HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Koda Japanese in Silverlake - truly odd experience (not in a good way)

k
kproq323 Jan 20, 2007 06:37 PM

So it's about 10:30 and a friend of mine decided to go check out the new Japanese restaurant "Koda" on Sunset. It's right next the Tantra on the same side of the street. They advertise that they open til midnight on Friday and Saturday, so we thought great.

Once seated, the waitress told us that they are completely out of rice and most of the fish. Apparently they had a busy night and ran out of everything. She told us that the appetizer and salad menu was still available, and also sashimi. She did mention that there would be rice in about 20 more minutes, so if we wanted to wait - they could then make some rolls for us. We said fine and started to order some appetizers. We ordered the crispy rice cake topped with spicy tuna, the fried tofu with bonito flakes and the fried chicken with 3 dipping sauces. The rice cakes were very good, and the spicy tuna was flavorful. Would have liked a little more kick in the tuna - but it was good. The fried tofu was a little soft and would fall apart once you put it in the dipping sauce that it came with. Flavors did not really mesh. But it was a good attempt. Last but not least, the fried chicken was soggy. There's nothing more than soggy fried chicken - especially when that was the item we were truly looking forward to.

Finally, rice was available and we had asked the waitress what fish they had so we could order a few rolls. She proceeded to yell across the room to the sushi chef and call out the names of the fish and find out what he had left. Mind you, there were not many customers left, but she could have used a little more tact. So we were told the fish that was available. We decided to make it easy and order the spicy salmon and a crab, eel and avocado roll. Great we thought - we're getting a little sushi to work off the craving. When the rolls came to us, the rice was al dente. It had not been steamed enough to soften and they actually used imitation crab legs! For $12.00 a roll, I do not expect imitation crab. Was not taken by the rolls. Nothing to rave about...

Throughout our dining experience, the owner was talking very loud to the sushi chef about his employees and their conduct. Listen, I realize it's the end of the night and that there are only a few of us in the house. But seriously - do we really need to hear all that? He also seemed to have had a couple cocktails and the liquor was affecting him. Great way to set an impression. In addition, there were two other couples that came to dine and were denied. I have to say they were not happy. One of the couples voiced that if they can't handle being open as late as they advertise, then they should change their hours and their marketing info. I would have to whole heartedly agree.

Here comes the kicker... we were only there for less than an hour. Still 30 minutes prior to closing and the waitress brings us our bill and lets us know that they need to do a credit card deposit and we need to close out. We thought - how rude considering we just got our sushi and was being as patient as possible given the circumstance. We had told her that technically they do not close for another 30 minutes. She agreed, but told me that since they ran out of food they wanted to close early and go home. Last but not least, she had made a totally inappropriate racial comment towards my dining guest and was insulted. i don't think she meant to insult but clearly she does not fit in a japanese restaurant that serves sushi rolls for $12.00 a pop.

Don't know if I would be willing to give this another shot. We would have taken things up with the owner, but I don't think he would have been coherent to listen to our concerns. Unfortunate since it is a cute place and in a great part of town. The owner is not Japanese and I don't know if that makes a difference. But you just don't see the same hospitality and service that you expect when visiting a sushi house.

  1. rednyellow Jan 20, 2007 09:39 PM

    Back when it was a cajun place, same owner, same problems.

    1. Clare K Jan 20, 2007 10:23 PM

      Running out of fish seems to be the norm at Koda, unfortunately, which indicates to me that they do not get fish daily, as they should. I, too, experienced the loud talking between staff members and haphazard service.

      I agree with rednyellow: back when it was the cajun place, it was mediocre to bad at best. Too bad - it's prime Silverlake real estate being wasted by yet ANOTHER bad restaurant (calling Back Door Bakery!).

      CK

      1. luswei Jan 21, 2007 01:34 AM

        We had a truly awful experience there and have never been back since. Lack of items on the menu, incompetent service, what's to recommend?

        1. PseudoNerd Jan 22, 2007 03:36 AM

          Well, its sole recommendation might be that it's close enough to the Cheese Store (which closes by 6:45, by the way).

          I've had truly terrible experiences there; so've others. I'd recommend any and all to waste time and money elsewhere-- like running your engine and sitting in traffic. At least there's NPR.

          1. Chowpatty Jan 22, 2007 03:45 AM

            I hope all the people who have had bad experiences at Koda will patronize Saito just down the street -- he's probably not open really late, but it often seems a bit empty in there and it's good stuff.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chowpatty
              PseudoNerd Jan 22, 2007 04:31 AM

              It's definitely a shame that the place is perhaps only half-full most nights. But, then again, I haven't seen anyone else but that younger waitress in the front, so perhaps it's suited to the nature of his smaller business?

              1. re: PseudoNerd
                d
                djdebs Jan 22, 2007 04:30 PM

                I've been to Saito once for lunch and loved it, but honestly, the thing that keeps me from going at night is the sort of scary plaza it's in.

            Show Hidden Posts