three different japanese pickled vegetables. As other posters have noted, their noodles are their specialty--the soba, either hot or cold, is among the best around.

                    1. As mentioned above, Yabu is a good choice for people who like "Japanese" more than sushi - the sushi is more than fine (although Hirozen IMO is better) and the noodels and cooked dishes are pretty good

                      1. yabu's specialty is their soba. not the best in town but pretty darn good when you can't get to otafuku or ichimian honten in the south bay. been going to yabu for years, primarily their pico location. the la cienega location "feels" a little more upscale, both food and atmosphere-wise. but the menu is essentially the same. if you like beef, do NOT miss out on their beef tataki, which might be my desert island dish as far as southern california restaurants go...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: rameniac

                          what's the address for ichimian honten? I didn't see it on the web.

                          1. re: meesha

                            1618 cravens ave., torrance, 90501 - the perfect light lunch on a saturday or sunday afternoon! try the cold mentai oroshi soba... you won't be disappointed =)