My grandmother is taking our family out to dinner ... she wants to have it at a restaurant on Sawtelle. I suggested Sawtelle Kitchen, which is a possibility, but what other, possibly better options are there? What of 2117 or Blue Marlin? We've already been to Orris.
There will be six of us present at dinner.
the sushi is very good and very simple. however, it is a bit on expensive side if you just order from the bar. 7/8 dollars per typical nigiri vs. the typical 5/6. they have a couple set menu options which i find to be good value for 30 or 45 dollars which also includes some premium cuts.
it is rarely crowded, and usually only with japanese people. i'd recommend it... especially on sawtelle when you cant get into kiriko, which i personally find a little bit too pretentious and slow.
Over the past few months, I've been having lunch at Sushi Tenn about once a week and the place is really growing on me. For one thing, it's always uncrowded, which means you can have a nice peaceful lunch. (Nice for me; perhaps not so good for the longevity of the place).
There are a few things you have to get used to. The stark modern interior is not, in my opinion, very inviting and, even at the bar, you order from the waitress, not the sushi chef, which is not quite as personal as when you order from the chef.
But the sushi is made with a lot of care and the $18 lunchtime chirashi bowl always blows me away -- one of the best price to quality ratios in all of L.A. (it may not be Masa, but even at the "cheap" Bar Masa in NYC, you can get about one piece of fish for $18). For your $18, you also get miso soup (which is better made than at the average sushi bar) and a nice composed salad with seaweed. I'm also very fond of the gobo (burdock) sushi. It's not something you see at many sushi bars and the gobo is delicious - it tastes home-pickled rather than packaged, although I'm not sure whether or not it is homemade (most sushi bars just use pre-packaged oshinko). The nori at Sushi Tenn also seems a cut above the nori at most sushi bars.
The green tea ice cream is really good - it tastes homemade with a splash of real matcha.
I've been meaning to try Sushi Tenn for dinner, but never have. I think it's something about the interior. It just doesn't feel, for example, like a place where you would want to have a big festive dinner. But I do feel that this is a place where someone really cares about the food and is not taking the shortcuts that 99.9 percent of the sushi bars in this town take.
FuRaiBo is a great place to go. Always packed. Hurry Curry is totally worth the money as well!
I would definitely NOT recommend Blue Marlin. The service there was HORRIBLE! My friend found a fly in her soup and made a complaint to the manager. The manager insisted that he couldn't do anything about it and even went so far as to argue with us about it. He refused to do anything about the plate (1/2 off or replacing it).
Just went to Sawtelle Kitchen last night and it was a very good value (3 people, $39 including tax and tip). I love this place...
I wouldn't choose it if I had a party of 6. It is not well laid out for a big group - too cramped. In the summer, when you can comfortably eat outside, this is not a concern. But squeezing 6 people in that tiny space just doesn't seem worth it.
Place Yuu, Furaibo (or FuRaiBo as their signs say) and 2117 would be more comfortable for that sized group. Kiriko has a tatami space, if you reserve, that would also be nice.
I've not been to Blue Marlin. I go to Saw.Kitch. and 2117 quite a bit. I really like both. The food at 2117 is more expensive ($17 entrees) but much better.
Frankly I think it is one of the best values in town.
It is asian\franco influenced. There are asian things, but also things like foie gras or pork chops.
They even allow for one to create there own three-course.
If you're going next Tues by any chance I'll be there.