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May 12, 2008 01:29 PM


Need help on decision where to take my son for LUNCH after his high school graduation on a Friday. His school is located near Coldwater/Ventura in North Hollywood. A 10 minute drive radius from the school is cruicial because some people in the party have to go back to work in the area after lunch.

After researching on the board I came up with the three possible choices...Tama Sushi, Katsu-ya, Asanebo. We have not eaten at any of these places. We don't live in the area. My son did eat at Katsuya in Brentwood. He liked the food but hated the chic vibe. He heard from his friends that the Katsu-yas in the Valley are much different. My son enjoys places like the artisan Kiriko in West LA rather than the trendier, hipper Sushi Rokus of sushi world. Food is more important to him than the decor. Currently his two heroes are Obama and David Chang of Momofuku. We will not be able to eat at the sushi bar because there will be at least 7 people eating. So I guess that rules out a Omakase Lunch.

So Tama Sushi or Katsu-ya or Asanebo for this big day for my son? My wife will probably be crying in the wasabi.


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  1. Given your parameters, I would go to Asanebo.

    While good in its own right, Tama isn't in the same class as Asanebo.

    Katsu-Ya is a distant ("distant" like from Earth to Pluto distant) third.

    1. I would have to passionately, yet respectfully disagree. Though the atmosphere and at times the service at Katsu-ya on Ventura leaves a bit to be desired, I think it's the best sushi of the three. Hard to say if this is a celebratory occasion, and thus I'd take the whole experience into account, but I could never say no to Katsu-ya. I always walk away from there amazed at how good the food is.

      1. if he wants sushi, Tama is the way to go. Sorry, but Katsu-ya just isn't in the same league to someone who appreciates fine sushi. If he's in the mood for cooked dishes, tell him Asanebo. Do keep in mind that the quality at Tama fluctuates depending on who his chef is. The bar is the only way to go, and if Katsu is there, sit in front of him. I've been to Urasawa and Mori and The Hump, and I can say being served by Katsu (as a dinner guest by one of his most dedicated regulars) is pretty up there in the echelon of L.A. sushi.

        2 Replies
        1. re: fooddude37

          agree w/ this assessment. one of my other faves for no frills high quality sushi is Iroha, right near there as well.

          is he graduating from HW? (i'm an alum too!) congrats!

          1. re: fooddude37

            my son is at HW. he'll soon find out that there are few spots like los angeles for sushi. he's going to college where "applebee" is the norm.
            thanks for your help

          2. I believe I go to school with your son. To be entirely honest, I highly recommend Iroha. I think the food takes Katsu-ya any day of the week, and it's the closest to school, which is convenient considering where the graduating seniors park. The exterior is a little shoddy and unassuming, but the food has never disappointed (and I go once a week). However, if you have your heart set on the aforementioned three, I would go with Katsu-ya.

            1 Reply
            1. re: shaniquanda

              Assuming he's graduating H-W, I would take the 5 minute drive to Tama, which I think is superior to Iroha. Also, given that it's a family graduation lunch, I suspect that you will want to sit at a group table, rather than at the sushi bar. Tama's dining room is elegant & appealing for this type of occasion. Asenabo is delicious & significantly pricier, but for a family celebration I think Tama will suit you better.

            2. Sounds like Asanebo will make both your son and your wife happy. Very good sushi and sashimi, and their cooked items are very creative and delicious, too. The chefs are super friendly (even after their Michelin star). I think your son will be happy at Asanebo if he likes Kiriko.