Chiba - sushi in North Hollywood?
A friend of mine is raving about Chiba which is a sushi place in North Hollywood, on Saticoy right around Lankershim. When I think of that neighborhood I don't exactly think of sushi, but my friend has been having a lot of lunches there since he works close by. He says everything is good. "Everything" by his standards is anything that could be considered kosher, since he pretty much keeps kosher so he doesn't eat shellfish or whatever fin fish might not be kosher. However, he is an experienced sushi eater, he only started keeping kosher about a year or two ago, and I trust his judgment. A look at the County website indicates A's for the last four inspections. I don't know when I'll be able to check it out but I'm wondering if anyone's been.
Chiba seems to have multiple personalities. If you want good sushi for a reasonable price, you can do it here. If you like creative rolls, you can have them here. If you like huge rolls, you will find them here. If you enjoy really good nigiri -- with delicate and flavorful toppings -- Shiba can do that, too!
The service is excellent and everyone is very friendly. I prefer the more traditional sushi and our chef was more than happy to oblige. With each order -- his choice -- he served me two pieces of different fish. Each was skillfully topped with flavors: ginger or yuzu paste or soy drops...whatever best suited that particular fish. The sushi that I had was really good. We did, however, pay for the quality that was served us. One of my orders was uni wrapped in a shiso leaf and halibut with some top adornment...an explosion of flavor! Our chef, Yoshi, was extremely attentive and took pains to please us.
Chiba is really solid and you can make it whatever you want. I do caution that the parking can be a hassle. We arrived at 5:30 and the front lot was full with cars parked along the walkway. We were forced to park on the street. When we left at about 7:00pm, however, there were parallel spaces available in the lot. When we arrived at Chiba at 5:30 on a Saturday night, we were seated at the bar immediately. By 6:30, both bars and all the tables were filled.
There used to be a big Japanese American community in nearby Sun Valley, so the location isn't all that strange. Mme Akitist is very particular about fish, and really enjoyed the sushi there recently (I got left at home). Less enthusiastic about the cooked items such as tempura, though.
I have been going to Chiba since 1985 when I had my practice in Van Nuys. Now I work in south Orange County, but still visit Chiba whenever I am in the valley. They have my all time favorite spicy tuna. I am particular about my spicy tuna and do not like the ones that are made with chinese chili sauce. I have been to sushi places across the US and also in Japan and I still rank Chiba as my favorite place for sushi.
We've been to Chiba about 5 times- - -and that was when we used to live near Century City!
It was recommended to me by a friend who's lived in the valley for years. If I remember correctly, the owner's name is Shig.
Anyway, we LOVED this place. He would get a very loyal following, and the place felt like a private club. One of those places where the diners would say "don't tell anyone about this Sushi bar".
The owner eventually did an extensive remodel, and from what I've heard, the sushi bar itself doubled in size. The friend who told me about Chiba said that when the remodel was through, she felt that the restaurant was lacking in warmth, and she also thought the quality had slipped. Silly us never returned, after 1 negative comment (which could have been strictly emotionally based, at that), and now you've resurrected my desire to go back.
Thanks for your post,
Been there many times, and have always been pleased with their freshness and quality. Spider roll is excellent. Sashimi is delightful. Melts in your mouth.
After you've made friends with the chefs, they're likely to remember not only your name but your faves.
re: Shelley Kelly
I've eaten there 2 or 3 times (near my work place). I had good sushi and miso soup, but not my favorite. My boss is a pretty discriminating foodie, and it's his favorite. I found that some of my sushi was wet and soft such that it might have been frozen. That turned me against it. I figure I'll be back again pretty soon to try again, given my boss' fondness.
In the area, I have found Katsu Ya on Ventura/Colfax to be quite good, with great lunch specials.