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May 2, 2009 07:04 PM

japanese restaurants in san fernando valley

i am moving next week to the san fernando valley and am addicted to sushi and sashimi,please let me know where to go-thanks

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  1. Drive down Ventura Blvd. It's LA's sushi district. Tama, Nozawa, Asanebo, Kazu, Katsu-Ya, Teru, all good. Skip Sushi Dan, it's not very good.

    And branch out a little bit and go to Daichan in the same little plaza as Sushi Nozawa. It's Japanese-Hawaiian "home cooking" and it's really very good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Tama no longer exists. Katsu opened a place in Beverly Hills. The old Tama location is now yet another iteration of Katsu-ya, called Kiwami. It is good and even retained one of Katsu's better sushi chefs.

      1. There was just a lengthy thread about sushi in the SFV. If you do a search, you should find plenty of comments.

        1. The SFV is a large geographical area. Is $$$ no object? If not, Asanebo, Nozawa, Kazu,and Sushi Iki.

          I do not recommend Daichan, Ok but not why bother?

          16 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              1. They do not serve alcohol.
              2. The garlicy squid was tough and the garlic was too strong. It overpowered the taste of the squid. It may be a personal preference. I like the taste of squid but the garlic simply over whelmed the squid.
              3. The maguro salad or something like that was almost devoid of sashimi.

              It is no so much as what is wrong as much as the food is kinda average. Japanese food should reflect a kind of thoughtfulness and care in the preparation of every dish. Even in the humble bowl of ramen, the ingrediants are not just thrown in. They are arranged. The attention to detail does not stop with appearance. Every ingrediant should reflect the chef's desire to perfect his craft. I did not see that in daichan. I felt that the food was presented with a less care that I expected. I am not saying it is bad but with so many Japanese restaurants in So Cal the bar should be raised.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Please give Daichan another try!!

                It's so fantastic there.

                (Raw) Salmon Poki bowl with brown rice -- impossible to duplicate at home -- $12
                Cold soba noodles with peanut sauce


              2. re: bgazindad

                YEH - What's wrong w/Daichan. Some very authentic Japanese on the menu - I'm probably the only American who likes Natto - esp. w/avocado! :) Poki and sushi/sashimi ....Make me smile just thinking about it :)

                1. re: Kitchen Queen

                  Natto rocks, bigtime. Either you like it or hate it, it seems. Not universally popular in Japan by any means.

                  Haven't tried Daichan, but it doesn't sound very authentic. Maguro salad? Fusion. Garlic squid? More like Korean. Poki? Hawaiian.

                  1. re: Akitist

                    I didn't claim it was authentic. There is a huge Hawaiian influence there.

                    I really like it. They don't serve liquor, but I don't go there for liquor anyway.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek


                      What do you usually order at Daichan? Do you have a favorite?

                      1. re: bgazindad

                        Poki bowls... I love the cucumber with miso and eggplant with miso, the tsukune, the fried shishamo, the tempura (especially the shishito) and the lomi-lomi salmon (told you it was Hawaiian-influenced!)

                    2. re: Akitist

                      First off - what do you mean when you say authenic? Authenic -sushi bar or just Japanese. I would say most sushi joints in L.A. anyway are Americanized sushi bars. Though some time ago, I lived in Japan for two years and the sushi bars I went to all had things like sea bream, cod livers, still squirmin' halibut, Fuju-blowfish, things like that. Nothing with sauces, avocado, cream cheese, nothing rolled or fangled. Just raw off the cuff fishes and its parts. Now, if one was to go into a Japanese pub or ramen shop, one might find the some of the items on the Daichan menu. If in Hawaii- then again, the poki and other things. Daichan menu is kind of a mish mash sort of delighful assortment of stuff. Frankly, I like all the options. In a sushi bar in Japan, one would NOT be able to order sashimi and kaki fry (fried oysters) in the same place and that yummy sounding, stuffed Lotus root, well, sorry but, something like that just would be thought of in any japanese restaurant.

                      1. re: Kitchen Queen

                        There are authentic and non-authentic sushi bars. I'd be willing to bet that most of the latter aren't Japanese-owned. Some folks must like Krab/chipotle rolls with Miracle Whip..

                        Yes, a shop in Japan will be more of a specialist, which is how things are done there. Apparently the concept is catching on here, if exilekiss's reviews are a good indicator, but most shops have to offer more variety. I really mean authentic as in food you'd find in a Japanese restaurant in Japan.

                        My objection is to places that bill themselves as Japanese while offering dishes which are as Japanese as Naporitan is Italian.

