Review: Cho Cho San (Thousand Oaks)
I recently moved to Thousand Oaks for my job. To celebrate the first day of me working after 11 months of "vacation", we decided to go for Japanese food but did not want to drive too far away for it.
We stumbled across Cho Cho San (http://www.chochosan.com/loc.html#to) earlier this week when we were exploring our neighbourhood. I was hesitant to go to this place as yelp.com yielded only one so-so review and I couldn't find anything on chowhound.com (I was in a bit of hurry though, found some comments after the dinner!).
The specialties of this place are sushi and teppanyaki. However, I wasn't in the mood for raw fish or sitting in front of the teppan. We had a booth. The waitress was really attentive and hoovered discretely some distance away from our booth.
The food for tonight consisted of:
- Gyoza: Steaming hot and oily. Wee bit too salty and the gyoza sauce tasted only of sesame oil and not much else. However, it went well with the ponzu sauce that they placed on the table with the Kikkoman soy sauce (both the regular and lite version).
- Crispy Roll: Basically a roll with krab salad and tempura shrimp coated with tempura crisps. 8 decent pieces for $8.95. Pretty tasty. I am not one for wasabi and soy sauce and I had this with the nice ponzu sauce.
- Beef teriyaki & mixed tempura bento: Served with miso soup,steamed rice, house salad with a weird dressing, edamame, krab silvers & cucumber strips in rice vinegar and the typical orange slice. I thought it was a bit pricey at $16.95 for such a bento since I was used to bento boxes priced at $12. However, the beef teriyaki was a decent piece of Angus beef that tasted really good, not too fatty as one would usually expect of cheap beef teriyaki. Miso soup was ok. Was disappointed with the rice as I felt it wasn't sticky enough. The krab silvers & cucumber strips were refreshing in the rice vinegar dressing though. (I didn't had much of this as this was my husband's order).
- Udon with mixed tempura ($7.95). You can't really go wrong with udon and they didn't. Nice soup that's not too salty with chewy udon that you can slurp right up. There were 2 slices of beancurd (not bad) and 2 krab sticks (which I thought was out of place) together with the typical soup seaweed in the soup. Tempura was tasty without being oily and the dipping sauce was just nice.
Nothing to die for. However, I felt that $46 (incl of tax and tips) for a decent Japanese dinner for 2 was not too bad (especially since it's minutes away from home and work!).
Will visit this place again in the future.
If you're in the area, I've found better sushi and teppan at Yamato's in Agoura, though the best sushi in the greater area is Shibuya in Calabasas near the Commons. No word yet on how good Suki 7 will be, but given the mediocre history of P6 and Chapter 8, I'm not holding my breath.
There's a sushi joint just north of the corner of Skyline and Hampshire in TO that used to be very good but recently underwent an ownership change. It's hidden on the other side of the Jiffy Lube.
I'm not a big fan of the Cho Cho San in Thousand Oaks, but went there pretty regularly when my father and a friend worked down the street. I prefer the original, little storefront Cho Cho San in Tarzana (which is mostly just for sushi and has a conveyor belt)). But I think you should know that Cho Cho San is best known for its more non-traditional sushi. The Rock 'n' Roll -- baked scallops and avocado in a handroll -- and spicy tuna are probably its best dishes. I find the spicy tuna is a little more oily at the Thousand Oaks branch, which is a shame because I would put the Tarzana branches spicy tuna up against any spicy tuna in the city..
We like the one in Tarzana, when we are there, the belt has rarely been moving, and if it is, there's nothing on it except ginger and wasabi containers. It's mostly known for Americanized sushi so if you have people in your life that won't eat raw (like my husband), it's a great place to go.
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Have you tried Sushi Ko at The Lakes in Thousand Oaks? The food there is amazing. They specialize in these grilled kabobs called Kushiyaki. I absolutely love the Chilean Sea Bass and the Chicken Meatballs. They serve Children's meals there for $5.95 and they are a really good value and healthy too! My kids love the chicken meatballs and the chicken wings on the sticks. The sushi is fresh and the rolls are creative. I like the Chilean Beach Roll. It's like a CA Roll with Avocado and that delicious Chilean Sea Bass flash fried on the top of the roll. The sauce is soooooo good. I wanted to lick my plate.
They also have good value lunch meals. They come with soup and salad and are enough food to satisfy anyone.
Also, the sake cocktails are fun. The manager gave us samples of their newest sake cocktail and we loved it!
Have just tried the new Suki7 at Westlake Village two nights ago, and found it a great experience. The atmosphere and decor is absolutely wow! The staff look pretty swish and generous with a smile and answers to the many questions i asked. The food was delicious especially the :black spagetti" This is no ordinary sushi place. Its more an experience , and a very satisfying one at that! I want to go back and try loads more, and taste a lot more of the different Saki's on offer. Its very new and in my book, pretty special! Cant wait to go again soon. Moderately priced.