                        1. re: Akitist

                          Don't know if you were joking - but the Japanese (in Japan) use mayo in some very strange ways - like putting it on spaghetti. Never saw it on sushi though. Robyn

                          1. re: pvgirl

                            Hey, mayo in sushi here, on pasghetti there. Fusion. Kewpie mayo is miles ahead of Kraft.

                        2. re: Kitchen Queen

                          Er... but the first place I had renkon no hasamiage was in a Japanese restaurant in Japan. It was stuffed with shrimp and wrapped in beefsteak leaves, but it was definitely stuffed fried lotus root.

                          I agree that you wouldn't find it in a sushi-ya, but Daichan isn't a sushi-ya. They do have some sushi (which is just kind of OK), but that's not their focus.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            I also love Daichan; I agree it's not a place to go to for sushi, it offers something different. I enjoy their variety of dishes, including the black cod, tuna poki bowls etc. It's also very inexpensive & doesn't require the financial commitment of a sushi dinner. It's no problem to bring in wine or beer (I always bring a bottle of wine--no corkage).

                          2. re: Kitchen Queen

                            I'm thinking more Japanese. I only spent 3 weeks in Japan - not 2 years - but very much enjoyed the simplicity of great fish (no rolls - no cream cheese - I can get that kind of stuff at my local supermarket - minus the high end fish of course - and why would you want to mix cream cheese with great fish?). FWIW - we did go to one high end "sushi" restaurant in Tokyo (Kozasa Sushi) where there were 2 omakase options - sushi or sashimi. Both my husband and a friend did "sushi". I knew I couldn't eat who knows how many courses with rice - so I started with sashimi - and then wanted to change to sushi. So my husband told the chef - in his somewhat primitive Japanese - and he promptly started me again with the first course (as sushi - not sashimi). Luckily - our friend had a much greater command of Japanese than my husband. So I wound up doing "half and half" - instead of 1 and a half.

                            I recall having excellent Japanese food in Hawaii - but it was perhaps 15 years ago - so I don't remember the particulars. Robyn

                        3. re: Kitchen Queen

                          You're probably the only person in the world who likes Natto. It's kind of like ludfisk or haggis - a traditional national dish that one has to eat once in a while or lose one's passport <big grin>. Robyn

                      2. Suprised no one mentioned Hirosuke in Encino on Ventura Blvd.... Maybe my tastes are touristy but I have loved everything I've eaten there. My grandfather used to go in and speak Japanese to the chefs, they loved him.
                        Incidentally, he was in deli for years, he knew his fish.
                        There was also a great sushi place called Hatano in Northridge, haven't seen it in a while, though....

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: jencounter

                            Kitchen Queen and others get it right when it comes to Daichan's charms. It's like a "Flaming Lips" concert. Eccentric but very pleasing. Its personalized decor is like no other Japanese Restaurant this side of the Pacific Ocean. You have to see the clutter to believe it. It's as if Walle-E found all his favorite Japanese toys and figurines and lovingly piled them up in various parts of a small room. My Mom who was a notorious pack rat would love the decor. The walls look like they have been decorated by aTim Robbins in "Shawshank Redemption". Covered with information that seem to have been written over a period of decades. Daichan's menu while not as eccentric as the decor is nevertheless extremely personal....and satisfying. My wife at our last visit had the yellowtail hamachi that was better than Hide her favorite Westside Sushi value place. The mix poki bowl that I had was better than the the one that I had at a legendary place in Maui. Daichan's quality at a reasonable price makes it a terrific neigborhood restaurant. My wife and I had a meal for 40 dollars that we enjoyed more than our 125 dollar meal at Faiche the night before. Daichan's personal and unique qualities make it a place that I love and cherish.

                        1. Incredible sushi can be found at 4 on 6 in Encino, a gem hidden in a large strip mall dominated by Office Depot.

                          They play jazz music (hence the name) and I believe they fly a lot of their fish in from Japan (hence not cheap).

                          I've only been once, for lunch on a Thurs, and master chef Saito was not there but it was still fantastic.

                          Sushi 4 on 6 in Encino
                          16573 Ventura Boulevard, #4,
                          Encino, CA 91436
                          in the Office Depot Mall, just W of Havenhurst

                          tel -- (818) 501-7191

                          Jun Maruyama, co-owner and manager
                          Chef/owner Kiminobu Saito (formerly of Nobu)

                          Specials that are frequently unavailable (seasonality and customers in the know play a factor):

                          (1) a melt in your mouth delicate juvenile high fat toro-like salmon called keiji
                          (2) albacore belly, one piece was raw, the other piece was seared
                          (3) yellowtail belly
                          (4) black cod, baked
                          (5) baked crab hand roll, in mamenori - aka soy paper

                          Cold sake -- Kamotsuru Tokusei Gold, 180ml

                          homemade mascarpone ice cream